GSA Annual Meeting in Denver, Colorado, USA - 2016

Paper No. 105-8
Presentation Time: 9:45 AM


BUTTS, Susan H., Peabody Museum of Natural History, Yale University, 170 Whitney Avenue, New Haven, CT 06520-8118, KARIM, Talia S., University of Colorado Museum of Natural History, University of Colorado, 265 UCB, Boulder, CO 80309, KAUFMAN, Seth, Whirl-i-Gig, PO Box 672, Greenport, NY 11944, NORRIS, Christopher A., Division of Vertebrate Paleontology, Peabody Museum of Natural History, Yale University, 170 Whitney Avenue, P.O. Box 208118, New Haven, CT 06520-8118 and SMITH, Dena, Sedimentary Geology and Paleobiology, National Science Foundation, 4201 Wilson Blvd., Arlington, VA 22230,

Fossil insects are an ideal group for studying diversification and organismal response to environmental change as they are ecologically important components of terrestrial ecosystems and are the most diverse multicellular organisms today. By using a deep-time approach to study how environmental change has affected the evolution, extinction, origination and distribution of insects in the past we will be able to gain a greater understanding of how recent and expected climate change are likely to affect individual taxa, the evolution of clades and overall communities. The goal of the Fossil Insect Collaborative is to make accessible nearly half a million fossil insect records from eight funded institutional collections and two federal collaborating institutions and develop iDigPaleo, a data aggregation and education and outreach portal. While providing an interface to interact with primarily fossil insect data, iDigPaleo also provides a suite of tools to enhance K-12 educational use of collections data. Real scientific data can be processed by K-12 students in ways that will be useable to researchers, while promoting the importance of museum collections.

This talk will discuss the types of data generated by the Fossil Insect Collaborative: fossil specimen data, georeferenced locality data, and specimen images, and the problems with making those data uniform and high quality across the project, facilitating work at collaborative institutions, and creating a robust dataset for use by researchers. We will discuss disparities in data collection, database structures, institutional protocols and politics, and data sharing. Building upon the museum collections data generated through the Fossil Insect Collaborative/iDigPaleo and other Thematic Collections Networks funded and aggregated via the National Science Foundation’s Advancing Digitization of Biological Collections, these data can be utilized in other significant cyberinfrastructure collaborations, such as the ePANDDA (enhancing Paleontological and Neontological Data Discovery API) project.

  • gsa 2016 butts.pdf (1.9 MB)