WUFT News

Florida Museum of Natural History uses grant to digitize invertebrate collection

By on October 5th, 2012

Web searchers will soon be a few clicks away from one of the largest collections of invertebrates in the world.

Using a $339,000 grant from the National Science Foundation, researchers at the Florida Museum of Natural History, located at the corner of Museum Road and Newell Drive on the UF campus, are digitizing their entire collection of invertebrate specimens.

The Florida Museum’s collection, which is open to anyone interested in learning more about invertebrate species, is the second largest of invertebrate specimens in the country, containing numerous species of corals, crustaceans and mollusks.

Collections Manager John Slapcinsky is a lead facilitator in the new digitization process, which will hold all the information on invertebrates the museum has in a single online catalog.

“The collection is basically like a really big library,” Slapcinsky said. “We have a lot of information about animals, about biodiversity. We want to try to make this information as accessible as possible to as many people as we can.”

Digitizing specimens allows researchers who are interested in searching for a specific sample can to easily find it on a computer.

The grant from the National Science Foundation has made it easier for the museum to organize its information and add it to the Web at a faster pace.

“It’s a very rapidly growing collection,” Slapcinsky said.

This year, the museum expects to add 20- to 40,000 records, he said.

The museum’s digitization system has attracted researchers, including field associate Harry Lee.

“This is a center of excellence,” Lee said. “Since I’ve lived in Florida, I’ve seen it grow and mature and become a very useful international resource.”

To digitize the specimens, specialized labels are made for each one. The labels, which are made from materials that help keep the integrity of the specimens, include the name of the genus and species of the specimen, when it was collected and where it was collected on it.

Hana Engroff edited this story online.


This entry was posted in Health and Science, University of Florida and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
 

More Stories in Health and Science

UF Study Shows Grape Seed Oil Can Reduce Obesity

A new study has found that muscadine grape seed oil can help reduce obesity. Containing a vitamin E derivative, the oil can help prevent the formation of new fat cells.


Columbia County Upgrading Plumbing To Conserve Springs

The Columbia County Water Conservation project encourages commercial buildings to decrease water usage by upgrading to high efficiency plumbing models. This project will reduce the amount of water used per flush in a toilet, which can save about 90,000 gallons each day and 32.8 gallons per year.


Boil water

Precautionary Boil Water Notice Lifted For Marion County

Marion County Utilities issued a precautionary boil water warning Tuesday after water pressure levels dropped below the average rate. That notice has since been lifted following the completion of a biological survey showing the water was safe to drink again.


Taylor Dole, 23, bakes chocolate chai biscotti to distract her nerves the day before her thesis defense.

University Of Florida Services Offer Help For Anxiety

A growing number of college students deal with anxiety that impacts their daily life. School and social stressors cause many to struggle, but counseling, mindfulness and cognitive behavioral therapy can help.


The completed henna design on Lilia Lima's head is entirely free-handed by artist and pre-med student Jeena Karr. Safe, beautiful and fresh, the art gives cancer patients like Lima a new way to feel beautiful.

Henna Artist Gives Cancer Patients Crowns Of Beauty

A University of Florida student combines faith and spirituality with the ancient art of henna to comfort cancer patients. Jeena Kar uses henna paste made from the flowering plant, Lawsonia inermis, to create intricate designs on the heads of those who have lost their hair due to chemotherapy.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Underwriting Payments