MSC03 2020
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131

Physical Location:
CERIA Building
Room 204

Phone: (505) 277-1358
Fax: (505) 277-1351

2015 - Sevilleta

Sevilleta 2015 Meeting

Summary of Sevilleta 2015 Meeting

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AIM-UP! Conference

Summary of Presentations and Discussions

Sevilleta Field Station, Albuquerque, New Mexico

23 - 26 January 2015


Hank Bart - Tulane University – Curator and Professor, (Geolocate, FishNet, VertNet)

Kacye Bell - UNM, doctoral student

Ayesha Burdett - New Mexico Museum Natural History & Science, teacher devel, outreach

Mariel Campbell - University of New Mexico (UNM), Collection Manager

Carlos Carrion - UNM, International doctoral student (Ecuador)

Neil Cobb - NAU Flagstaff, Biodiversity Center, SCAN TCN

Scott Edwards - National Science Foundation, Program Director

Libby Ellwood - Florida State University, iDigBio, Citizen Science, digitizing imaging ecology

Peter Erb - ScienceLive, curriculum development CU Boulder & Colorado Springs

Tracy Heath - Iowa State Univ, Assistant Professor

Szu Han Ho - UNM, Assistant Professor, Art and Ecology Program

Agustin Jimenez - Southern Illinois University, Associate Professor

Eileen Lacy - University of California Berkeley, Associate Professor

Heather Lerner - Earlham College, Joseph Moore Museum, Assistant Professor

Deb Linton - Central Michigan University, undergrad bio education teacher training

Sean Maher - Missouri State University, Assistant Professor

Anna Monfils - Central Michigan University; Curator and Assoc. Professor

Deb Novak - Director of Education New Mexico Museum of Nat History & Science

Roland Roberts - National Science Foundation, Program Officer

Mireya Rodriguez - undergrad from Taos NM Highlands University

Rosemary Smith - Idaho State University, Professor

Doug Soltis - University of Florida, Florida Museum of Natural History, TreeofLife, Professor

Elizabeth Starks - MS student from Zuni, NM Highlands University

Corey Welch - Iowa State University, Facilitator, Diversity Outreach

Josh Whorley - Seattle Community College, Instructor

Rick Williams - Idaho State University, Curator & Professor, Idaho Mus Nat History

Friday – 24 January 2015

8:30 Introductions

9:30 Joe, Intro and Overview Presentation:

Role of Museums in education

Digitization-linking/integrating across collections

Build human capacity, broadening participation, NextGen museum professionals

Integrated Archives:

Specimens connect diverse datasets and research agendas-

becoming the basis for new projects & perspectives

stable isotopes ecology, systematics, genomics, virology/pathogens

all tied together through central vouchers

Hosts/parasites/pathogens offer new ways to integrate across collections

Focus of AIMUP: undergrad educations

Vision and Change AAAS 2009 (update 2015)

PULSE 2012

Replace lectures (passive learning) with hands-on, collections-based approaches

 Advantages of collections-based approaches:

Integration—across taxa, biotic and abiotic

Scaling-genomic to organismal to communities and ecosystems


Few colleagues, students know about natural history collections or their role

Pivotal role of collections not mentioned in textbooks

Educators don’t know how to integrated collections databases or access in teaching

Limited collections growth recently, need to have field collections to gather data

Regional small collections are critically important, 

using students to sample local environments over time

Rebuild databases for the United States – monitoring & inventory

[Large collections reduced collecting in US decades ago (emphasized overseas)] 

New opportunities for regional museums:

Built by systematists, but unintended consequences--- now heavily used by ecologists, developmental biology, comparative genomics, pathogen discovery

Geography: spatial data, GIS


Collections originally developed for research and databases for management now need retrofit for use in education, biological diversity patterns, other

Traditional vs New Uses of museum/specimens:

Traditional—Systematics & Natural History

For students: Direct experience through exhibits, museum education/jobs, field work, research experiences based on collections - teaching: Mammalogy etc

Specimens used in classrooms

New uses: students in genomic research, art, geography, federal agencies, GenBank

New users--community colleges, universities, high schools

Annual Conceptual Themes of Aim-UP!

This year: Human Dimensions of Natural History Collections

Workshops and Seminars

Human Dimension themes (see Fall 2014 syllabus):

Anthropology, Geography, Parasitology and Zoonotics, Art & Biology, Crop Domestication

Urban Biodiversity Paleomiddens and Ecology, The Language of Invasives

10:00 Steffi

AIM-UP Workshop October 4, 2014 (California)

Natural History Collections as Resources for Vision and Change

Alaska Science Literacy Project, with School of Education, Ute Kaden

targeting rural teachers, using objects to tell a story;

New plant module, with plant press, students make local collections around school,

place student collectors names in database (available on the web)

Eileen Lacy:

Climate Change manuscript from last years theme;

relatively complete draft will available soon; ties into another module at UC Berkeley, 

Peter Erb:

ScienceLive, idea of connecting field researchers to K-20 students

Suggestions for videos:

  • One minute story of how you got into museum work
  • Map or tab to allow visitors to search on museum collections near them
  • Or who to contact, list of contacts to find out more, get involved, sorted geographically
  • Already have on website for reseach - closest projects near you
  • Digitization idea - if people can’t visit, but could access specimens online, find out how these images are made available; list of virtual collections
  • A video tour of walking through the collection, room by room, (MVZ example)
  • Lessons on how to take a specimen from wild to shelf, how to collect

Make Available via YouTube & Vimeo

Teacher guide: what are students supposed to be looking for; add some guiding questions with answers for teachers; developing lesson plan around the videos

Josh: perhaps a simple image or concept map of how we use museums with short explanatory links on how we value biodiversity to make decisions on what places to save, publications


Surveys/Questionaire for students; need more response

How important are museum collections for students/intro courses and graduating seniors current results, mostly CMU:

50% of incoming freshman said they have toured museum collections

Roland, NSF, Biological Infrastructure DBI—Overview of Programs

Anna: What can AIM-UP do for the future – new proposal

Eileen: Discuss core objectives. Identify participants. Advisory council representing different taxonomic groups. Anna: PI; Deb: coPI; also need people to represent different regions.

1:45 Anna RCN

Next Steps:

Creating Community

Open Access



Key - reaching out to 2 year institutions. 

Human Dimensions:

Potential publications? Need someone to take leadership. So many undergrad bio majors are pre-med, biomedical. Also, geography, anthropology, art - interdisciplinary

Parasitology, emerging pathogens, zoonotics

Possible paper directions (discussion): 

3pm Breakout groups

1)    Emerging pathogens/parasites module

2)    Review existing modules, next steps, best practices - Rob

3)    Videos--Peter Erb – new, additional context, ideas

a)    informatics and museums; genomics and environmental informatics

b)    intro to climate change module

c)    intro to island module, both could interview people associated with research

d)    5 short videos on 5 annual themes

Emerging Pathogens Libby Ellwood, Sean Maher, Kayce Bell, Carlos Carrion, Jorge Salazar, Mariel Campbell, Agustin Jimenez

Potential modules

Chagas- Jorge

Plague - Sean

Paper: BioScience, Frontiers - summary examples of stories Ebola, Hantavirus, targeting biomedical community as to where to access information; Jorge, Eric Hoberg

Journal of Biomedical Education, open access

BMC Medical Education

Agustin: Comparative Parasitology; open access; Parasite, open access

5 pm Group Summaries:

1) Video topics; Peters group: informatics in museums, target administration audience

intros to a couple of modules

get teachers interested as well as for students

climate change

SE Alaskan islands

5 themes videos

student’s perspectives of museums - very young to adults, thought progression

talk to undergrads examples of work in museums, what museum work is like, how they got started; show progression to people with careers in museums;

Spanish videos;

Native American video; place based museum studies

urban themes for urban target audience

interdisciplinary applications video - who else in public uses museums

iDigBio for resources

2) Module Development: Rob: tried to delineate the type of content that students and teachers should find when they land on a module; 3 categories:

- logistics, link to the module, how long does it last etc,

- what skill level for instructor

- what skill level for the students

- how does the content fit into their courses

Steffi example: geographic variation; module tagging example in google docs

Create searchable metadata on AIMUP site to find appropriate modules

Evo-ed; National Center for Case studies

3) Emerging Pathogens Kayce:

A) How to access and download spatial data - MapofLife would be best;

B) Human pathogen modules based on initiatives underway;

Jorge has activity with Chagas;

C) Medical education journal publication review of case studies where museums have played a role in emerging pathogens with a link to the modules that we develop

Evening---Informal Discussion re: RCN vs IUSE; growing consensus towards IUSE proposal

Saturday – 25 January 2015

5:30 am

Field trip to Bosque del Apache NWR, bird ecology with Chris Witt and Blair Wolf, UNM

10:30 am return

Overview of Yesterday & Revisions to agenda –

Peter and Szu Han together regarding videos

10:50 am: Rick and Rosemary Presentation

MILES = EPSCOR program spanning Idaho colleges and universities

Managing Idaho’s Landscapes for Ecosystem Services

11:10 Libby Ellwood WeDigBio Presentation

New idea for annual event, starting next fall, transcribe specimens that have been imaged and databased in a social setting; many centers around the world all linked online

Hoping to raise awareness of the importance of biodiversity collections to science and society

Notes from Nature on steroids

Actual event: November 2015

current centers

Australian Museum, Smithsonian, Notes from Nature, Les Herbonautes, Paris


Heather: How to deal with small collections that don’t have everything digitized,

Neil: Be careful so as not to make the same mistakes as Park Service BioBlitz

11:30 am Tracy Heath Presentation

AIM-UP at SVP meetings in Berlin, poster for Education and Outreach session

-Student assessment

Listed available modules, and focused on two specific ones: Art in Biology   and Trilobite Tutorial-Trilobites:  Had to integrate fossil data into likelihood based phylogenetic analyses

11:40 am Corey Welch, Iowa StatePresentation

Using Museum Specimens and Place-based Approaches for Engaging Students from Tribal Colleges and Universities

Summary of Indigenous AIM-UP at Northern Arizona University September 2014

Neil Cobb entomology, Gary Albert, Navajo Ant Project; Melody Basham,

Melvin Foster, Ed Galindo, Corey Welch; Stefan Summer

Why Place-based approaches are ideal

relevant to the local culture and existing knowledge base of traditional groups

spatial thinking is culturally common in Native American groups

Tribes manage 100 million acres across US, critical habitat

Navajo-Ant Project (NAP)

Ant-wiki, “Ants_of_the_Navajo_Reservation”

Surveying vertebrate museum records on Reservations, using VertNet

Deer mouse model

Hantavirus model


1:30 Neil Cobb, NAU Presentation

SCAN TCN Network, Southwest Collections of Arthropods Network, ADBC Program NSF

Data Portal July 2012-15

First arthropod TCN = Invertnet

Also Tri-trophic Thematic Collections Network


InvertEBase - new TCN at Field Museum; includes molluscs; developing taxonomy trees for use in Symbiota

2:00pm--Mireya Rodriguez and Elizabeth Starks, NM Highlands Presentation

iPad application; software developers, partnerships with Americore and Dept cultural affairs, media--Developed for exhibit at Bradbury Science Museum, Los Alamos National Laboratories

Owls and Bat on LANL property

Javascript Android developer; Cordova PhoneGap wrapper, download from iTunes

2:10pm Doug and Pam Soltis, Florida State Museum

Botany 4934 course developed module, but could be developed for any taxon

Digital Resources for Biology Teaching using the Floridian flora: From Field to Niche Modeling to Phylogeny and Beyond

Building the Tree of Life, becomes a community exercise;

Neil and Pam did a virtual course using AdobeConnect, could link with multiple universities; would have to have a mix of in-person and AdobeConnect sessions;

Joe: one of the biggest lessons students come away with is “how much we don’t know”;

Jorge: Open Tree of Life annotation tools are not yet released but will be very soon, within several months

2:30 pm Rob Guralnick, Map of Life

integrates data we have for known species/helps define huge knowledge gap that remains

Assembles disaggregated data from literature in one place

Range maps, survey and atlas data, point records, modeled distributions, regional checklists, etc

Produces species lists

- student scientists, ecologists

- integrated in flat maps or more complicated models

- place-based research questions

Demo of how it works as a phone app:

2:50-3:45 pm Breakout for workgroups

Module Metadata/Module Guidelines Group:

5 modules reviewed, revised

Committee will come up with new guidelines, Josh will oversee

Video Group:

Could produce most of 15 videos already discussed, have funding

Spanish; urban setting etc.; will get in queue

Emerging Pathogens Workgroup:

Modules: have timeline, as discussed yesterday

Jorge and Agustin will take lead on manuscript; outline by March 9

Joe: Awards: Pete and Szu Han: Silver Penguin awards

4:10 pm

Anna: possible IUSE, Discussion

6 pm---Dinner and Close of Meeting 



AIM-UP! Annual All-hands Meeting

22- 25 January 2015

Sevilleta LTER Research Station, Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico

Host: University of New Mexico 

Thursday 22 January

Travel day arrive at Albuquerque Sunport. Host will provide transportation. 

20:00 Catered dinner at the Sevilleta and discussion


Friday 23 January

07:45-08:30          Breakfast

 08:30-09:00          Welcome and introductions (Joe Cook), Pre-Evaluation

                              (assign 2 “scribes” for the day)

09:00–09:30          Update AIM-UP!  (Steffi Ickert-Bond, Eileen Lacey, Joe)

09:30-10:00           Overview of NSF Education Efforts (Roland Roberts, Scott Edwards)                            

 10:00 -10:15         Coffee Break

 10:15-11:15           Human Dimension & Museums (Joe)

11:15-12:00           Discussion of Human Dimension & Museums

establish goals for meeting

12:00-13:30          Lunch

13:30-14:00           ScienceLIVE Museum Unit (Peter Erb)

14:00-14:30           Students working in natural history collections-What is the impact?  Update (Anna Monfils)

14:30-14:45           Climate Change paper (Eileen)

14:45-15:00           What’s new (Rob Guralnick)

15:00-15:15          Coffee Break 

15:15-15:30           Discussion of possible modules--- Human Dimension &

                              Undergrad Education 

15:30-15:45           Existing Module Critique (Rob)

15:45-16:30           Breakout groups – module updates & new module brainstorming

16:30-16:45           Group overviews

16:45-17:00           Wrap up

18:30-19:30          Dinner 

Saturday 24 January

05:00-05:30           Breakfast

05:30                     Leave for Bosque del Apache field trip

09:30                     Return to Sevilleta

09:30-10:00          Coffee break

10:00-10:30           Overview Day 1, Update for day 2,

                              Discussion of goals for workshop (revise agenda)

                                          New topics, expected outcomes

Brainstorming: ideas for sequential (?) teaching modules

10:30-10:45           MILES - Socio-ecological systems (Rick Williams & Rosemary Smith)

10:45-11:00           International Transcription Blitz WeDigBio (Libby Ellwood)

11:00-11:15           Paleo conference and activities (Tracy Heath)

11:15-11:30           Native American place-based module (Corey Welch)

11:30-11:45           Owls & Bats of Los Alamos App (Elizabeth)

11:45-12:00           Tree of Life (Doug Soltis) 

12:00-13:30          Lunch

13:30-14:00           Network evaluation & student participation (Anna & Eileen)

                                                Update on IRB, surveys to date

                                                Discuss and implement surveys (before/after, types of courses)

                              Discussion of survey questions and other evaluation efforts

14:00-15:00           Working groups re-convene

15:00-15:30          Coffee break

15:30-16:00           Working group reports

16:00-17:00           Outcomes for the meeting, future plans

 18:30-20:30          Dinner

Sunday 25 January 

  07:00-0:800          Breakfast      

             09:00         Depart for Albuquerque

Background Reading:

AAAS’s Vision and Change in Undergraduate Biology Education (

 This is the call for change in biology education that we are using as a framework for AIM-UP! and our efforts to incorporate natural history collections data into undergraduate curricula. Natural History Collections as Emerging Resources for Innovative Education