Friday, 23 February 2018

BioGaps Transcribe winners for Dec-Jan

The BioGaps top transcribers for the period December to January have been selected:
Well done and a big thank you to volunteer Diana Crane who transcribed 83 specimen label images!

Diana resides in the UK! She as this to say about her transcribing experiences: "I am a retired doctor in my seventies who went to the UK to do postgraduate research in the 1970s, met and married my husband here and never came back. Before leaving I had purchased a life membership of the Botanical Society and I've enjoyed receiving Veld and Flora ever since - I've kept up my interest in conservation.  The BioGaps project seemed like a way to give something back that I can do from the UK: there is something romantic about seeing the specimens, some of them over a hundred years old and getting to see the process of discovering, collecting, naming and classifying in action is fascinating."

Well done Diana! She very kindly has donated her book prize to one of our SANBI interns, which has been given to Ya'qub Ebrahim who works hard in the background with ensuring Transcribe expeditions are activated and also validating transcribed records.

We also awareded a prize to our top SANBI intern transcriber, Mujaahid Philander, who transcribed 52 records. Well done Mujaahid! 

Mujaahid desribes his transcribing experiences as follows: "I am a scientist who loves the "raw groundwork" that feeds into field work in order to discover new things (research). I live quite an active lifestyle, always running or hiking ultimately spending a lot of time in nature.  I started transcribing 5 months ago and with an interest in history it became quite fun. I enjoy the task of transcribing because it allows me to imagine what the environment or habitat looked like when the specimen was found, with the hints provided from the collectors notes. I remember coming across an interesting specimen where the collector recorded that the seeds of the plants was eaten by Bushmen, which I thought was quite a cool story to share with my friends. Overall I enjoy transcribing there is always a story to be told in a collected specimen and with a bit of an imagination you can have quite a bit of fun!!!"

There will be more prizes given for the top transcribers at the end of March 2018. The winners will be announced shortly after the end of each period. Prizes can include books, National Botanical Garden entries, and Kirstenbosch Summer Concert tickets.

We appreciate all the valuable assistance provided by the Transcribe volunteers and SANBI interns! Anyone anywhere can become involved. To join this fun activity, go toTranscribe:

BioGaps digitisers are working hard every day imaging hundreds of plant specimens and their labels. We need all the help we can get in transcribing these records and making them digitially available for research and conservation.

The Transcribe platform helps us fill in gaps in biodiversity knowledge for our precious Karoo region. This information will help guide future conservation and development activities (e.g. shale gas exploration) in the Karoo. 

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