Welcome SPNHC Members!

Guide to our 2021 Joint Virtual Annual Meeting for SPNHC Members

The first joint meeting between the American Institute for Conservation (AIC) and the Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections (SPNHC) will take place May 3 – June 24 via Zoom webinars. While it is unfortunate that we are unable to meet in-person due to Covid-19, the virtual meeting presents an opportunity for those who previously found it difficult to attend.

We have over 30 hours of SPNHC-focused content, including sessions devoted to data management and education in addition to collections care and conservation. All the talks for SPNHC-focused and SPNHC-related sessions were selected by a joint program committee made up of both AIC and SPNHC members. The education opportunities in this virtual meeting – even outside of collections care topics – is similar to an in-person SPNHC meeting. See the full schedule using the ACCESS SESSIONS tab above.

See below for a list of:

  • Pre-sessions you may attend (free pre-registration may be required to help the session leaders)
  • SPNHC-focused sessions, on natural history collection topics
  • SPNHC-related sessions, on collection care topics in general
  • SPNHC social events: virtual tours, mixers, and your business meeting

Pre-sessions Included with Registration

Filter by Favorites
Search Items

Mon, May 3 at 12:00 pm EDT
How Museums and Communities Collaborate for Loans: Adapting Museum Loan Standards to Reach Wider Audiences

Attend Session
Overview

  • How Museums and Communities Collaborate for Loans: Adapting Museum Loan Standards to Reach Wider Audiences
    This session convenes museum conservators and allied professionals from both museums and tribal community centers around the country. This session will include presentations of individual case studies and longer-term, collaborative loan programs. Both lenders and borrowers will present an array of loan scenarios and creative solutions to encourage and support this important use of museum collections, including by borrowers, who may have previously been excluded because of strict museum loan procedures. The institutional support, procedures, and funding needed to support community loans will be discussed.

  • View Abstracts and Speaker Bios: https://flame.firebird.systems...

Tue, May 4 at 12:00 pm EDT
A Virtual Transformation of Couriering: The Role of the Conservator

Attend Session
Overview

  • A Virtual Transformation of Couriering: The Role of the Conservator
    Virtual couriers have become a reality overnight for many institutions. In this panel we aim to examine the role conservators have to play in adapting loan practices and documentation to ensure the safety of the art during transit and installation/ deinstallation. Panelists will share early experiences and compare a variety of institutional approaches nationally and internationally, with practical tips, suggestions for improvement, and a survey of the current state of our field as institutions continue to re-open.
  • View Abstracts and Speaker Bios: https://flame.firebird.systems...

Wed, May 5 at 12:00 pm EDT
Leather Selection and Use: a panel discussion on the impact of conservators' choices

Attend Session
Overview

  • Leather Selection and Use: a panel discussion on the impact of conservators' choices
    Leatherworkers face many choices regarding leather selection and use and there is little guidance regarding the ways these choices and subsequent actions could affect leather’s longevity. The Leather Discussion Group, formed in 2016 by book conservators, wants to expand the discussion to leather users and conservators across other disciplines. How do conservators across disciplines approach leather use? The primary focus of this panel discussion will be on leather added to the object during repair, such as when a book is re-backed, rather than consolidation or treatment of deteriorated leather.
  • View Abstracts and Speaker Bios: https://flame.firebird.systems...

Thu, May 6 at 12:00 pm EDT
Socratic dialogue: Systematic racism, objects and monuments in cultural heritage conservation

Attend Session
Overview

The year 2020 brought the problem of systematic racism in the United States and other former Western colonial powers explosively to the forefront. The cultural heritage conservation profession is now also confronted with the fact that, as noted in the AIC call for submissions, “racism has shaped our discipline from its beginning. And further, “we cannot shirk the work required to address it. It is time to transform cultural heritage conservation.”

Initiating and making this transformation will not be easy. Systematic racism in conservation is a broad and complex issue. Issues of diversity or questions of what to do with objects and monuments which are symbols of colonialism and slavery are being hotly debated, for example, in AIC community blogs and during recent annual conferences. Emotions run high, presenting a major obstacle to finding answers and solutions to dilemmas which are presented by these issues.

In the continuing series of such dialogues at AIC annual meetings, a Socratic dialogue is thus proposed for the 2021 annual meeting to investigate what lies behind such emotions when discussing issues of systematic racism in the conservation profession. The dialogue will focus on how conservation professionals deal with objects and monuments ranging from those enabled by the riches of colonial practices to those which outright glorify racial supremacy and colonial conquests.

Registration is limited to 48 participants.

Thu, May 6 at 3:00 pm EDT
Paving the Path for Choosing Safe Materials for Display

Attend Session
Overview

  • The Materials Selection and Specification Working Group: Paving the Path for Choosing Safe Materials for Display
    Placing collections on display assumes risk to the long-term preservation of the object with the trade-off that the piece is providing insight, appreciation, or fulfilment. But we also assume that the risk should not be larger than necessary or out of line with the benefits of exhibition. Choosing safe materials for the construction of cases and mounts is one of the variables that impact the preservation of an item on display. But with limitless possibilities in exhibition design comes a confusion of how to limit unnecessary damage. How do museum professionals make smart choices on what is safe to use? Where do we find the data that informs our decision making? To what resources can we turn?
  • View Abstracts and Speaker Bios: https://flame.firebird.systems...

Fri, May 7 at 12:00 pm EDT
String Cleaning: A Conservation Datathon to Get Your Data in Shape

Attend Session
Overview

Join us for a workshop-style datathon event focused on reviewing and cleaning your existing data sets to prepare them for analysis and visualization. This three-hour event will feature a presentation of three easy-to-access tools used for data cleaning: Excel, OpenRefine, and RStudio. Participants will enter breakout sessions following the presentation to test out their selected tool on a provided data set. Each small group will be led by a volunteer expert available to answer questions and help participants understand the tool. Participants will return at the end of the program to share their findings, thoughts on the tools, and hear some additional tips from the experts. The pre-selected data set is a condition survey that covers common criteria for works of art on paper and it will be provided in a comma separated value (.csv) file exported from a collections database. Participants will learn how to use their selected tool to organize and clean the data, and to begin looking for trends and setting up for statistical tests and analysis. Registration for the event is free and participants are asked to pre-select the cleaning tool they would like to demo in the break-out portion of the event.


View Abstracts and Speaker Bios

SPNHC-Focused Sessions

Filter by Favorites
Search Items

Thu, May 13 at 12:00 pm EDT
Transformative Research and Treatment in the Care of Natural History Collections - Part 1

Attend Session
Overview

Presentations in This Session

  • Addressing our Colonial History in the Herbarium of the New York Botanical Garden - The Folder Project
    Nicole Tarnowshy
  • Test and Repeat: Assessing and Caring for Hazardous Natural History Collections at the Royal Alberta Museum
    Carmen Li
  • Exhibitor Experience - Bruker
  • Birds of a Feather... Community-driven Research Informing Best Practices for Cleaning Feathers
    Julia Sybalsky

View Abstracts and Speaker Bios: https://flame.firebird.systems/AIC/AIC2021/MyProgrammes#Entry.ItemPage.11801.0.EntryDefinition.cdaad2ba-2bb1-4b49-92b8-3fda70bb8b24

Thu, May 13 at 3:00 pm EDT
Concurrent General Session - Transformative Research and Treatment in the Care of Natural History Collections - Part 2

Attend Session
Overview

Presentations in This Session

  • Rehydrate This! Challenges in Preserving and Treating Fluid Specimens
    Arianna Bernucci
  • Planning a Quantitative Risk Analysis to Determine Storage Enclosure Options for Large Vertebrate Specimens
    Melissa King
  • Exhibitor Experience - Click Netherfield
  • The Hidden Tooth: Reversal of Preparation Work, Retreatment of Unstable Mammoth Tusks, and Significance of Conservation Records
    Genevieve Kulis

View Abstracts and Speaker Bios: https://flame.firebird.systems/AIC/AIC2021/MyProgrammes#Entry.ItemPage.11803.0.EntryDefinition.cdaad2ba-2bb1-4b49-92b8-3fda70bb8b24

Thu, May 20 at 12:00 pm EDT
SPNHC Session One - Specimen Spotlight

Attend Session
Overview

Presentations in This Session

  • A Chance Encounter with a Coloring Book
    Amy Pool
  • A-Maizing Paper
    Susie Cobbledick
  • Hole-in-the-Water: Historic Preservation, Diving History, and the Creature from the Black Lagoon
    Amy Jones Abbe
  • Gold, Deforestation, and the Demise of a Wet Evergreen Forest in Nicaragua
    Amy Pool
  • The Deep Sea Comes to the MCZ
    Jennifer Trimble
  • Frozen in Time: Documenting the Spread of Potato Blight in New England on Tomatoes
    Michaela Schmull
  • Fossil Cephalopod Species Known from a Single Specimen
    Paul Mayer
  • Tunneling for the Future Reveals an Ancient Burrow (Thalassinoides)
    Patricia Coorough Burke
  • Initiating the Red Wolf Repository at Arkansas State University: Combining Old Techniques to Spark a New Conservation Program and Natural History Collection
    Kari Harris and Tracy Klotz
  • Exhibitor Experience: Axiell
  • Promoting Exhibit Access and Safety: A Collaborative Approach to Collections Care
    Samantha Snell

View Abstract and Speaker Bios: https://flame.firebird.systems...

Thu, May 27 at 12:00 pm EDT
RATS/SPNHC Joint Session

Attend Session
Overview

Presentations in This Session

  • Comparing Accelerated Weathering and Degradation of Consolidants Used to Stabilize Paper Shale Fossils
    Catherine Cooper
  • Reconstructing Asia’s Ancient Ivory Trade: PCR and NGS DNA Analysis of Elephant Tusk Sections from the Field Museum’s Java Sea Shipwreck Collection
    Stephanie Hornbeck
  • Exhibitor Experience: Barnett Technical Services
  • Put the Lime in the Coconut; An Investigation of the Mechanical and Aging Properties of Coconut Shell and Recommendations for Compatible Conservation Materials
    Elena Bowen
  • Mineral Transformations on Pyrite: Microscopic to Macroscopic Perspectives
    Chris Tacker
  • Early Plastics, Taxidermy, and Conservation at the Field Museum
    Daniel Kaping

  • View Abstracts and Speaker Bios: https://flame.firebird.systems...

Tue, Jun 1 at 12:00 pm EDT
SPNHC Digitization and Data Management in the Preservation of Natural History – Part 1

Attend Session
Overview

Presentations in This Session

  • Workflow for Digitizing Ordovician Fossil Invertebrates via Batch Image Uploads
    Catherine Wiegand
  • Bringing the Past into the Present: Digitizing Specimen Inventory and Micro-CT Scans for Upload to Open Access Platforms
    Lyndell Bade and Jordan Zajac
  • Exhibitor Experience: Digital Transitions, Inc.
  • BugFlow: A Community-Driven Repository for Entomology Digitization Resources
    Tommy McElrath


    Thu, Jun 10 at 12:00 pm EDT
    SPNHC: Digitization and Data Management in the Preservation of Natural History – Part 2

    Attend Session
    Overview

    Presentations in This Session

    • Stop Digitizing YOUR Collection: Notes from Idigbio’s Southern Rocky Mountain Thematic Collections Network to Help Strategize Digitization across Consortia and Regional Projects
      Ryan Allen
    • Ch-ch-ch-ch-CHANGES: Turn and Face the Strange, Amounts of Ecological Data Hidden in Natural Resource Surveys
      Randy Singer
    • Exhibitor Experience: Picturae
    • Exhibitor Experience: OPUS Instruments (ATIK Cameras)
    • Arctos: The Community Model for Museum Biorepositories
      Mariel Campbell
    • Appreciating the Little Things in Life: Molecular Technologies Driving New Methodologies in Specimen Preservation and Management
      James Macklin

    View Abstracts and Speaker Bios: https://flame.firebird.systems/AIC/AIC2021/MyProgrammes#Entry.ItemPage.11949.0.EntryDefinition.da80d6bd-1d48-43b5-9694-97166eaef84d

    Thu, Jun 17 at 12:00 pm EDT
    SPNHC Using Natural History Collections as an Education Tool

    Attend Session
    Overview

    Presentations in This Session

    • Using Natural History Collections to Communicate Social Issues: The Hand Lens
      Nicole Tarnowsky and Laura Briscoe
    • Building Bridges between Classrooms and Collections at California Botanic Garden: A Pilot Study
      Mare Nazaire
    • Exhibitor Experience: Spacesaver
    • Student-Focused, Career-Driven, Exploration in Natural History Museums through Experiential Education and Mentorship
      Adania Flemming
    • “We Found the Passenger Pigeon?!”: Hands on Student-Involvement in Preservation and Curation of a Neglected and Historic Natural History Collection at a Small Undergraduate Institution
      Lyndell Bade

    View Abstracts and Speaker Bios: https://flame.firebird.systems...

    Mon, Jun 21 at 12:00 pm EDT
    SPNHC: Digitized specimen data use by non-academic and non-museum agencies

    Attend Session
    Overview

    Presentations in This Session

    • Finding the Lost Herbaria in Arkansas
      Diana Soteropoulos
    • The Fishes of Texas Project's Impact on both Conservation Science and Management and a Fish Collection
      Dean A. Hendrickson and Adam E. Cohen
    • Bringing the Extended Specimen into Adaptive Management: Collections informing Conservation
      Anna Monfils
    • Student-led Entomology Collection Digitization and Protocol Development for TCN
      Monique Raymond and Jenna O'del
    • Use of Digitized Natural History Collections Data to Inform Conservation Management Decisions for RTE Plant Species in South Carolina
      Herrick Brown
    • Lessons in data collection, management, and dissemination across multiple biodiversity projects
      Rachel Hackett
    • Extending Herbarium Specimen Data Beyond the Ivory Walls - A Case Study from the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria Online Database
      David Giblin
    • Mining the Digital Treasure Trove: The Value of Digitized Herbarium Specimens to State Natural Heritage Programs, and Recommendations for Enhancing the Value of Future Collections
      Theo Witsell
    • How Digitized Herbarium Specimens Contribute to Biodiversity Inventory and Conservation Planning in a Rapidly Developing Region of Northwest Arkansas
      Theo Witsell

    • View Abstracts and Speaker Bios


    Thu, Jun 24 at 12:00 pm EDT
    Objects and SPNHC Session

    Attend Session
    Overview

    Presentations in This Session

    • Lascaux and its application in the restoration of taxidermy and entomology collections
      Bethany Palumbo
    • Off the Wall - The study and repair of a shattered taxidermy Mouflon shoulder mount
      Nicole Feldman
    • Exhibitor Experience (Bruker)
    • Conservation of 18th century bound herbaria- three visions of ethical treatment
      Magdalena Grenda-Kurmanow

    View Abstracts and Speaker Bios: https://flame.firebird.systems...

    Fri, Jun 25 at 12:00 pm EDT
    SPNHC Special Interest Groups - Open session

    Attend Session
    Overview

    Open session - an opportunity to host a discussion on topics raised from the conference.

    SPNHC-Related: General and Collection Care Sessions

    Filter by Favorites
    Search Items

    Tue, May 11 at 12:00 pm EDT
    Opening General Session

    Attend Session
    Overview

    Presentations in This Session

    • Who is a conservator? What is conservation? Evolving our identities and practice to thrive in an inclusive world
      Joelle Wickens, Natalya Swanson
    • Are you biased? I am.
      Anisha Gupta
    • Conservation Unfixed: Queer Visions for Transformative Practices
      Sasha Arden, Kris Cnossen, Megan Creamer
    • Politics, Race, and Objectification: Uncomfortable Encounters in the Conservation Lab
      Sarah Barack, Kate Wright Tyler
    • Discussion
    • Exhibitor: Huntington T. Block
    • A Local Approach to the Global Problems of 2020: The Washington Conservation Guild and its Responses to the Black Lives Matter
      Jayne Girod Holt, Rachel Greenberg, Anne Kingery-Schwartz
    • Shining Light on Labels in the Dark: Guidelines for Offensive Collections Materials
      Laura Briscoe, Mare Nazaire
    • Trailblazing Rapid Enhancement of Biodiversity Collections Data to Address the Urgent Challenge of COVID-19
      Austin Mast
    • Cultures of extinction and contemporary art conservation research
      Rebecca Gordon
    • Discussion

    View Abstracts and Speaker Bios: https://flame.firebird.systems...

    Wed, May 12 at 12:00 pm EDT
    Concurrent General Session: Creating Connections & Community During COVID - Part 1

    Attend Session
    Overview

    Presentations in This Session

    • Lights! Camera! Action! Virtual Couriering: The New Normal?
      Per Knutås and Jennifer Levy  
    • Creating Competences: Conservation Class in a Box
      Ellen Pearlstein
    • Exhibitor Experience - Goppion
    • Caring for Family Treasures: Providing Practical Preservation Advice during a Pandemic
      Annabelle Camp

    View Abstracts and Speaker Bios: https://flame.firebird.systems...

    Wed, May 12 at 12:00 pm EDT
    Concurrent General Session: On Display - Part 1

    Attend Session
    Overview

    Presentations in This Session

    • Alternative Strategies: De-installation, treatment, and reproduction of a historic Chinese import wallpaper for Jekyll Island Museum
      David Joyall and Luana Maekawa
    • Fantastic Beasts: A manuscript leaf approach for the display of a python skin. A collaborative project between paper and objects conservators
      Konstantina Konstantinidou
    • The Materials Selection and Specification Working Group: Paving the Path to for Choosing Safe Materials to Display
    • Lisa Elkin, Rebecca A. Kaczkowski,Rachael Perkins Arenstein

    View Abstracts and Speaker Bios: https://flame.firebird.systems...

    Wed, May 12 at 3:00 pm EDT
    Concurrent General Session: On Display - Part 2

    Attend Session
    Overview

    Presentations in This Session

    • Standardized Protocols for Testing Exhibition and Storage Materials Used with Works of Art: Round-Robin Results
      Christopher Maines
    • A Memorial on Middagh Street: The Treatment and Display of a Firehouse Door Mural
      Maureen Merrigan
    • Exhibitor Experience - Tru Vue -A Look at Glazing for Exhibit Cases

    • Exhibit Case as a Compatible/Incompatible Object?

    • Ellen Carrlee 
    • View Abstracts and Speaker Bios:https://flame.firebird.systems...

    Wed, May 12 at 3:00 pm EDT
    Concurrent General Session: Creating Connections & Community During COVID - Part 2

    Attend Session
    Overview

    Presentations in This Session

    • Teaching conservation in the time of Covid-19
      Madeline Hagerman and Nina Owczarek
    • IPM in the Time of COVID-19: An Unexpected Unifier and Trigger for Change
      Madeline Corona
    • Exhibitor Experience - Tru Vue
    • Put It On The Wall: Conservation Content at the Harvard Art Museums
      Kate Smith

    View Abstracts and Speaker Bios: https://flame.firebird.systems...

    Thu, May 13 at 12:00 pm EDT
    Concurrent General Session: Collaborating with Stakeholder Communities - Part 1

    Attend Session
    Overview

    Presentations in This Session

    • The Implications of Basketry Kits and How-to Books for Authenticity
      Ellen Pearlstein and Bryn Barabas Potter
    • Collaborating with Indigenous Communities to Deinstall the Native North American Hall at the Field Museum
      Erin Murphy and Nicole Passerotti
    • Exhibitor Experience - University Products
    • Consultation and Collaboration: Renovation of the Northwest Coast Hall at the American Museum of Natural History
      Amy Tjiong
    • Discussion
      Led by Ellen Carrlee and Cheyenne Caraway

    View Abstracts and Speaker Bios: https://flame.firebird.systems... 

    Thu, May 13 at 3:00 pm EDT
    Concurrent General Session: Collaborating with Stakeholder Communities - Part 2

    Attend Session
    Overview

    Presentations in This Session

    • Building a Conservation Partnership between Yale University Art Gallery and National Museum, Lagos during the Global Pandemic 
      Anne Turner Gunnison, Geo Barrios
    • Conservator and Stakeholder: Lessons from Unearthing a Time Capsule underneath a Confederate Monument
      Sue Donovan
    • Exhibitor Experience - TandD US LLC
    • Canceling Neutrality: A Call to Rewrite the AIC Code of Ethics
      Cathie Magee, Anisha Gupta
    • Discussion
      Led by Laleña Vellanoweth and Nylah Byrd

    View Abstracts and Speaker Bios: https://flame.firebird.systems...

    Wed, Jun 2 at 12:00 pm EDT
    Collection Care Network Hazardous Materials / Health & Safety

    Attend Session
    Overview

    Presentations in This Session

    • Consequences of p-Dichlorobenzene Treatments: Collection Access Restrictions, Case Decontamination Labor and Residual Health Risk
      Kathryn Makos and Catherine Hawks
    • Exhibitor Experience: BMS CAT
    • Arsenic and Old Feathers: A Survey Of Detection, Mitigation and Treatment Approaches for Pesticide-Affected Objects and Creating a Treatment Protocol at SUNY Buffalo State
      Liatte Dotan
    • Exhibitor Experience: Talas
    • When the Dust Isn't Settled: Stakeholder Conversations in the Removal of Hazardous Material from World Trade Center Artifacts
      Lisa Conte and Kerith Koss Schrager

    • View Abstracts and Speaker Bios: https://flame.firebird.systems...

    Wed, Jun 2 at 3:00 pm EDT
    Collection Care Network Integrated Pest Management

    Attend Session
    Overview

    Presentations in This Session

    • Museum Pest Control: A Survey of Collections Care Trends
      Lisa Goldberg and Julie Unruh
    • Buggin Out
      Heather Parks
    • Exhibitor Experience: Conserve
    • Lizards in the Library: A Case Study of an Established Resident Population of Mediterranean House Geckos in Collections Storage Areas and the Potential Impact of Global Warming on Other Institutions
      Alan Van Dyke
    • Exhibitor Experience: Zone Display Cases
    • An Odd Problem to Face: Integrated Pest Management and Thylodrias contractus (Odd Beetle)
      Rebecca Newberry

    View Abstracts and Speaker Bios: https://flame.firebird.systems...

    Thu, Jun 3 at 12:00 pm EDT
    Collection Care Network - Collection Care Adaptations

    Attend Session
    Overview

    Presentations in This Session

    • Learning from Incidents: Artwork Interaction Reporting and Lessons
      Samantha Owens
    • A Slack-Filled (r)evolution: Working Remotely Planet-Wide, Together
      Genevieve E. Tocci and Deborah L. Paul
    • Exhibitor Experience: Crystallizations Systems
    • Collections Care From Home: Lessons Learned From the COVID-19 Pandemic
      Alan Van Dyke and Genevieve Pierce
    • Distance Management for Collection Preservation: Is this the Future?
      Lisa Elkin and Julia Sybalsky
    • Exhibitor Experience: MuseuM Services Corporation
    • Twelve Months, 2,500 Objects: Condition Reporting During Deinstallation of Exhibits at the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History
      Mariana Di Giacomo

    View Abstracts and Speaker Bios: https://flame.firebird.systems...

    Fri, Jun 4 at 12:00 pm EDT
    Collection Care Network Storage

    Attend Session
    Overview

    Presentations in This Session

    • Boxing with Leopold von Ranke
      David Stokoe
    • Stewardship and Storage: Rehousing and Reorganizing NMAI’s Textile Collection
      Hanna Muchnick and Nora Frankel
    • Exhibitor Experience: Goppion
    • Plastics in Natural History Collections – A Case Study
      Peter Giere
    • Safe to Shelve? Unusual Enclosures for Challenging Materials
      Susie Cobbledick
    • Exhibitor Experience: Gaylord Archival
    • An Affordable System for Converting Pallet Rack Shelving to Bin Storage for Framed Works of Art
      T. Ashley McGrew
    • Storage Improvements for Tanned Mammal Skins at the Michigan State University Museum
      Laura Abraczinskas and Barbara Lundrigan

    View Abstracts and Speaker Bios: https://flame.firebird.systems...

    SPNHC Social and Member Events

    Filter by Favorites
    Search Items

    Fri, May 7 at 5:00 pm EDT
    Partner Event: SPNHC Opening Mixer

    Attend Session
    Overview

    Click Through Link - Not working  - use - 


    Kumospace - spnhc2021


    An opportunity to meet and chat in an informal and fun way via the Kumospace app.

    Moderators: Greg Watkins-Colwell, Talia Karim, Shelley James

    Thu, May 13 at 5:30 pm EDT
    Partner Event: SPNHC Emerging Professionals Happy Hour

    Attend Session
    Overview

    The Emerging Professionals happy hour is a great opportunity to meet and connect with fellow emerging professionals and established colleagues to share experiences and challenges.

    Moderators: Kari Harris, Mariana Di Giacomo

    {{product_title}}

    Mon, May 24 at 9:00 am EDT
    Partner Event: SPNHC Social Hour

    Attend Session
    Overview

    An opportunity to enjoy a beverage of choice and meet up with colleagues across the world.

    Moderator: Kelly James

    Wed, May 26 at 6:00 pm EDT
    Partner Event: SPNHC Virtual Collection Tour 1 - Museo de La Salle Bogotá/University of Connecticut, Biodiversity Research Collections/The American Museum of Natural History

    Attend Session
    Overview

    Journey around the world to view outstanding collections without leaving your living room

    6:00 - 6:30 PM - A journey inside the Museo de La Salle, between history and present

    Museo de La Salle Bogotá (MLS-BOG) – Universidad de La Salle, Bogotá (Colombia)

    From the beginning of Museo de La Salle in 1904, Brother Apolinar María and the Lasallian Brothers demonstrated their interest in researching and disseminating the diversity found in the country. This diversity is reflected in numerous collections, particularly in entomology, a collection that housed the museum's first specimen: a cockroach. As time went by, the Museum's collections grew and housed specimens from all over the planet. Over the years, the collections made by the Brothers increased the number of specimens in the Museum collected in Colombian territory, as well as specimens sent by various collaborators around the world, reaching the custody of around 73,000 specimens. This great contribution of many years was overshadowed by the Bogotazo occurred on 1948, where numerous buildings were burned, including the Museo de La Salle, thus disappearing about 8,000 specimens of birds, collection of lepidopterans, an extensive collection of specimens of arachnids, among other collections. In spite of the damages caused and the loss of around 174,000 specimens, the museum continued its scientific and educational work through its collections and permanent exhibition; finding inside these a wide diversity of vertebrates, invertebrates, herbarium, collections of paleontology, rocks, minerals and anthropology with specimens collected since 1870. These specimens are not only part of scientific collections, are also part of the heritage of the nation which can be found in a sample of the exhibition that is open to the public, representing national and international biodiversity with the purpose of serving as an interpretive window and agent of social change through the social appropriation of knowledge. For this reason, the museum is currently in a process of renovation in its exhibition, which seeks to highlight the history of its collections, promoting research and knowledge in new generations.

    Moderator: Laura Eklund

    Tour Leaders - Goretti Leuro Robles, Jose Warles Díaz Guamán y,  Ángela Hernández Arévalo


    6:30 - 7:00 PM - Interdisciplinarity with integrated collections: Behind the scenes in UConn’s Biodiversity Research Collections 

    University of Connecticut, Biodiversity Research Collections (US)

    The Ecology & Evolutionary Biology department at the University of Connecticut integrated its natural history collections to form the Biodiversity Research Collections facility (BRC), thereby enhancing student engagement, facilitating collaboration, and providing a unified identity for community outreach. The BRC has four Divisions, each overseen by a team of curators and its own expert Collections Manager. 

    UConn’s BRC is an invaluable resource for scientific innovation and discovery, experiential environmental education, and broad engagement with the public. Integration of our preserved collections has offered us many practical and academic advantages, resulting in increased impact, visibility, and research.

    Moderator: Laura Eklund

    Tour Leaders -Dr. Sarah Taylor, Erin Kuprewicz, Katrina Menard & Matt Opel


    Beyond the shelves: Hidden stories from Herpetology

    The American Museum of Natural History (US)

    A 4,000-year-old gecko, once swathed in a mummy’s wrappings, now nestles in a specimen box. A pair of combating predators tragically preserved in eternal battle. A discovery of dragons so fantastical their diorama was heralded in the New Yorker’s “Talk of the Town” in 1928. These are just a handful of the 360,000 stories—told by 360,000 reptile and amphibian specimens—sitting on the shelves of the American Museum of Natural History’s Herpetology collection. At over 2 million square feet and housing more than 34 million specimens, New York City’s AMNH is one of the largest natural history museums in the world. Virtually explore its rich history and vast collection with Senior Museum Specialist, Lauren Vonnahme, in a rare behind-the-scenes tour of the Department of Herpetology. Stroll through the department’s three unique collection spaces—one of the most heavily used herpetological resources in the world and home to more than 7,000 species (representing roughly half the world’s known reptiles and amphibians). Get an up-close look at museum storage and housing solutions, preparation techniques, and ongoing conservation projects, like our dry skeletal rehousing. While exploring the aisles, catch glimpses of some of our most bizarre, interesting, and scientifically-relevant specimens—some of which cannot be seen anywhere else in the world.

    Moderator: Laura Eklund

    Tour Leaders -Lauren Vonnahme & Erin Chapman

    Thu, May 27 at 9:30 am EDT
    Partner Event: SPNHC - Annual Business Meeting

    Attend Session
    Overview

    Open to all members of the Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections. 

    Download your Business Meeting packet - before the Meeting by clicking on the link below


    https://spnhc.org/wp-content/u...

    Wed, Jun 2 at 10:00 am EDT
    Partner Event: SPNHC Virtual Collection Tour 2 - University of Antananarivo/ British Geological Survey/Universidad de la República / SAUCE-P

    Attend Session
    Overview

    Journey around the world to view outstanding collections without leaving your Living Room.

    10 - 10:30 AM - Scientific collection serving Malagasy biodiversity and advancement of research

    Association Vahatra and Mention of Zoology and Biodiversity Animal, University of Antananarivo (Madagascar)

    Collection room of the Mention of Zoology and Biodiversity Animal, University of Antananarivo is a collection of invertebrates and vertebrates. Currently, this room houses more than 100,000 specimens collected in different parts of Madagascar since 1990, by students and Malagasy researchers and foreigner partners of the Department. Most of these specimens are already cataloged according to international standards with the acronym UADBA (University of Antananarivo, Department of Animal Biology). The museum collection includes the different taxonomic groups of the vertebrate fauna of Madagascar including fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals. Besides the specimens in liquid, there are also specimens of skin and skeleton. Holotype and Paratype of recently described new species are housed also in this collection room. UADBA collection room also has exhibition specimens in order to present Malagasy biodiversity for education and future generations. One room of necrophagous insects of the genus Dermestes are located in another building of the Department.

    Moderator: Laura Eklund

    Tour Leader -Voahangy Soarimalala


    10:30 - 11:00 AM - The British Geological Survey ‘National Geological Repository’ – probably the largest collection of UK geoscience samples

    National Geological Repository, National Geoscience Data Centre, British Geological Survey (UK)

    The UK National Geological Repository is a national and international science facility, and an integral part of the National Geoscience Data Centre and the British Geological Survey. Its unique collections of borehole cores, cuttings, samples, rock, fossil and mineral specimens, and related subsurface information from the UK landmass and continental shelf are used extensively in research, by industry (underpinning a significant part of the UK economy),by the public, and to support university teaching. Parts of the collections predate the origin of the BGS in 1835. Key components include: • The National borehole core and sample collection, which also contains core and samples from onshore, and offshore UKCS hydrocarbon wells, and is used extensively by the industry when researching new prospects. The collection includes over 600km of drillcore from over 22.5k wells and would cost an estimated £200b to re-drill. • The major UK type and stratigraphic fossil collection (250k specimens), plus extensive microfossil (300k slides) and locality based collections (ca. 4m specimens) • The major systematic British rock collection, with over 200k thin sections and 1m samples • The largest UK geoscience records archive, with over 20km of shelving, and including all the original BGS field records and maps, well and borehole logs, site investigations, coal data, seismics, geophysics, geochemistry, etc. Safely storing 16 million specimens weighing around 10,000 tonnes requires sophisticated equipment and a team of curators, conservators and registration staff. illustrates the storage of borehole cores and samples – rock, mineral and fossil specimens are held using more traditional equipment. Most samples are included in online databases and available via APIs and as online GIS datasets – see GeoIndex: https://mapapps2.bgs.ac.uk/geo... 

    Moderator: Laura Eklund

    Tour Leader -Dr Michael Howe


    11:00 - 11:30 am - 30.000 years underwater: the Arroyo del Vizcaíno collection

    Universidad de la República / SAUCE-P (Uruguay)

    The Arroyo del Vizcaíno collection is located in the town of Sauce, Canelones, Uruguay. The collection harbors 30 ka Pleistocene megamammal fossils. The collection is named after the fossiliferous site Arroyo del Vizcaíno, located near the mentioned town, found in the summer of 1997 by local farmers and first excavated by highschool students and teachers. It was not until 2011 when the paleontology team could begin the formal excavation of the site. Since then, the collection has increased the number of fossils to nearly 2000 and after several challenges regarding the conservation and storage establishment, now are placed in an adequate space in the perimeter of the town’s high school.

    The majority (more than 90%) of the species collected and storage belongs to the giant ground sloth Lestodon armatus, but also a great amount of material of other extinct sloths like Mylodon darwinii and Glossotherium robustum, as well as Glyptodon reticulatus, Doedicurus clavicaudatus, Panochthus tuberculatus, Toxodo  extinct sloths like Mylodon darwinii and Glossotherium robustum, as well as Glyptodon reticulatus, Doedicurus clavicaudatus, Panochthus tuberculatus, Toxodon platensis, Notiomastodon platensis, Hippidion sp., Smilodon populator, and indeterminate Cervidae remains are present. Nowadays, the collection is officially affiliated with the Universidad de la República and SAUCE-P (Servicio Académico Universitario y Centro de Estudios Paleontológicos) was created as a formal institution. Here, many activities such as preparation and classification of the fossils, paleontological research and education, and numerous types of outreach activities are performed.

    Moderator: Laura Eklund

    Tour Leader -Richard Fariña

    Fri, Jun 4 at 5:00 pm EDT
    Partner Event: SPNHC 'Old Croone Day' Social

    Attend Session
    Overview

    A pub hour to celebrate all things fluid preserved, and our collections as a whole! The 4th June marks the day when Croone presented the first fluid preserved specimens to the Royal Society in 1662. Join us to discover more about Croone and the wonderful world of pickled things, enjoy a short quiz, chat to colleagues, and share some fun tales such as:

       Favorite drinks - a place to discuss your favorite alcoholic and non alcoholic beverages and share recipes. And remember to please enjoy alcohol responsibly!

       Tales from Collection Storage - What’s the weirdest or most wonderful thing you’ve seen preserved in fluid or otherwise?

       Preservation -  If you could preserve any extant or extinct animal or plant species in fluid, what would it be

       Pop Culture - Can you name any movies, books or TV shows that feature fluid preserved specimens?

     We look forward to you joining us for a fun hour to celebrate the fabulous world of fluid collections - just one of the many wonderful and inspiring collection areas that make up our incredible cultural and scientific heritage!

    Wed, Jun 9 at 6:00 pm EDT
    Partner Event: SPNHC Virtual Collection Tour 3 - Missouri Botanical Garden,University of Wisconsin Geology Museum, Denver Museum of Nature & Science

    Attend Session
    Overview

    6 -7:30 PM  - Journey around the world to view outstanding collections without leaving your Living Room.

    6 -6:30 PM - Books and Plants: Dr. George Engelmann and the Origins of the Missouri Botanical Garden

    Peter H Raven Library, Missouri Botanical Garden

    The collections of the Missouri Botanical Garden are encyclopedia in scope. It is impossible to encompass them in their entirety in a brief tour, so we have decided to introduce you to MOBOT’s collections through the life of the person most responsible for their existence—an immigrant to the United States named George Engelmann.

    Born in Germany in 1809, Dr. George Engelmann immigrated to the United States in 1832 after receiving his M. D., joining family members in St. Clair County, Illinois. He established a medical practice in nearby St. Louis in 1835 and devoted considerable time to botany and other scientific and cultural activities.

    Moderator: Laura Eklund

    Tour Leader: Susie Cobbledick


     6:30 - 7:00 PM - An Ongoing Transformation of Storage at the University of Wisconsin Geology Museum

    University of Wisconsin Geology Museum

    The University of Wisconsin Geology Museum is in the process of transforming the storage of its geological and paleontological collections to create a new collections facility that (1) improves the long-term preservation of the permanent collection; (2) increases collection security while also providing improved access for researchers, museum staff and students; (3) decompresses the collection, further protecting specimens; (4) builds more storage capacity, which is essential for accommodating future growth; and (5) provide storage space to facilitate the rotation of objects on exhibit. 

    Over the course of an 18-month period, project activities include the relocation of roughly 7,200 geological and paleontological specimens, installation of the new compactor shelving, and the rehousing of museum specimens in the new museum-quality drawers and sshelves. During this project we have been collecting data on the number of specimens relocated and rehoused (and the time it takes to do so), the number of permanent staff, student, and volunteer hours needed to complete the project, and the accuracy of our moving inventory as a tracking tool.

    Whereas our exhibits and educational programs are highly visible to our university community and the general public, our collections and the work that goes into their care and management are less so. This storage expansion and specimen rehousing project are providing us with a great opportunity to showcase the essential museum work that is done behind the scenes and educate faculty, students, and the general public about the importance of collections care and preservation. This project also helps us train the next generation of museum specialists by converting a makeshift repository into a professional one. As a museum in a university setting, it is crucial for the UWGM to be an ambassador of best curatorial practices and to share those ethics and ideals with the museum professionals of the future.

    Moderator: Laura Eklund

    Tour Leader: Carrie Eaton

    7 -7:30 PM  - Pivoting in a Pandemic: The World Ethnology Collections Move at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science

    Denver Museum of Nature & Science

    In June 2020, the Denver Museum of Nature & Science received a $150,000 National Endowment for the Humanities CARES grant to partially support salaries for 10 staff to document, move, and rehouse 3200 objects from the African and Central and South American collections into the Avenir Collections Center. This collection had particular needs in that it was the least researched and understood subcollection in the Anthropology department, so we knew we would encounter unknowns and surprises. The project scope also included data cleanup and improving intellectual control of the collection. This grant created a unique opportunity for the humanities staff at DMNS to focus on a shared, single goal. How do you decide what to focus on and prioritize in six months? What did we learn? This presentation will cover: adapting the rehousing process with limited staff on-site in a pandemic; a detailed breakdown of each 5-day move cycle; conservation assessments, photography, and data cleanup; collections research by curators; before and after photos; and takeaways, lessons, and future directions.

    Moderator: Laura Eklund

    Tour Leader: Dominique Alhambra

    Thu, Jun 17 at 5:30 pm EDT
    Partner Event: SPNHC Science Illustration Fun Hour

    Attend Session
    Overview

    Come join us for a fun virtual session creating your own scientific illustration and art! 

    Mon, Jun 21 at 5:00 pm EDT
    Partner Event: SPNHC Mid-Summer Trivia

    Attend Session
    Overview

    Return of the legendary SPNHC 'Pub Quiz' in virtual form!

    Moderators: Randy Singer, Greg Watkins-Colwell