Thursday, February 12, 2015

Sagehen Mammal Collection digitization project

A specimen label needing to be transcribed.
Sagehen is busy digitizing and curating our teaching collections to share with large data portals, creating new research and citizen science opportunities. With the advent of new technologies, like various isotopic and genetic sampling techniques, old collections are yielding important new information that informs research into changing environmental conditions. Here's one spectacular an unexpected example from Sagehen's visiting artists program. And another from our research program, where DNA from fur samples was compared with historic museum specimens to determine relatedness, and isotopes confirmed where the animal had been drinking its water.

At present, we need help digitizing the labels from our mammal collection. You can help out from home using the instructions found here.

UPDATE, 8-4-19: we have largely completed the first phase of this project. All animal skin records are now available to researchers and the public through, a Symbiota portal. Select "Sagehen Creek Field Station (UC-Berkeley) - Mammals (SCFS-Mammals)". Complete transcribed label data is available here.

This project was completed thanks to the efforts of Erica Krimmel, Sagehen Collections Manager, and our amazing volunteers:
  • Terry and Emily Gollub, Sagehen California Naturalist (specimen photography)
  • Alexander and Robert Gallandt, Volunteers (label transcription)
  • Kathy Mullen, Sagehen California Naturalist (label transcription)
We still need to accession our collections of bones, scat, hair and fish scale slides, so keep an eye out for announcements. If you would like to help right now, we have a Zooniverse project that needs your help identifying animals in camera trap photos.

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