Citizen Scientists: The Herbarium Needs YOU!

by Shanna Oberreiter, Herbarium Assistant

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At the Herbarium, in an effort to get our collection’s data online, we have begun uploading batches of our specimens’ images to a citizen science volunteer site, Notes From Nature*. Thus far, only minimal label data has been entered (scientific name, state, and county). Volunteer Citizen Scientists can help us by transcribing additional data from each label — who collected the specimen, exactly where it was collected, the date it was collected. Notes From Nature calls each group of specimens an "Expedition" and in your journey through our collection, you will follow the footsteps of botanists across the southeastern United States from the 1800's through the present!

Our first Expedition is to transcribe label data from specimens of Campanulaceae. This family’s name comes from Campanula, or “little bell” in Latin. In North America the family includes garden favorites Lobelias, Bellflowers, and Harebells. The Campanulaceae are nectar sources for pollinators such as native bumblebees, butterflies and hummingbirds.

The University of North Carolina Herbarium is just one of several herbarium collections on Notes From Nature, so be sure to look for NATURAL NORTH CAROLINA. Our first Expedition “Natural North Carolina’s - Be a Companion to Campanulaceae” has a photo of a Ruby Throated Hummingbird nectaring on a Cardinal Flower ( After signing up, the site will walk you through instructions to guide your own journey through our Expedition.

We will continue to upload expedition sets of several hundred to several thousand specimens at a time throughout the next few years and we would be so grateful to have your help.

This is a volunteering option that you can do from the comfort of your own home. So, if you want to volunteer for us on the hot days of August from the coolness of your living room or office, or to quietly transcribe while listening to a thunderstorm, Notes From Nature is the perfect choice! Even for those who support us from afar, you now have the opportunity to volunteer for us electronically and be a part of what we accomplish every day.

Thank you ahead of time for joining us on this Expedition through the Southeastern United States!
*Our online searchable catalog of vascular plant specimens is at

Updated on August 04, 2016 at 01:43:55 pm.