SERNEC (the Southeast Regional Network of Expertise and Collections) of which the Sewanee Herbarium is a member, is currently working with a citizen science project called Notes from Nature. This effort gives us an opportunity to work with interested people on the Web to help transcribe our specimen label data. The initial roll-out of the project was very successful, but maintaining this over an extended period is going to take more support from our community.
As we work to develop regional support for our efforts through proposals to NSF and other entities, Notes from Nature is one of the important elements to our proposed digitization workflow. By using this citizen science crowdsourcing tool, designed to share the biological collections with enthusiastic people from around the world and invite them to help transcribe labels, we have the means of produced a richer data set for scientific research and collection management.
One of the most important elements of Notes from Nature and also one of the most challenging is that of connecting scientists to citizens and nurturing that communication exchange. We presently have a crowd funding campaign (fundraising effort) to pull together $10,000 to have our collaborators at the University of Virginia hire some student interns who will develop blog posts, social media posts, and videos that create a stronger community around these collections. This is an important service to all of our work and as we build on this capability, we can transfer this expertise to a broader SERNEC effort.
Please help support this aspect of the project by visiting the campaign page and making a contribution if you are inclined, or by simply sharing this.