I am very excited to announce that I have been invited to attend the 2014 DigBio biological collections digitization week-long workshops which are targeted to natural history collections specialists in Hawai‘i, Guam and other countries in the South Pacific.

This year’s workshop is sponsored the East-West Center, Bishop Museum, University of Hawai‘i, and the Pacific Science Association. This event is part of a continuing series of iDigBio sponsored workshops focused on organizing, launching, maintaining, and enhancing biological collections digitization programs.

The primary goals are to:

  1. Enhance international collaboration and sharing regarding biological collections digitization in the South Pacific, and
  2. Prepare participants with the necessary skills and knowledge to launch, manage, and sustain a biodiversity collections digitization program individually, through collaboration with an existing Thematic Collections Network (TCN), as a Partner with an Existing Network (PEN), through direct collaboration with iDigBio, or through collaboration with other collections and museums within the region. The target audience includes collections managers, curators, directors, digitization specialists, biodiversity informatics managers, and related collections staff. A major focus of the workshop will be encouraging national and international collaboration and sharing to include representatives from the United States and its territories (Guam), as well as potentially Australia, Fiji, Palau, and Papua New Guinea.

This is a broadly based workshop of value to a wide range of biodiversity collections, including all those represented in Hawai‘i, Guam, and other countries in the Pacific region. This workshop will focus on common and unique practices across a variety or preparations and collection types, including vascular and nonvascular plants, fungi, arthropods, vertebrates, and paleobiology. Ample time will be included for rich discussion and international interchange of ideas and practices.

Workshop content and discussion topics will include but not be limited to:

  • An overview of Integrated Digitized Biocollections (iDigBio), the National Science Foundation’s national resource for Advancing Digitization of Biodiversity Collections;
  • A roundup of digitization activities in the South Pacific;
  • The future of NSF funding and other funding opportunities to support digitization programs;
  • Activities of GBIF’s international task force for collections digitization;
  • Issues in organizing and launching a collections digitization program;
  • A detailed overview of the clusters of essential digitization tasks;
  • Detailed parameters for designing and developing effective digitization workflows and protocols;
  • Detailed overviews for the use and configuration of imaging systems for various collection types;
  • Issues affecting database design and management, including dealing with taxonomic trees and authority files;
  • Issues in uniquely identifying collection objects and records;
  • Strategies for evaluating hardware and software;
  • Strategies and considerations for georeferencing collection objects, including use of online collaborative tools;
  • Methods for moving digitized data to the internet via data aggregators, harvesters, and portals;
  • Dealing with poor connectivity and bandwidth;
  • How to contribute data to iDigBio’s portal and data repository;
  • Tools for developing institutional portals for serving biological collections data;
  • The establishment of international working and interest groups for sustainable sharing of digitization practices and discoveries across nations; and
  • Issues unique or especially relevant to collections digitization and management in the South Pacific.

Check back after Spring Break to learn more about my experience at the workshop!



Source: 2014 iDigBio Agenda