Mohonk Preserve Historical Observational Index Card Natural History Data

Occurrence
Latest version published by Mohonk Preserve on May 12, 2023 Mohonk Preserve
Publication date:
12 May 2023
Published by:
Mohonk Preserve
License:
CC0 1.0

Download the latest version of this resource data as a Darwin Core Archive (DwC-A) or the resource metadata as EML or RTF:

Data as a DwC-A file download 51,046 records in English (3 MB) - Update frequency: as needed
Metadata as an EML file download in English (21 KB)
Metadata as an RTF file download in English (12 KB)

Description

Beginning in the mid-1900s , naturalist Daniel Smiley and his associates and successors at the Daniel Smiley Research Center documented extensive natural history observations of the flora and fauna of the Shawangunk Ridge on over 14,000 3x5” index cards. Observations are highly detailed and often include narrative descriptions as well as basic observational information. The duration, extent and specificity of this dataset provide a wealth of information to support and inform biodiversity research, environmental management and ecological sciences.

Data Records

The data in this occurrence resource has been published as a Darwin Core Archive (DwC-A), which is a standardized format for sharing biodiversity data as a set of one or more data tables. The core data table contains 51,046 records.

This IPT archives the data and thus serves as the data repository. The data and resource metadata are available for download in the downloads section. The versions table lists other versions of the resource that have been made publicly available and allows tracking changes made to the resource over time.

Versions

The table below shows only published versions of the resource that are publicly accessible.

Rights

Researchers should respect the following rights statement:

The publisher and rights holder of this work is Mohonk Preserve. To the extent possible under law, the publisher has waived all rights to these data and has dedicated them to the Public Domain (CC0 1.0). Users may copy, modify, distribute and use the work, including for commercial purposes, without restriction.

GBIF Registration

This resource has been registered with GBIF, and assigned the following GBIF UUID: 1260b7e1-852a-4344-8299-3426ab4ffc19.  Mohonk Preserve publishes this resource, and is itself registered in GBIF as a data publisher endorsed by U.S. Geological Survey.

Keywords

Occurrence; Observation

Contacts

Mohonk Preserve
  • Originator
Mohonk Preserve
Mohonk Preserve
PO Box 715
12561 New Paltz
New York
8452550919
Jordan Williams
  • Originator
Digitization Technician
Mohonk Preserve
PO Box 715
12561 New Paltz
New York
US
8452550919
Penelope Adler-Colvin
  • Metadata Provider
  • Originator
Community Science Coordinator
Mohonk Preserve
PO Box 715
12561 New Paltz
New York
US
8452550919
Natalie Feldsine
  • Originator
Research Collection and Citizen Science Coordinator
Mohonk Preserve
PO Box 715
12561 New Paltz
New York
8452550919
Julia Solomon
  • Metadata Provider
  • Originator
Director of Conservation Programs
Mohonk Preserve
PO Box 715
12561 New Paltz
New York
US
8452550919
Volunteer Transcribers
  • Originator
Volunteer
Mohonk Preserve
PO Box 715
12561 New Paltz
New York
8452550919
Paul Huth
  • Originator
Director of Research Emeritus
Mohonk Preserve
PO Box 715
New Paltz
New York
US
Daniel Smiley
  • Originator
Ecosystem Ecologist, Posthumous Attribution
Mohonk Preserve
PO Box 715
New Paltz
New York
US
Alexis Garretson
  • User
Research Associate
Mohonk Preserve
PO Box 715
12561 New Paltz
New York
US
8452550919
Director of Conservation Science
  • Point Of Contact
Daniel Smiley Research Center
Mohonk Preserve
PO Box 715
12561 New Paltz
New York
8452550919
Alexis Garretson

Geographic Coverage

Collected in the vicinity of Mohonk Preserve on the Shawangunk Ridge in New Paltz, Ulster County, NY, USA

Bounding Coordinates South West [41.754, -74.153], North East [41.754, -74.153]

Project Data

Beginning in the mid-1900s, naturalist Daniel Smiley and his associates and successors at the Daniel Smiley Research Center documented extensive natural history observations of the flora and fauna of the Shawangunk Ridge on over 14,000 3x5” index cards. Observations are highly detailed and often include narrative descriptions as well as basic observational information.

Title Mohonk Preserve Historical Observational Natural History Data
Funding Institute of Museum and Library Services Museums for America Program Grant, 2019.

Sampling Methods

The first step in digitizing the natural history index card collection was to produce an image scan for the front (and, if relevant, back) of each card. This was completed by Mohonk Preserve’s Digitization Technician with the assistance of volunteers. Scanned images of the cards were uploaded to the Zooniverse Notes from Nature platform for transcription by remote volunteers. Staff provided support in designing the project, troubleshooting issues that came up during the transcription process and responding to volunteer questions. In July of 2020, Mohonk Preserve publicly launched the project on Zooniverse, titled “A Century of Natural History Observations”. This original launch of the project only contained a subset of cards, mainly bird and plant species. This first set of cards was completely transcribed by the end of October 2020, and a second set of cards was added to the project in early November 2020. In total, 14,435 cards were added to the Zooniverse project, and 2,657 volunteers from around the world contributed to the transcription effort. All uploaded cards were completely transcribed in early June of 2021.

Study Extent Mohonk Preserve co-founder and prominent regional naturalist Daniel Smiley was an avid observer and recorder of the natural world around him. He methodically recorded observations on 3x5 index cards throughout his life and trained his associates and successors to do the same. This resulted in a unique, detailed record of the flora and fauna of the Shawangunk Ridge over many decades. Each index card contains information similar to a museum specimen label (i.e. date, location, observer’s name, taxonomy), and other pertinent information such as weather, behavior (for animals), phenological information, and historical context. Many cards also contain additional narrative notes.
Quality Control Once volunteer card transcription was completed, staff began the process of data review and cleaning. In order to help catch errors in transcription, Zooniverse will present the same card to four different volunteers. If all four volunteers transcribe the same information, then that card is accepted and considered complete. If, however, there are differences in the transcriptions, Zooniverse will present the card to at least one more volunteer. If the card still comes back with uncertainty, it will be sent back to the developers as incomplete. Due to volunteer difficulties in interpreting observer handwriting, volunteer inconsistencies in spelling and punctuation, and idiosyncratic notation and abbreviation styles by the original observers, a large number of index cards were returned as incomplete. Incomplete cards were replicated – sometimes multiple times – in the transcription spreadsheet, and data cleaning focused first on removing replicates. This was accomplished by a combination of manual review and coded scripts in R. Subsequent data cleanup focused on correcting discrepancies in common names, reconciling common names with current scientific names, and accuracy-checking observer and location data. Finally, data were reorganized to meet Darwin Core standards and linked to appropriate image records for the original scanned index cards.

Method step description:

  1. Mohonk Preserve co-founder and prominent regional naturalist Daniel Smiley was an avid observer and recorder of the natural world around him. He methodically recorded observations on 3x5 index cards throughout his life and trained his associates and successors to do the same. This resulted in a unique, detailed record of the flora and fauna of the Shawangunk Ridge over many decades. Each index card contains information similar to a museum specimen label (i.e. date, location, observer’s name, taxonomy), and other pertinent information such as weather, behavior (for animals), phenological information, and historical context. Many cards also contain additional narrative notes.

Additional Metadata

Alternative Identifiers 1260b7e1-852a-4344-8299-3426ab4ffc19
https://ipt.gbif.us/resource?r=mohonk-index-card