Florida Museum part of four-day
global biodiversity effort

October 21, 2015
Maria Espinoza

Area residents will have the opportunity to help make biological collections accessible online during a free event Oct. 24 at the Florida Museum of Natural History.

The event, which lasts from 10 a.m. to noon at Powell Hall, is part of the Worldwide Engagement for Digitizing Biocollections project, also known as WeDigBio. Participants will take part in a citizen science project to help convert some of the billions of records in analog form into digital format to advance scientific research.

The Smithsonian Institution, Museum National d' Histoire Naturelle, Paris, Australian Museum and Florida State University among others are organizing similar events during the four-day effort Oct. 22-25 to accelerate the rate of digital data creation for millions of specimens and species worldwide.

Florida Museum associate curator and project coordinator Robert Guralnick said the event is an opportunity to involve the global community of citizen scientists with the major challenge of documenting the state’s regional biodiversity.

“Every specimen in a museum has been kept for a good reason and tells a story,” Guralnick said. “WeDigBio helps each of those stories to be unlocked from paper and brought to digital life.”

Participants at the Florida Museum event ages 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult. University of Florida Herbarium specimens are now available for transcription at www.notesfromnature.org. For more information about the WeDigBio event, please visit www.wedigbio.org.

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