Contributions from the community of citizen scientists will be essential to the success of this project. Transcription and georeferencing accuracy are both enhanced by individuals that have special knowledge concerning languages, geography, etc. As with many things, two heads are better than one.
Assembling all the records in one place allows for some efficiencies and reduces much duplication of effort. However, the overwhelming number of records calls for involvement of as many people as possible.
The data generated by our volunteer community will directly aid researchers in the areas of conservation, ecology, taxonomy, etc. Evidence of how lichen and bryophyte distributions have changed over time will be very useful to scientists studying climate change and its effects. Every record that each volunteer transcribes and/or georeferences becomes another data point. Only through efforts like this will all of the data that was once hidden in herbarium cabinets become easily available for public use.
Transcription and georeferencing of label data can provide unique opportunities for educational experiences. It is a way to visit far off lands and peek into history without leaving your desk. We anticipate that educators will find it a useful way to introduce geography and history as well as biology to their students. For example, we have set up a link to specimens collected during the 1899 Harriman Alaska Expediton. There is also a way for individuals or groups to tailor the records they see to their own interests via a "Create Your Own Expedition" menu.
This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation grant ADBC#1115116. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or
recommendations expressed in the material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.