Abstract Detail

Celebrating 15 years of SERNEC: Where we've been, where we are, & where we are going

Murrell, Zack [1].

Building a cyberinfrastructure:  is the human aspect the hardest?

The SouthEast Regional Network of Expertise and Collections (SERNEC) is a consortium of herbaria and associated curators that developed in the southeastern United States in the early 21st century.  This group of curators initially gathered at the annual Association of Southeastern Biologists meeting’s “curators meeting” where participants exchanged ideas and complaints about the state of museum work at their institutions.  These curators formed the origins of both the Society of Herbarium Curators (SHC), now an international organization, and SERNEC, which obtained National Science Foundation (NSF) support for a five year Research Coordination Network (RCN) effort, followed by funding to develop a five year NSF Thematic Collections Network (TCN) through support from the NSF Advancing Digitization of Biodiversity Collections program.  The SERNEC RCN ultimately engaged 160 of the 233 herbaria in the southeastern USA and the SERNEC “Key to the Cabinets” TCN has facilitated the efforts of 118 collections to generate 4.6M herbarium records.  The NSF-RCN project involved engaging the community in development of “best practices” documentation that was subsequently implemented with the financial support of the NSF TCN project.  The NSF TCN funding allowed us to purchase imaging stations and to develop a digital pipeline with the Symbiota software to move images and associated data to the Texas Advanced Computing Center for storage, to the WWW portal Notes from Nature for citizen science facilitated label data transcription and to the GEOLocate portal for georeferencing.  The SERNEC TCN is now part of the Southwestern Environmental Information Network (SEINet), a series of linked herbarium specimen databases and accompanying web software.  The SERNEC effort is formally recognized as a research project administered by the Southeast Chapter of SHC that will provide governance for the effort beyond the end of the funding cycle.  This introduction to the SERNEC colloquium “Celebrating 15 years of SERNEC: Where we've been, where we are, and where we are going” is structured to highlight three aspects of these decade long efforts to 1) develop a regional consortium of scientists to build a research engine, 2) engage students, educators, conservationists, land managers and biologists by extending this research engine through publications, mobile applications, WWW opportunities, workshops and classroom learning modules, and 3) develop strategies to sustain this effort and this regional research engine into the future.  The most exciting aspect of this project is that it has taken on a life of its own, as demonstrated in the accompanying presentations.

Related Links:
Description of SERNEC efforts.
Search for SERNEC specimens.

1 - Department Of Biology, Appalachian State University, 572 Rivers Street, Boone, NC, 28608, United States

Southeast USA.

Presentation Type: Colloquium Presentations
Abstract ID:891
Candidate for Awards:None

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