On the evening of March 1st, 2014, the Franz Lab and Hasbrouck Insect Collection team participated in ASU’s annual Night of the Open Door Event. We created close to 1500 sq. ft. of space with diverse themes, stations, apps, and activities for insect and invertebrate enthusiasts of all ages. Live bedbugs, hissing cockroaches, insect origami, Arium3D’s “Beyond a Bug in a Box”, land and marine shells, bees, true bugs, cameras and microscopes, a giant Jerusalem cricket, and much more.
As in the previous year, the event attracted well over 1,000 visitors and was an amazing success (in spite of rare and strong Arizona spring rains). Special thanks to Andrea, Annette, Catherine, Dale, Danica, Guanyang, Michael (L.), Michael (S.), Sarah, Zhen, and of course Melody and Sangmi for making it all happen. See more photos of the event here.
This was likely the last outing of this kind in the Life Sciences W Wing. Next year we hope to celebrate the Night of the Open Door activities at our newly renovated location at Alameda Drive.
This week ASUHIC received two paratype specimens of a new species of clubtail dragonfly – Erpetogomphus molossus Bailowitz, Danforth & Upson ((Odonata: Anisoptera: Gomphidae) – from the Yécora Municipio in Sonora, Mexico. Many thanks to co-author Sandy Upson for this deposition. The corresponding Zootaxa publication can be accessed here. Holotype and allotype specimens reside in the collection of the Instituto Biológico de la Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico City.
Reference: Bailowitz, R. D. Danforth & S. Upson. 2013. Erpetogomphus molossus, a new species from Sonora, Mexico (Odonata: Anisoptera: Gomphidae). Zootaxa 3734: 559–570. Link
Nearly two years ago plans were initiated to consolidate all nine School of Life Sciences Natural History Collections into a newly designed, physically coherent space. We expect this space – called “ABBIC” (see post title) – to be ready for move-in in January/February of 2014. In addition to unifying the collections and associated people and activities, the new space nearly doubles the joint collections’ current area of occupancy on the Tempe Campus. It also offers several shared spaces to further develop our collections-centered teaching, informatics, and outreach programs. The SoLS collections group is therefore looking at an eventful 2013/2014 transition, partly documented here.
A map overview of the arrangement and role of ABBIC spaces is available here. (Note: the colored schema is actually not the latest version; for a more technical, up to date blueprint, see this.) ABBIC is located at 734 W Alameda Drive (Tempe). More updates soon.
Presentation slides are now posted for the TDWG 2013 SCAN talk.
Date: 2013-10-29 02:45 PM – 02:50 PM
SCAN – the Southwest Collections of Arthropods Network (http://symbiota1.acis.ufl.edu/scan/portal/) – is the first regional arthropod biodiversity data network that utilizes the Symbiota software platform (http://symbiota.org/tiki/tiki-index.php). Since its origin in 2012 SCAN has unified and newly created specimen-level occurrence records on-line pertaining to nearly 15 south-western United States arthropod collections; including more than 515,000 records that represent some 18,000 species. However, due to the disproportionately mismatched diversity versus taxonomic expertise for the region and focal taxa, at least one third of the specimens are not identified (authoritatively or otherwise) to the level of species, with concomitant limitations for derivative taxonomic or evolutionary/ecological research. The member collections are typically separated from each other geographically by distances that prohibit frequent interactions with regional or global experts, except in virtual realm. SCAN has therefore implemented a Filtered Push (FP) based service (http://wiki.filteredpush.org/wiki/) whose primary purpose is to connect high-quality imaged of yet insufficiently identified specimens with suitable experts who can provide identifications remotely. This is achieved through the FP-server system which both records these contributions externally and pushes them back into the source Symbiota platform for review, acceptance, or rejection by the respective collection/node leaders. SCAN is therefore primed to utilize FP at a large scale and with a well circumscribed focal purpose that is relevant to the specific needs of this collections network. We illustrate the SCN/FP workflow, underlying concepts and technology, and current state of implementation and usage. FP allows experts to gradually accumulate credit and “reputations” for their identification contributions, and thus represents a promising means to improve data quality through transparent and distributed expert involvement and attribution.
We have a new ASUHIC / taxonbytes T-shirt, designed by Melody Basham and her team, to be used for upcoming outreach events. Large version here.
Here are some early stage photos, taken on September 20, 2013, of the future space at 734 W Alameda Drive (Tempe) that will house the School of Life Sciences’ Natural History Collections and associated research, informatics, teaching, and outreach activities. Constructions started approximately two weeks ago.
Update, November 05, 2013: The SoLS “Phase II” (south) section of the Alameda Building (ca. 24,000 sq. ft.) will be named: Alameda Biocollections and Biodiversity Informatics Complex; abbreviated ABBIC.
Presentation Notes for the Arthropod Biodiversity Sessions held on September 19, 2013, at the 12th Biennial Conference of Science and Management on the Colorado Plateau, Northern Arizona University.
Using SCAN to Construct an Arthropod Checklist – Preliminary Insights from the “Weevils of North America” Project
Nico Franz, Michael Shillingburg & Sarah Shirota Read more
There are still slots available for volunteers to help with our upcoming Bugs: The Bad and the Ugly Halloween Event! The event takes place on Saturday, October 26th, from 10-4 pm at the Museum for Youth in Mesa, AZ. We anticipate 300-400 visitors to attend this exhibit which will feature specimens from our collections, live insects and spiders, monster sized models, augmented reality bugs, and even some bed bugs! Contact Melody at access2discovery @ gmail.com for more information.