(Talk) CAFe Speaker Series: Curating Longitudinal Natural History Data Through the CHANGES Project

Event Start Date: Wednesday, March 1, 2023 - 12:00 pm

Event End Date: Wednesday, March 1, 2023 - 1:00 pm

Location: Hybrid: UMCP Campus (Hornbake South, Room 2116) + Online EST

Dr. Andrea Thomer, Assistant Professor at the University of Arizona School of Information, will discuss natural history data curation: the specimens, field notes, and other data stored in natural history collections can be crucial for studies of past and on-going climate change—but only if they can be transformed into computationally-ready datasets. In this talk, she will describe the CHANGES (Collections, Heterogenous data And Next Generation Ecological Synthesis) project, in which they are developing approaches to curate rich but under-utilized longitudinal datasets that are often stored in the archives of natural history collections and surveys. Working with over 100 years of archival records from the Michigan Institute for Fisheries Research, they used the Zooniverse community science platform to ask friendly strangers from the internet to help transcribe over 100,000 data cards. Extensive data curation is needed both before and after records are entered in Zooniverse; while they have developed some workflows that will likely be generalizable to similar projects, considerable curation ‘by hand’ is still needed. They find that digitization reveals the human idiosyncrasies that inevitably shape any artifact created by many people over many years.

Join us! This is a free event, open to the public. This is a hybrid event with a Zoom option as well as an option to attend in person (more on transportation and parking). Registration is required.


Dr. Andrea Thomer, Assistant Professor at the University of Arizona School of Information


Research Talks/Events