WORKSHOPS

Workshops will be held on Thursday 9th and Friday 10th June 2022 at the National Museum Scotland, The University of Edinburgh and The Royal Botanic Gardens and all delegates are welcome to book a place through our main registration page.

The workshops vary in starting times, length and price, please expand the below sections for further details.

Application of BIOfid tools for extracting data from biodiversity literature

Venue: Appleton Tower, University of Edinburgh, EH8 9LE
Workshop Date & Time: 13:30 – 17:00
Max number of participants: 20
Cost: £10

In an ideal world, extraction of machine-readable data and knowledge from natural-language biodiversity literature would be done automatically, but not so currently. The BIOfid project has developed some tools that can help with important parts of this highly demanding task, while certain parts of the workflow cannot be automated yet. BIOfid focuses on the 20th century legacy literature, a large part of which is only available in printed form. In this workshop, we will present the current state of the art in mobilisation of data from our corpus, as well as some challenges ahead of us.

Art in the Museum: Natural Science Illustration and Artist Residency Programs

Venue: Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, Teaching Lab, EH3 5NZ
Workshop Date & Time: 9th June 2022, 09:30 – 12:30
Max number of participants: 30
Cost: £25

This is an introductory workshop in scientific illustration, open to all experience levels. The main objective of the workshop is to teach attendees observational illustration techniques, but to also place scientific illustration in a historical context and discuss the role that artists can play in collection spaces. In this technology-driven era, some question the place of illustration in the realm of advanced photography and imaging techniques. We strive to make a case for scientific illustration: what can it provide that photography cannot, how scientists and educators can benefit from a collaborative relationship with artists, examples of institutions that successfully incorporate scientific illustration, and how artists can help to bring museum collections to the public through their work. Attendees will receive a packet of workshop materials and will also have the option to display their work during the conference.

Capturing community expertise: A SPNHC wiki edit-a-thon

Venue: Appleton Tower, University of Edinburgh, EH8 9LE
Workshop Date & Time: 9th June 2022, 13:30-17:00
Max number of participants: 50
Cost: £10

The SPNHC wiki edit-a-thon is a collaborative workshop hosted by iDigBio and the SPNHC Best Practices Committees with the aim to improve and expand SPNHC wiki content (http://spnhc.biowikifarm.net/wiki/). This wiki serves as an open-access platform for museum professionals to discover and contribute information, procedures, best practices, and resources relating to the preservation and management of natural history collections. Following a brief training, workshop attendees will participate in formatting and uploading pre-generated content, filling information gaps on existing wiki pages, and generating new page content. We welcome participants from all disciplines, roles, and experience levels.

Throughout the workshop, attendees can expect to work independently or collaboratively on assigned content or on topic(s) of their choosing. In addition to participant-generated themes, the following topics represent areas we hope to enhance on the SPNHC wiki: digitization including digital imaging (especially expanding on 3D imaging), data aggregation, database migration, data licensing, and the use of persistent identifiers in Natural History Collections.

Cleaning Your Collections: Tips for Non-Conservators

Venue: Botanic Cottage, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, EH3 5NZ
Workshop Date & Time: 10th June 2022, 09:00 – 12:30
Max number of participants: 25
Cost: £25

This conservator-led workshop will guide non-conservators on basic handling and cleaning of different types of collections and materials found in natural history museums. Workshop content will be heavily dictated by participant needs: a pre-workshop survey will reveal areas of focus within archival materials and special collections, scientific and educational collections, and exhibitry materials. In addition to learning the methods used in cleaning collections, the workshop will also cover common condition issues for each material, helping the attendee determine which objects should be reserved for conservation care, and which can be cared for by dedicated collections staff. Participants will be given digital handouts of the content after the workshop.

Collection space in the 21st century and beyond

Venue: Appleton Tower, University of Edinburgh, EH8 9LE
Workshop Date & Time: 9th June 2022, 13:30-17:00
Max number of participants: 40
Cost: £10

Each year institutions around the globe are planning new buildings or redeveloping existing buildings. The development of collection space was identified as one of the most common concerns of collection managers in a survey of CETAF member institutions. Each institute will consider different factors for their collection space planning. This workshop aims to discover the main factors that guide collection space planning and highlight best practices. The workshop will bring people together to share experiences and challenges. We will build on the proposed SPNHC symposium on Collection Space which will include case studies of recent collection space development and planning processes. Wwe will seek input both from those who have recently redeveloped collection space and those who are beginning to plan such development.

Community engagement workshop on the new taxonomic backbone development by Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) and Catalogue of Life (COL)

Venue: Appleton Tower, University of Edinburgh, EH8 9LE
Workshop Date & Time: 9th June 2022, 13:30 -17:00
Max number of participants: 100
Cost: £10

GBIF and COL have collaboratively built a shared infrastructure for managing and publishing taxonomic lists called Checklistbank. This infrastructure underpins the delivery of two main products. First it is used to build the ongoing monthly releases of the Catalogue of Life Checklist and secondly it will be used to build GBIF’s taxonomic backbone, the organizing structure for all occurrences available through GBIF. The Checklistbank will become the repository for all checklists shared with GBIF, including existing taxonomic checklists (currently called Global Species Databases) that contribute to the COL, other taxonomic lists such as regional checklists, and species lists including taxonomic treatments from from literature and sequence based Operational Taxonomic Units (OTUs).

This collaboration has also built new tools to support the validation and curation of taxonomic information including the ability to compare across checklists. These tools allow data managers to assess the differences between any taxonomies in the Checklistbank, including comparisons to the GBIF taxonomic backbone and the occurrences that are indexed against it. These comparison tools allow an understanding of how the inclusion of new taxonomic information, in the form of a checklist, could improve a larger aggregated checklist like COL or the interpretation of GBIF occurrence data.

These tools have already been deployed in Checklistbank for early testers, but these tools have not yet been presented widely – and documentation/tutorials are currently being developed. This workshop will present these tools to the SPNCH community for early testing and use along with a detailed presentation of the new Checklistbank infrastructure and its operation.

Curating community knowledge of indigenous medicinal plants in global tree planting and biodiversity net gain activities

Venue: Lecture Room 1, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, EH3 5LR
Workshop Date & Time: 10th June 2022, 13:30 -17:00
Max number of participants: 30
Cost: £10

The objective is to develop new criteria for the curation of community knowledge of indigenous medicinal plants in light of large scale tree planting for voluntary carbon markets, biodiversity net gain projects and rural livelihood creation.
Co-production workshop based on experiences of community projects in other parts of the world and learning from The Community Asset Transfer Scheme (CATS) for ownership, lease or rights to use Scotland’s national forests.

Digital Specimens and Extending them - Steps towards Implementation

Venue: Appleton Tower, University of Edinburgh, EH8 9LE
Workshop Date & Time: 9th June 2022, 09:00 -10:30
Max number of participants: 100
Cost: £10

Specimens and their data play a vital role in science to find solutions for the major problems that threaten to affect the daily life of everybody: environmental change and global warming, depletion of natural resources, food security and global health issues. Species can act as a time capsule to study long-term change processes such as climate change and evolution. However, access to specimen objects is difficult. Spread over thousands of facilities and often not yet digitized, it is difficult to find which specimens exist where , to extract the data associated with these specimens, and even more difficult to combine specimen data,, with other scientific data, particularly if that data was derived from the specimens, such as sequencing data or material citations.

In the last decade there has been much focus internationally on digitizing specimens and improving the FAIRness of specimen data, which resulted in a growing number of specimens now having a Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Re-usable (FAIR) digital representation on the internet. This provides new opportunities to extend and make this data more valuable for research by linking it to data derived from the tangible object itself. Combined with a FAIR Digital Object infrastructure, the data can be transformed into actionable units, digital specimen objects that act as a surrogate for their physical counterparts, bringing even more new possibilities such as Artificial Intelligence fueled specimen data refinery and community curation to speed up digitization, determinations and improve data quality.

Such Digital Extended Specimens (DES) are essential: humanity urgently needs biodiversity data for more adapted decision-making while specimen data needs to become interconnected as solutions for current challenges require interdisciplinary science. DES are also needed for Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework monitoring and Access and Benefit Sharing.

DINA Collection Management - Hands-On Workshop

Venue: Appleton Tower, University of Edinburgh, EH8 9LE
Workshop Date & Time: 9th June 2022, 11:00 -12:30
Max number of participants: 100
Cost: £10

DINA (“DIgital information system for NAtural history data”, https://dina-project.net) is a framework for like-minded practitioners of natural history collections to collaborate on the development of distributed, open source software that empowers and sustains collections management. Target collections include zoology, botany, mycology, geology, paleontology, and living collections.

The DINA Consortium focuses on an open source software philosophy and on community-driven open development. Contributors share their development resources and expertise for the benefit of all participants. The DINA System is explicitly designed as a loosely coupled set of web-enabled modules. At its core, this modular ecosystem includes strict guidelines for the structure of Web application programming interfaces (APIs), which guarantees the interoperability of all components (https://github.com/DINA-Web).

One of the overarching reasons to develop the DINA collection management system is the need to better model complex relationships between collection objects (typically specimens) involving their derivatives, preparations and storage, and to document their provenance.

We will demonstrate the enhancements made in the DINA data model to better represent these relationships and the influence it has on the management and digitization of these objects, and on the sharing of information.

In this workshop we will present the first release version of the DINA system, its User Interface and API (Application Programming Interface) and allow the audience to “play” and try out the system in a dedicated demo instance.

Dirty Data Dancing: Cleaning, standardization, and publishing for the judges

Venue: Auditorium, National Museums Scotland, EH1 1JF
Workshop Date & Time: 10th June 2022, 09:00 -17:00
Max number of participants: 100
Cost: £25

A stream-lined version of the 2019 sold-out workshop will expose participants to hands-on exploration of biodiversity standards, Darwin Core, data cleaning, and data publishing using IPT. Datasets will be provided but it is recommended that participants bring data from their own collections.

Fakes, Forgeries or the Real Deal

Venue: Teaching Lab, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, EH3 5NZ
Workshop Date & Time: 10th June 2022, 09:00 -17:00
Max number of participants: 20
Cost: £25

This Geological Curators Group sponsored workshop aims to provide an introduction to the identification of enhanced or fake geological specimens.

People are unique, unique people are priceless

Venue: Appleton Tower, University of Edinburgh, EH8 9LE
Workshop Date & Time: 9th June 2022, 09:00 -12:30
Max number of participants: 50
Cost: £10

We aim to communicate current progress on the identification of people linked to collections. We will start with an introduction to the current state of play and provide information on stable identifiers for people, such as ORCID, VIAF and Wikidata. Then we will present our vision of the future where information on people will make collections more accessible and valuable. Following this we will work online, looking at biographical data and doing some practical disambiguation. Lastly, we will discuss how current practices and systems can be improved, with the aim of making recommendations to the different stakeholders.

This workshop will look at best practises for disambiguation of people. Evaluating methods and considering the reliability with which disambiguation can be achieved. We will look at the resources required for disambiguation, the quality of data on specimens and the places to store disambiguated data permanently. For example, are the data models of collection management systems sufficient for capturing person information.

If we have time we will do some hands-on disambiguation as a means to inform our work and also to train beginners to this field. To do this we would use online open tools such as Bionomia (https://bionomia.net/), Biodiversity Heritage Library (https://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/) and Wikidata (https://www.wikidata.org/). Participants would find, as yet, unattributed names on specimens in Bionomia and then trackdown sources of information on those people in literature. This will then be documented in Wikidata.

Shipping Workshop

Venue: Lecture Theatre, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh
Workshop Date & Time: 10th June 2022, 09:00 -17:00
Max number of participants: 40
Cost: £25

Following SPHNC’s Strategic Plan 2013, the Legislations and Regulations Committee is pleased to offer professional training for collection managers, registrars, and other interested persons in the legally compliant shipping of collection materials, import and export of biological material from field work and proper documentation of shipments. The full day workshop covers all legal aspects of shipping collection material including customs law, veterinary/phytosanitary regulations, species protection legislation, Dangerous Goods Regulations and an IATA-Training on Special Provision A180.
The transport and transfer of biological material is regulated on different levels by national and international laws and regulations. Recent amendments to existing legal frameworks, stricter controls and customs checks increase the complexity to a proper shipping documentation. Moreover, it gets increasingly difficult to translate this comprehensive information into relevant fields of air waybills or browser-supported online-tools of large shipping companies. As a result, customs clearance and import can be delayed, but if things go seriously wrong, collection materials can get damaged or confiscated during inspection or are even destroyed, as the loss of herbarium material in Australia demonstrates.

Strictly Planning: How to Organize a Digitization Project and Fill your Dance Card

Venue: Appleton Tower, University of Edinburgh, EH8 9LE
Workshop Date & Time: 10th June 2022, 09:30 -12:30
Max number of participants: 15
Cost: £10

Planning a Digitization Project Without Forgetting Anyone.

This workshop will help participants to understand the different stages and stakeholders that should be taken into account when planning a digitization and data mobilization project, and how to adapt them to our specific situation.

The Strategy Surgery: Strategic Management of Natural Science Collections

Venue: Lecture Room 1, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, EH3 5NZ
Workshop Date & Time: 10th June 2022, 09:00 -12:30
Max number of participants: 20
Cost: £10

Imagine you have just begun managing a team with responsibility for a collection of natural science objects preserved in a variety of ways. Your director is driving you to make changes, to improve the collections and make them accessible to a wide range of users. Perhaps your background lies elsewhere in the museum sector and this natural science collection is part of a broader collection for which you have responsibility. Or, maybe you have spent some years as a researcher using the collections and now you are managing them. Whatever your personal circumstances, you will be confronted with a baffling array of questions. We as authors were once in this situation and in this workshop we share our experience in strategic planning and tools we have developed to help that process. The workshop content is closely linked to the authors’ book Strategic Management of Natural Science Collections (Huxley et al 2021)

The art and science of imaging specimens: creativity, imagination and detail

Venue: Botanic Cottage, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, EH3 5NZ
Workshop Date & Time: 10th June 2022, 13:00 -17:00
Max number of participants: 20
Cost: £10

Natural Science collections often need good pictures in order to promote their specimens, prepare marketing and submit scientific papers. The requirements for producing an image suitable for a paper may be very different from those needed for a more creative endeavour. For image analysis and preparing a type specimen you want crisp illumination and pin sharp focus. For advertising an exhibition, you may want moody lighting and parts of the image that are blurred. Would it look better with a colour cast or with shadows? How much of it should be in darkness? Are there any other methods, such as using mirrors or set dressing that will make this object stand out?
Do I need a professional to come and do this or what happens if my budget is too tight to allow me to do anything other than use the most basic equipment?

Workshop on Nagoya Protocol and Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS)

Venue: Appleton Tower, University of Edinburgh, EH8 9LE
Workshop Date & Time: 9th June 2022, 09:00 -12:30
Max number of participants: 300
Cost: £10

The number of states regulating access to genetic resources under the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) or the Nagoya Protocol (NP) is increasing steadily. Currently, 131 countries are party to the NP, and the diversity of implemented national access laws ranges widely from “free access” to strict control. The successful management of key NP-requirements will be essential for the future work of collections managers.
Together with CETAF’s Legislations & Regulations Working Group, the Legislations and Regulations Committee of SPHNC is pleased to offer a workshop on Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) and the Nagoya Protocol.

The aims of the half day workshop are to discuss management needs, requirements to meet the benefit-sharing needs, and regulatory demands. The workshop covers the following items:
– basics on the CBD, the NP and resulting ABS-obligations.
– brief overview on the current situation (including the current discussion on Digital Sequence Information and latest DSI-submissions ).
– responsibilities of Natural History Collections and collection management
– the CETAF Code of Conduct as a helpful tool to evaluate current internal workflows and existing procedures
– need for more in-depth training for the SPNHC membership in a “train the trainer” format (already established for CETAF members).

Biodiversity research and Natural History Collections play a key role in the implementation of the CBD and NP. They access and share genetic resources, and provide and aggregate data and information that help to conserve biodiversity and use it sustainably. A key challenge is to reverse developing barriers, manage ABS effectively, and use the information generated to support CBD implementation. The CETAF Code of Conduct builds on established workflows from major CETAF members, and offers guidance and Best Practice supporting collections in their evaluation and adjustment of existing procedures.

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