New & Noteworthy

Archive for August, 2015

25 Aug 2015

More Biological Collections to be Digitized with NSF Support

In August, the National Science Foundation (NSF) made seven new awards in the Advancing Digitization of Biodiversity Collections program.

Two new Thematic Collection Networks (TCN) will address “grand challenges” in the areas of microfungi and marine invertebrates fossils. Both projects will bring together institutions across the country to digitize their biological specimens. The Microfungi Collections Consortium will digitize more than 1.2 million North American microfungi specimens. The project is led by Andrew Miller of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The other TCN will document the fossil marine invertebrate communities of the Eastern Pacific over the last 66 million years. The principle investigator for that award is Charles Marshall of the University of California, Berkeley.

Five smaller awards were made for Partners to Existing Networks, which will participate in existing TCNs. Those grants will digitize additional specimens of macrofungi, fossils of insects, and beetles. Two awards were made for digitization of vascular plant specimens from New England.

Learn more at

24 Aug 2015

Register for the Online Conference on Biodiversity

The International Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) will hold a virtual conference to scope two forthcoming assessments on invasive species and conservation of biodiversity. The e-conference will take place in three sessions over three weeks from 7-25 September 2015. Participants will provide input through online discussion boards. That information will be used to create iterative versions of a synthesis report. Learn more and register to participate at

14 Aug 2015

NAGPRA Training Programs Offered This September

The National Native American Grave Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) Program is partnering with the National Preservation Institute to offer in-depth training on preparing for and writing NAGPRA grant proposals will be held twice during the month of September 2015. Learn how to assess the needs of a NAGPRA program, identify fundable projects, and write successful Consultation/Documentation and Repatriation grant proposals. Agenda at

The first session will be held 9-10 September 2015 in Oklahoma City, OK. The deadline to register is 17 August. The event will be repeated on 29-30 September 2015 in Indianapolis, IN. The deadline to sign up for that session is 14 September.

Scholarships and travel grants are available.

Learn more at

11 Aug 2015

Presentations Sought for Session on Biocollections and Climate Change

The upcoming Research Data Sharing without Barriers Plenary will include a session on “Unlocking the potential of biological collections data for climate change research.” The session will highlight successful case studies on digitization and label transcription processes and will discuss the challenges regarding the mobilization of data and fit-for-use of datasets in climate and environmental research. The breakout session will be held on 23 September 2015.

Presentation titles and abstracts are due by 11 August. Materials should be submitted to,,, and

07 Aug 2015

New Genealogy of Life Program Announcement

The National Science Foundation has released a new program announcement for the Genealogy of Life (GoLife) program. The program aims to resolve the phylogenetic history of all life’s lineages using an open access, dynamic format and to synthesize as much organismal data as possible with this genealogy of life.

Research proposals are due in March 2016. View the program announcement at

07 Aug 2015

Webinar Series on Value of Vertebrate Digitization

iDigBio will be offering a four-part webinar series on the value of digitizing vertebrate collections. The webinars will emphasize the imaging of herps, mammals, birds, and fishes. The online events may be of interest to vertebrate zoologists, curators, collections managers, and others.

September 8, 3-4 pm EDT
The Value of Digitizing Mammal Collections
Cody Thompson, University of Michigan

September 15, 3-4 pm EDT
The Value of Digitizing Fish Collections
Andy Bentley, University of Kansas Biodiversity Institute and President of SPNCH

September 22, 3-4 pm EDT
The Value of Digitizing Herpetology Collections
Chris Phillips, Illinois Natural History Survey, University of Illinois

September 29, 3-4 pm EDT
The Value of Digitizing Bird Collections
Carla Cicero, UC Berkeley and Lead PI for Vertnet

All events will be accessible from No special software is required. Click “Enter as Guest”, enter your name, and login.

All webinars will be recorded and made available at