Some impressions from yesterday’s Grand Opening of the newly renovated and now fully functional Alameda space for the ASU School of Life Sciences Natural History Collections, Informatics & Outreach Group. The event was attended by more than 200 illustrious guests from ASU and the greater community. A wonderful opportunity to showcase how the collections are now positioned to promote biodiversity research and learning. A set of photos from the event is linked here.
The State Press: ASU Alameda opening puts natural history on display
The summer is over! Via Melody Basham, here is a brief summary of upcoming Fall 2014 outreach events at our Alameda Collections Space. Post in development.
- School Visit – Wednesday, August 27th – Montessori School Grades 4-6.
- Each collection will prepare displays; we are expecting around 25-30 students and teachers. Most time will be spent on activities in the teaching classroom; inlcuding short, structured activities.
- Alameda Open House Event – Thursday, October 2nd – ASU community and supporters.
- This will be our big, first, formal Open Door.
- Jeepers Creepers IDEA Museum Insect Event – Saturday, October 25th – Insect family day.
- We held this event last year and have been invited back again this year.
Eleodes compositus Casey 1891, Holotype
This week has been the most productive of my summer so far. While it is wonderful and necessary to spend time in the field, the same amount of time spent in a collection allows you to benefit from the generations of workers who came before you. This week I have been imaging the type specimens of Eleodes Eschscholtz held at the USNM (Smithsonian Natural History Museum) insect collection.
The value and importance of natural history collections cannot be overstated. Even specimens which some would assume have very little value often turn out to be quite important to future work. One such instance is the story of Eleodes compositus Casey 1891, pictured above.
We have a new collaborative paper out in Lecture Notes in Computer Science, with Mingmin Chen of UC Davis as lead author, on inconsistency checking and repair of conflicting concept articulations for the Euler/X toolkit. Complete citation:
Chen, M., S. Yu, N. Franz, S. Bowers & B. Ludäscher. 2014. A hybrid diagnosis approach combining Black-Box and White-Box reasoning. In: A. Bikakis et al. (Editors): RuleML 2014. Lecture Notes in Computer Science 8620: 127-141. Link to publication.
With lead author Corinna Gries of the University of Wisconsin, two Franz Lab members have a new publication in the Biodiversity Data Journal reviewing the Symbiota software platform. Symbiota has become popular with a broad range of North American collections networks and is gaining support in Central America as well.
- Gries, C., E.E. Gilbert & N.M. Franz. 2014. Symbiota – a virtual platform for creating voucher-based biodiversity information communities. Biodiversity Data Journal 2: e1114 (24 Jun 2014). doi: 10.3897/BDJ.2.e1114. Link to Open Access publication.
My “Anatomy” paper went from on-line only preprint to officially published. I intended this to serve as a use case-centered companion paper to this:
Franz, N.M. 2005. Outline of an explanatory account of cladistic practice. Biology & Philosophy 20: 489-515. PDF
My second semester as a graduate student has been spent conducting research with the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama. Since February, I have been dividing my time between working in STRI’s Insect Collection in Panama City and traveling around Panama collecting insects. In the Collection I’ve been making an interactive identification key to the 29 currently described Panamanian genera of weevils in the subfamily Conoderinae, available shortly in SCAN. This has been possible thanks to the collecting of Henry Stockwell in the 1970s and 1980s, whose large collection of conoderines contains numerous undescribed species.