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Using and contributing to avian collections NAOC workshop

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If you are attending the NAOC this August in Vancouver, the following free workshop may be of interest.

It is being held at the UBC Beaty Biodiversity Museum on August 14th from 1-5 pm.

email: ildiko@zoology.ubc.ca to reserve a seat.



Using and contributing to avian collections


Convenor: Ildiko Szabo, Cowan Vertebrate Collection, Beaty Biodiversity Museum, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada; ildiko@zoology.ubc.ca

This free workshop explains and promotes the use of avian collections, as well as demonstrating how to prepare specimens and DNA vouchers. The first part focuses on using avian collection and how the electronic age is changing how avian specimen information is being archived and retrieved.


What are avian collections good for

- Mark Robbins, Kansas University Biodiversity institute


It's a match! The importance of avian reference collections for Avian Forensic Studies

  • Chris Milensky, Smithsonian
  • Pepper Trail, US Fish & Wildlife Service Forensics Laboratory

Whole Specimen Package I: New ideas about specimen preparation to maximize specimen utility in the 21st century

- Kim Bostwick, Cornell Lab of Ornithology

Whole Specimen Package II: The role of natural history media in modern avian collections

- Edwin Scholes III, Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds


Cell phone access: avian prep manual and other resources are always with you

  • Ildiko Szabo, Beaty Biodiversity Museum, UBC
  • John Weiczorek, Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, UC-Berkeley

Coffee break


Part 2

A panel will prepare a variety of avian specimens demonstrating different techniques and how different taxa are prepared. Due to the informal nature of this session, discussion will be possible on a wide varied of topics including field vs. lab preparations, data and DNA collection.


Principle Preparators:

  • Chris Milensky, Smithsonian
  • Mark Robbins, Kansas University Biodiversity institute

Cameo demonstrations:

  • Kim Bostwick, Cornell Lab of Ornithology (bird pickles)
  • Jonas Lai, American Museum of Natural History (salting skins & washing)
  • Stella Ramey (wire decoy mounts)
  • Ildiko Szabo, Beaty Biodiversity Museum, UBC (bird parts & spread wings)

Please note: All the frozen birds used in this workshop were salvaged. Since the panel will be using whole dead birds, some of the imagery may be considered graphic.

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