Digitizing Virginia's Herbaria-20161014 1602-1_58064932
From Michelle Prysby
Description: Webinar presenters Jill Spear and Andrea Weeks will introduce a new online volunteer project entitled, "Notes from Nature - Plants of Virginia" that will expand our knowledge of the diversity and distribution of the plants in the Commonwealth. Botanists have collected hundreds of thousands of plant specimens from Virginia over the last 200+ years. These dried, pressed specimens are stored in cabinets of herbariaat universities and botanical gardens and contain a treasure trove of information, including the species name, the precise description of its location and habitat, as well as when and by whom it was collected. Every species treatment in the Flora of Virginiaand the vast majority of occurrence records on the Digital Atlas of the Virginia Flora are based on these specimens. Despite the importance of these collections, no Virginian herbaria served their databases online nor provided high-resolution digital images of their specimens for virtual inspection until very recently. In 2014, National Science Foundation funded an imaging campaign of the herbaria of the southeast US, which is now imaging ca. 500,000 Virginian herbarium specimens. A cornerstone of the success of this project is participation by citizen scientists, who will examine the high-resolution images of these specimens, read their labels and transcribe the information into a user-friendly online program called NotesfromNature.org. Jill and Andrea will provide step-by-step instruction on how to complete the online volunteer activities and a more in-depth overview of the purpose and value of the project, which is well-suited for upcoming winter weather.
Presenters: Jill Spear is a certified Virginia Master Naturalist in the Central Rappahannock Chapter, Assistant Herbarium Curator at the University of Mary Washington, and an Assistant Field Botanist for Department of Conservation and Recreation Natural Heritage Program. Jill has been assisting with the herbaria digitization project at both University of Mary Washington and University of Richmond.
This webinar was presented on 14 October 2016.