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Centre for Arctic
Knowledge and Exploration
The role of natural history collections data in documenting
the biological and...
Anceta Wis CC	BY-SA	2.5	via	Wikipedia Amanda	CC	BY-SA	2.5	via	Wikipedia
Stephantom CC	BY-SA	3.0	via	Wikipedia
Image:	RealGrouchy,	Public	Domain
PLoS	Biol	11(1):	e1001466.	CC	BY	2.5 François	Génier © Canadian	Museum	of	Nature
Collections are the Core
Specimens have m...
Sokoloff
Natural Heritage Campus
o >10 million specimens
o 3.2 million catalogable specimens
o 260,000 Arctic specimens
Early Exploration of the Canadian Arctic
Sir William Parry Expedition – 1819-1820
Image: R. Higgitt, Herbarium, Royal Bota...
CMC
Canadian Arctic Expedition, 1913–1918
Canadian	Museum	of	History
Khidas	2015,	Arctic
King	eiders
Centre for Arctic Knowledge and Exploration
collections-based research
Arctic Botany Arctic Mineralogy Arctic Phycology Ar...
Eocene Epoch
55-33 Mya
Today
MarianneDouglas©MarianneDouglas
Image: Bob Hynes © Smithsonian Institution
AnsgarWalkCCBY-SA2...
Images:
Roger Bull © Canadian Museum of Nature
Ted Daeschler © T. Daeschler/VIREO
Eduard Sola CC BY-SA
Kennonv CC BY-SA 3....
~3.5	Mya
Rybcynski et al. 2013, Nature Communications
Image: Algkav and Dr. Blofeld
based on original by Yug, CC BY-SA 3.0...
Donald McAllister (1934-2001)
Arctic Fishes
Arctic Marine Fishes of Canada
…a new book coming 2016
Lake Trout
CMN	bird	
specimens	
from	Foxe
Basin	
Holotype:	
Arctic	
peregrine	
falcon	
(CMNAV	46581)
Arctic Birds
Bird	nest	
collecti...
Martin	Lipman ©	Canadian	Museum	of	Nature
Large Skeleton Collection
Mitochondrial	 DNA	diversity	in	bowhead	
whales	of	the...
Arctic Plants & Algae
Moonwort (Botrychium tunux)
National Herbarium of Canada (CAN)
Joe Holmes © Canadian Museum of Nature
Googl
Databased CAN and DAO
northern specimens
Collections have collection information
Darwin	Core:	A	standard	for	sharing	data	about	biodiversity
Wieczorek	J,	Bloom	D,	Guralnick	R,	Blum	S,	Döring	M,	et	al.	(2...
Darwin	Core	Categories:	
Simple	Darwin	Core	is	comprised	of	seven	categories	of	
terms	(green)
Wieczorek J,	Bloom	D,	Gural...
www.collections.
nature.ca
CMN
Collections
Online
154K of 260K
Arctic specimens
online
collections.nature.ca
Canadensys – network of Canadian collections
2,900,783	records	(showing	2,205,724	georeferenced)
Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) –
half a billion specimens and observation records
GBIF – Specimens and Observations
GBIF – Observations
GBIF – Specimens
Challenges
Complete digitization @ CMN
• ca. 260K Arctic/Northern specimens
• ca. 154K of our specimens from north of
60 d...
European collections rising to the challenge
Large-scale data capture & digitisation in France, Netherlands &
Finland
Slid...
Crowdsourcing
Arctic Natural History Museums Alliance
“National natural-history museums need to step up and
actively share our knowledge...
The Future of the Arctic
Specimens are critical to document change
Specimens
Museums
Researchers
Before they’re gone...
Eskimo Curlew
Photo: D. Bleitz, Galveston Island, 1962
Great Auk
1 of ca. 78 known skins
Photo: M. ...
The role of natural history collections data in documenting the biological and geological diversity of the Arctic, with ex...
The role of natural history collections data in documenting the biological and geological diversity of the Arctic, with ex...
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The role of natural history collections data in documenting the biological and geological diversity of the Arctic, with examples from the Canadian Museum of Nature

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ABSTRACT: Core functions of museums are the collection, long-term preservation, stewardship and curation of specimens, facilitating access to these specimens – physically and digitally – for research purposes, and engaging and educating the public about the world around them. Biological and geological specimens from the Arctic and their associated collection data are a diverse, important and increasingly valuable component of the polar information spectrum. Natural history specimens are data themselves, documenting the distribution of species in time and space; they serve as vouchers for datasets, allowing future workers to go back to original material to confirm or revise identifications; and they are also sources of new data (morphology, anatomy, toxicology, genetic information). The development of international standards (e.g., the Darwin Core) and best practices to facilitate interoperability and sharing of biodiversity occurrence data has allowed
institutions to easily share their collection data on their own websites, and through national, regional and international indexing portals such as the Global Biodiversity
Information Facility (GBIF). This successful example of data management and interoperability could serve as a model for the polar community. The research and public
outreach potential of Arctic collections data is enormous, but a challenge that many natural history museums are facing is the massive task of databasing and imaging the collection so that it may be mobilized, discovered, shared and used. The Canadian Museum of Nature, founding member of the international Arctic Natural History Museums Alliance, houses the largest – and continually growing – collection of natural
history specimens from the Canadian Arctic, with ca. 260K Arctic specimens (including >550 type specimens). Some 154K of our specimens from north of 60 degrees are digitized and freely accessible online (http://collections.nature.ca/en/Search) and shared through GBIF. Natural history museums need to be more involved in Arctic science discussions to raise awareness and increase usage of their rich data resources.

Available from: https://ccin.ca/home/sites/default/files/PDF_II_Program_Abstracts_FINAL.pdf (accessed 4 May 2016).

CC BY-NC 4.0

Published in: Environment
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The role of natural history collections data in documenting the biological and geological diversity of the Arctic, with examples from the Canadian Museum of Nature

  1. 1. Centre for Arctic Knowledge and Exploration The role of natural history collections data in documenting the biological and geological diversity of the Arctic, with examples from the Canadian Museum of Nature Jeffery M. Saarela & Shannon Ascensio
  2. 2. Anceta Wis CC BY-SA 2.5 via Wikipedia Amanda CC BY-SA 2.5 via Wikipedia Stephantom CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikipedia
  3. 3. Image: RealGrouchy, Public Domain
  4. 4. PLoS Biol 11(1): e1001466. CC BY 2.5 François Génier © Canadian Museum of Nature Collections are the Core Specimens have many uses and are irreplaceable
  5. 5. Sokoloff Natural Heritage Campus o >10 million specimens o 3.2 million catalogable specimens o 260,000 Arctic specimens
  6. 6. Early Exploration of the Canadian Arctic Sir William Parry Expedition – 1819-1820 Image: R. Higgitt, Herbarium, Royal Botanical Garden, Edinburgh John Franklin's overland expeditions Images: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London 1819-1822 1825-1827
  7. 7. CMC Canadian Arctic Expedition, 1913–1918 Canadian Museum of History Khidas 2015, Arctic King eiders
  8. 8. Centre for Arctic Knowledge and Exploration collections-based research Arctic Botany Arctic Mineralogy Arctic Phycology Arctic Zoology Arctic Palaeobiology
  9. 9. Eocene Epoch 55-33 Mya Today MarianneDouglas©MarianneDouglas Image: Bob Hynes © Smithsonian Institution AnsgarWalkCCBY-SA2.5viaWikipedia Fossil forest - Axel Heiberg Island ca. 45 Mya Arctic Palaeontology
  10. 10. Images: Roger Bull © Canadian Museum of Nature Ted Daeschler © T. Daeschler/VIREO Eduard Sola CC BY-SA Kennonv CC BY-SA 3.0 Tiktaalik roseae 375 Mya fossil fish with a mix of fish & amphibian traits
  11. 11. ~3.5 Mya Rybcynski et al. 2013, Nature Communications Image: Algkav and Dr. Blofeld based on original by Yug, CC BY-SA 3.0Images: Martin Lipman © Martin Lipman Image: Julius Csotonyi © Julius Csotonyi Giant Ancient Camel Tibia fragments
  12. 12. Donald McAllister (1934-2001) Arctic Fishes Arctic Marine Fishes of Canada …a new book coming 2016 Lake Trout
  13. 13. CMN bird specimens from Foxe Basin Holotype: Arctic peregrine falcon (CMNAV 46581) Arctic Birds Bird nest collection
  14. 14. Martin Lipman © Canadian Museum of Nature Large Skeleton Collection Mitochondrial DNA diversity in bowhead whales of the Central Canadian Arctic McLeod et al. 2012, Marine Mammal Science 28:E426
  15. 15. Arctic Plants & Algae Moonwort (Botrychium tunux) National Herbarium of Canada (CAN) Joe Holmes © Canadian Museum of Nature
  16. 16. Googl Databased CAN and DAO northern specimens
  17. 17. Collections have collection information
  18. 18. Darwin Core: A standard for sharing data about biodiversity Wieczorek J, Bloom D, Guralnick R, Blum S, Döring M, et al. (2012) Darwin Core: An Evolving Community-Developed Biodiversity Data Standard. PLoS ONE 7(1): e29715. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0029715 http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0029715
  19. 19. Darwin Core Categories: Simple Darwin Core is comprised of seven categories of terms (green) Wieczorek J, Bloom D, Guralnick R, Blum S, Döring M, et al. (2012) Darwin Core: An Evolving Community-Developed Biodiversity Data Standard. PLoS ONE 7(1): e29715. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0029715 http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0029715
  20. 20. www.collections. nature.ca CMN Collections Online 154K of 260K Arctic specimens online
  21. 21. collections.nature.ca
  22. 22. Canadensys – network of Canadian collections 2,900,783 records (showing 2,205,724 georeferenced)
  23. 23. Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) – half a billion specimens and observation records
  24. 24. GBIF – Specimens and Observations
  25. 25. GBIF – Observations
  26. 26. GBIF – Specimens
  27. 27. Challenges Complete digitization @ CMN • ca. 260K Arctic/Northern specimens • ca. 154K of our specimens from north of 60 digitized and freely accessible online • >100K specimens are NOT yet digitized Complete high-resolution imaging • Only a very small fraction of the Arctic collection is currently imaged Examples: • just 15 of >17,000 Nunavut bird records imaged (<0.1%) • of >25K vascular plant specimens from Nunavut, only 3000 (12%) imaged • no Arctic zoology (fish, invertebrate, crustacean, insect, mammal) are imaged
  28. 28. European collections rising to the challenge Large-scale data capture & digitisation in France, Netherlands & Finland Slide courtesy V. Smith, CC BY-NC-SA
  29. 29. Crowdsourcing
  30. 30. Arctic Natural History Museums Alliance “National natural-history museums need to step up and actively share our knowledge of the Arctic regions and to be more ambitious in our sharing of that knowledge with scientific colleagues, public-policy decision-makers and the general public.” -- Meg Beckel, CEO, Canadian Museum of Nature • Canadian Museum of Nature • National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution • Swedish Museum of Natural History • Natural History Museum, University of Oslo • Finnish Museum of Natural History • Icelandic Institute of Natural History • Natural History Museum of Denmark • Zoological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences
  31. 31. The Future of the Arctic Specimens are critical to document change Specimens Museums Researchers
  32. 32. Before they’re gone... Eskimo Curlew Photo: D. Bleitz, Galveston Island, 1962 Great Auk 1 of ca. 78 known skins Photo: M. Pennington, CC BY-SA 2.0 Labrador Duck only 55 specimens Photo: R. Somma, CC BY-SA 2.0

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