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Digitizer Interviews!

posted Jul 19, 2012, 11:54 AM by Jeremy Frank   [ updated Jul 22, 2012, 8:56 AM by Katja Seltmann ]
To celebrate the milestone of the first batch of plant bugs being digitized, here's a closer look at the digitizers who made it possible and continue to work hard on the second batch!
 
Juan Pablo and Nat
 Juan Pablo (foreground) and Nat (background)

              Juan Pablo

A little bit about yourself:

“I’m from Guatemala, originally. I really like working here at the museum because I feel this is one of those jobs where you’re building something, creating something. Most of the jobs I see out there on the street are hurting the world, they’re hurting us as a species, and I think this is one of the ones which is doing the opposite, it’s helping.”

Favorite part of working on the project:

“I have to be honest, it’s kinda selfish but it was always a dream of mine to work in the museum.”

Chantal Marie

A little bit about yourself:

“I’m a digitizer. Being that there’s so many people working on this project from other museums as well, there’s a lot of going back over things and making sure everything jives. I’ve been doing a bit of that sort of overseeing in addition to the bug cataloging. I think it’s a project where at first, when people hear about it they say “What usefulness does that have?”, but once you actually explain we’re cataloging the bugs and the parasites and the plants, they realize insect study is helpful. There are a lot of questions people will be able to ask with our data.”

Favorite part of working on the project:

“I like learning new things. Learning the biology, that’s pretty cool. And the museum itself, which is frankly my favorite place in New York. Never thought I’d actually get to work here. And this is kinda silly, I guess, but I really like when tourists see my tag and ask for directions or say “I really enjoyed your museum!"
                Signe (left) and Elaine (right)


Signe

A little bit about yourself:

“I’m currently working on a master’s degree in Anthropology. I have a BA in archeology. Before I was working on this project in Invertebrate Zoology, I started off volunteering at the museum in collections at Paleontology, and as an intern in the fossil prep lab. I’ve always wanted to work in the Natural History
Museum.”

Favorite part of working on the project:

“I really like working with collections, and I think that research that comes out of collections is a really important thing. We’re making all this data available for people all around the world to study, and I’m really happy to be a part of that."

Nat

A little bit about yourself:

“I’m one of the databasers here. I’ve been here since March. Katja and I are both musicians, so that’s how I ended up finding out about the project.”

Favorite part of working on the project:

“I’m really interested in information mining, both creative and logistical things that can be done with large amounts of digital information. It just fascinates me that once this data is entered, on a theoretical level, a practical level, a policy level, what can come out of this information."

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