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Abstract Detail

Education and Outreach

Weeks, Andrea [1].

Opened cabinets, opened minds: using digitized herbaria for botany outreach and education in Virginia.

In 2014, a consortium of over 90 US herbaria, funded by the National Science Foundation, began digitizing over 4.5 million southeastern US herbarium specimens. The plan of work entitled, “The Key to the Cabinets: Building and Sustaining a Research Database for a Global Biodiversity Hotspot” includes collecting high-resolution digital images for all specimens, establishing publicly accessible databases of each herbarium’s holdings, and using crowdsourcing tools to transcribe label data and georeference localities. This seminar will describe efforts in Virginia to improve botany education and outreach by using, and contributing to, these new online resources. Two case studies will be presented. One study will detail how members of Virginia Native Plant Society and Virginia Master Naturalists have been engaged as partners in building the research database through herbarium label transcription. The second study will detail project-based learning in an undergraduate plant diversity and evolution course. The semester-long project scaffold gives students hands-on and individualized experience in most aspects of systematic botany, from nomenclature and descriptive morphology to phylogeny and biogeography, as well as a primer on biodiversity informatics in R and QGIS – all while using and contributing to Virginian herbarium resources.

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1 - George Mason University, Department of Biology, 4400 University Drive, MSN 3E1, Fairfax, VA, 22030

Project-based learning.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Session: 26, Education and Outreach II
Location: Sundance 4/Omni Hotel
Date: Tuesday, June 27th, 2017
Time: 2:00 PM
Number: 26003
Abstract ID:442
Candidate for Awards:None

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