SERNEC - TCN Communication

Posted by md68135 Friday, September 25, 2015 - 3:00pm

Dear SERNEC Steering Committee,

We are beginning Year 2 of the SERNEC: Key to the Cabinets NSF ADBC project.  This project is large and complicated and I wanted to outline how we intend to use multiple media outlets in order to reach all the project participants.  The project as currently funded involves 93 herbaria in 12 states in the Southeast USA.  Each state lead meets monthly with me and the Project Manager, Michael Denslow, to discuss challenges and opportunities.  We also have an active website,, with links to all of our partners.  This and subsequent messages from me will be posted in our “blogs” tab on the website.   We intend to encourage the use of the blog to post information of general interest to the group.  We will also distribute information in multiple email groups and listservs. 

The IT portion of this project involves six partners.  Symbiota, led by Nico Franz and Ed Gilbert, Notes from Nature, led by Rob Guralnick, GEOLocate, led by Nelson Rios and Hank Bart, Specify, led by Jim Beach and Andy Bentley, the Adler Planetarium and the iPlant/Texas Advanced Computing Center.  These groups form the core of data pipeline.  Herrick Brown, our Data Manager, and Michael Denslow are working to coordinate this group and help the IT group interface with the herbaria. 

Another critical component of this project is in the area of Education and Outreach.  Andrea Weeks, our Virginia state lead, and Travis Marsico, our Arkansas state lead, are working with our education partner Kari Harris, with Natural History Outreach Digitization and Education (NHODE) and the Adler Planetarium to explore, develop and disseminate ways to reach students and public regarding our efforts.  We plan to develop an education/outreach strategy to encourage citizen scientists, students and affiliates to join us in the transcription and georeferencing aspect of the project. 

Communication is crucial for the success of this project.  We will use emails/listservs to communicate to four different groups.  First, we will stay in close communication with the state leads, with the expectation that they will disseminate information to the partners in their state.  Second, we will coordinate the IT group, with Michael and Herrick taking the lead on providing an interface between the herbarium and IT efforts.  Third, Steering Committee, comprised  the Director, state level leads from twelve states, one state-level sub-hub (Marsico) lead of the Education and Outreach Team, and representatives from each of our six partners (Symbiota, NfN, GEOLocate, Adler Planetarium, Specify and TACC). Fourth, we will communicate with the 93 partnering herbarium curators directly for announcements of opportunities and resources.  Finally, we have maintained a SERNEC listserv that we intend to use to reach out to our affiliates, such as state natural heritage programs and consulting biologists, friends, and representatives of other groups that are involved in similar efforts.

In our effort to maintain avenues of communication, please feel free to contact me, Michael Denslow, Herrick Brown, or my Research Assistant Joe McKenna and we will work to get answers to your questions or address your concerns.  If you have ideas or suggestions regarding communication and outreach, please let us know.