Monday, March 28, 2016

Scoring Herbarium Specimens for Phenology Workshop

Posted by Amanda Gallinat

A few weeks ago, I went to Berkeley, CA to represent the Primack Lab at an iDigBio-sponsored workshop entitled "Data Standards for Scoring Phenology on Herbarium Specimens." The workshop included a diverse group of scientists from around the world, including phenology researchers, collections managers, citizen science organizers, and data scientists-- all with the goal of identifying the methods and priorities for scoring phenology on digitized herbarium specimens.

The workshop included several breakout groups, organized by areas of expertise. This included the citizen science and field phenology team and the herbarium phenology research team. The goals of these breakout groups were to discuss and clarify our priorities in the context of digitizing and scoring specimens, and to bring those ideas and priorities back to the larger group for discussion.

Citizen science and field phenology team (L to R): Alyssa Crall (NEON), Ellen Denny (National Phenology Network), Mare Nazaire (Australian Citizen Science Association), Kjell Bolmgren (Swedish National Phenology Network), and Constantin Zohner (University of Munich)

We also had time to check out the University & Jepson Herbaria! These herbaria, located at the University of California at Berkeley, are active in digitizing specimens. Here is their imaging setup:

By the end of the workshop, we made a lot of progress identifying what phenological stages were the most important to score, how to make scoring phenology of herbarium specimens comparable to scoring in the field, and how to organize specimens and phenological data to best facilitate future research. We also had fun! Here's Primack Lab alum Libby Ellwood enjoying the kids' table at the Herbaria: