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 http://www.nsf.gov/news/news_summ.jsp?cntn_id=136007.