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Banner features the Red-Cockaded Woodpecker (Picoides borealis). Read more in the Biodiversity Spotlight

Discovery of a Hidden Collection of Slime Molds at Chico State University

One goal of the NSF Advancing Digitization of Biological Collections program is to expose unique and often cryptic collections by making their data publicly available through one of the numerous online data portals serving data to iDigBio. The Microfungi Collections Consortium TCN was recently afforded this opportunity thanks to a tip by Dr. Richard Rabeler (Collections Manager, University of Michigan Herbarium) about a hidden gem of a collection of ~10,400 specimens of myxomycetes (slime molds) at Chico State University (CHSC) in northern California. “This collection represents the most significant resource of myxomycetes from northern California known to exist” according to Dr. Steve Stephenson (myxo expert, University of Arkansas). Mr. Janeway and Herbarium Director Dr. Colleen Hatfield were thrilled by the opportunity to share these data, which have been uploaded to the Mycology Collections Portal (MyCoPortal). Read the full story here.


Phoibos2 @ Biosphere 2 - Practical Hacking on Identifiers

Practical Hacking on Identifiers at BiOSphere2 (PHOIBOS2) took place at The University of Arizona’s Biosphere 2 in Oracle, Arizona, from February 17-19, 2016. The workshop had 50 participants and three main goals: to document the current status of permanent, globally unique identifier technologies across scientific disciplines, identify pressing needs in identifier technologies and services, and articulate solutions in identifier technologies and services. Read more in the event's report.


Call for Abstracts for iDigBio Symposium @ the Pacific Island Congress

iDigBio is pleased to announce the upcoming symposium Data and Digital Images: Progress, Tools and Scientific Need for Digitizing Pacific Biological Specimen Collections at the 23rd Pacific Science Congress: Science, Technology and Innovation June 13-17, 2016, in Taipei, Taiwan. Please see the Call for Abstracts page at the PSC 2016 website for complete information about submitting abstracts for the symposium. Abstract submissions are due by March 31, 2016.



iDigBio participated in the inaugural Florida State University High School STEAM Day on February 19, 2016. The event was a big success for both students and iDigBio. Students were able to discover the importance of natural history collections through interactive activities developed to encourage STEAM learning. iDigBio presenters were able to interact with a huge number of students ranging from grades K-12. Read more about the festival in the event report.


A Remarkable Woodchuck Skull

Every collection contains a few extraordinary specimens with their very own story to tell.

The specimen comes from the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History (YPM). It was collected in 1929 by HR Mooney and donated to the YPM in 1930. The Marmota monax skull inspired a short article entitled A Remarkable Woodchuck Skull written by Malcom Rutherford Thorpe and published by the Journal of Mammalogy in 1930.

From the manuscript: "the outstanding characteristic of this specimen is the evidence of unrestricted development of the upper and lower incisors." I'll say!!

The author suggested that the teeth malformation was most likely congenital as no evidence of injury that would cause abnormal dental growth was found. "While rodent skulls showing abnormal growth of one or two incisors are not uncommon, it seems that those showing abnormal growth of all four incisor teeth among the Simplicidentata are fairly rare."

March 15-17

Digitizing Fluid-Preserved Vertebrate Specimens
Champaign, Illinois

March 18

Symbiota Working Group Webinar: Transcription – Julianne Smith (LBCC)

March 18-20

iDigBio @ the League of Environmental Educators of Florida Conference
St. Marks, Florida

March 21-25

WiSE Girlz Spring Science Camp
Gainesville, Florida

March 23

Education and Outreach Webinar Series: iPlant's DNA Subway
Paleo Digitization Webinar Series: Digitizing Small Paleo Collections

March 31-April 3

Association of Southeastern Biologists Meeting 2016
Concord, North Carolina
Click Here for More Workshops and Other Events...

Collections in the News: the Blog for Scientific Collections International

Scientific Collections International (SciColl) is the global consortium devoted to promoting the use and impact of object-based scientific collections across disciplines, including archaeology, biology, biomedicine, earth and space sciences, technology and others. SciColl has a blog to share collections-related news and events such as the upcoming Symposium on Food Security. Visit their blog to read more.

Museum Specimens Used in Population Study

Researchers at the University of Helsinki analyzed genetic variation in now extinct populations of the Glanville fritillary butterfly in south-west Finland using museum specimens. The results gave researchers insight into how meta-population dynamics affect the rate of dispersal and colonization and how species adapt to a rapidly changing world. Read more in the story from EurekaAlert! Photo courtesy of the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History.

Specimens from George Washington Carver Discovered at UW-Madison

University of Wisconsin-Madison News highlighted the Wisconsin State Herbarium for their holdings of microfungi collected by George Washington Carver. Carver "was a prominent African-American scientist with a long record of achievement." He was best known for his research on and advocacy for peanuts, but he shared an interest in microfungi with one of his professors, Louis Pammel, from Iowa State University. Read the original article here. Photo courtesy of the Library of Congress.

Lesson Plan Using 3D Printed Specimens Gets Play in Classrooms Across the Country

Chewing on Change: Exploring Co-Evolution of Horse and Plants in Response to Climate Change is a three-lesson curriculum that was developed through the University of Florida Center for Precollegiate Education and Training (CPET) in collaboration with high school teachers and museum staff from the Florida Museum of Natural History. To date, they have had 23 teachers agree to field test the curriculum with approximately 1500 students in nine states. All of these classes are using 3D printed horse teeth representing 15 species from the collection at the FLMNH. Find the lesson plans here or learn more from an article published in the myFOSSIL Newsletter.
iDigBio is funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation’s Advancing Digitization of Biodiversity Collections Program (Cooperative Agreement EF-1115210). Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation. All images used with permission or are free from copyright.
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