New & Noteworthy

Archive for January, 2016

21 Jan 2016

Host Sites Sought for Synthetic Biology Public Engagement Event

The Building with Biology Project, funded by the National Science Foundation, is organizing an event this summer to engage the public and scientists in a dialogue about synthetic biology. Two hundred kits are available for free for host sites. The kits include six hands-on activities designed to promote conversations between the public and scientists about the social and ethical considerations of synthetic biology, as well as other resources such as posters. The deadline to apply for a kit is February 1, 2016. Learn more at

15 Jan 2016

Fiscal Year 2016 NAGPRA Grant Applications Now Available

The National Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act Program is accepting fiscal year 2016 grant applications for repatriation and consultation/documentation projects. The application materials and guidelines are available on Competitive consultation/documentation applications are due by March 11 by 11:59 p.m. (EST). To apply, visit and search for Funding Opportunity Numbers: P16AS00001 for NAGPRA Repatriation Grants or P16AS00002 for NAGPRA Consultation/ Documentation Grants.

06 Jan 2016

Abstracts Sought for Small Collection Symposium

iDigBio and the Small Collections Network are hosting the Small Collections Symposium at the SPNHC 2016 meeting in Berlin in June 2016. Presentations are invited on current museum-based educational and workforce training initiatives, the development and sharing of novel educational or training modules and resources, the involvement of graduate and undergraduate students and early career professionals in collections digitization initiatives, graduate and undergraduate internships and courses focused on experiential learning in collections management and curation, and future directions for natural history museum workforce development focused on students and early career professionals.

Abstracts are due by March 15, 2016.

Learn more at

Questions about the Small Collections Symposium can be addressed to Anna Monfils ( or Gil Nelson (

06 Jan 2016

Upcoming DataONE Webinar on Natural History Collections Data

“Assuring the quality of your data: A natural history collection community perspective”

Drawing from examples within the taxonomic and natural history collection communities, this webinar will detail the data types and challenges of biological specimen data. The event will explore the value and importance of data quality open resources, the current status of data assurance practices as well as some more practical ‘how-to’ examples of implementing data quality assurance (QA) methods. For example, QA of publicly shared data is critical for effective use and reuse. As part of the data life cycle, QA often occurs following the collection of data. However, planning for quality assurance in advance of data collection is time efficient and much cheaper than trying to clean up and standardize later. QA planning can help avoid commonly occurring data collection/entry errors.

The webinar will be presented by Katja C. Seltman (UCSB), Deborah Paul (iDigBio), Laura Russell (VertNet), and David Bloom (VertNet) on Tuesday January 12 at 9:00am Pacific / 12:00 noon Eastern.

There is no cost to registration however you must pre-register at: