OOS 46 - From Books to Barcodes: Challenges and Opportunities of Next-Generation Field Guides for Ecologists, Students, and Educators

Thursday, August 9, 2012: 1:30 PM-5:00 PM
A106, Oregon Convention Center
Aaron M. Ellison, Harvard University
Elizabeth J. Farnsworth, New England Wild Flower Society
Aaron M. Ellison, Harvard University
The theme of the 2012 Annual Meeting is “Life on Earth: Preserving, Utilizing, and Sustaining our Ecosystems”. What is the diversity of life on earth? How do we preserve, use, and sustain it? Answering these questions begins with species identification. Ecologists need up-to-date keys and molecular-based tools to enable them to identify organisms in the field. Educators need accessible field guides to teach students how to recognize species in the field. Students and the broader public use field guides to enhance their appreciation of a variety of species. Everyone can use on-line applications to contribute new records and observations to evolving databases, visualize and analyze biogeographic patterns, and join growing networks of naturalists. New technologies for identification complement, and in some cases are beginning to replace, traditional book-form field guides. This interdisciplinary session crosses the boundaries of ecological science, technology, computer science, learning and cognition to explore next-generation field guides and novel tools that ecologists can use to identify organisms from bacteria to big trees. Emerging innovations include interactive multiple-access keys, facial recognition software adapted to identify leaves, stand-alone “apps”, high-speed DNA barcoding, keys that can be customized to particular sites or regions, and on-line communities where people can share discoveries, checklists, and images. Speakers in this session will explore the uses of these tools in alpha taxonomy and rapid ecological assessment, informal and formal science education, and citizen-science initiatives. Taxonomic coverage spans microbes, vascular plants, insects, birds, and other vertebrates.
1:30 PM
 Leafsnap: Mobile applications for plant identification for ecologists and citizen scientists using image recognition technology
W. John Kress, Smithsonian Institution; Peter N. Belhumeur, Columbia University; David Jacobs, University of Maryland
1:50 PM
2:30 PM
 The Electronic Field Guide (EFG) project: Architecture, features and advances toward scalability
Robert D. Stevenson, University of Massachusetts; Robert A. Morris, University of Massachusetts
2:50 PM
 Atrium: Using digitized biocollections to generate customizable field guides
Amanda K. Neill, Botanical Research Institute of Texas; Jason H. Best, Botanical Research Institute of Texas; John P. Janovec, Universidad Nacional Agraria La Molina; Mathias Tobler, San Diego Zoo; Tiana F. Rehman, Botanical Research Institute of Texas
3:10 PM
3:40 PM
 BugGuide: The community behind half a million submitted specimens
John VanDyk, Iowa State University; Gregory W. Courtney, Iowa State University
See more of: Organized Oral Session