by Jamie Dorst, REU, Carnegie Mellon
Hi! My name is Jamie Dorst, and I’m a new Research Assistant on the Learning to See, Seeing to Learn project. Most of my responsibilities so far have been content related, such as creating an updated landing page, annotating illustrations, and creating an expansive Trichoptera info sheet for the family level training led by Stroud Research Center last November. I worked with Tara to put together a handout for participants showcasing all the caddisflies in our collection. I’ve really enjoyed my time on the team so far!
My latest project has been to create an interactive digital dichotomous key, which has been really interesting. Analog keys are very commonly used, but we felt that a key utilizing our resources could be extremely useful. We wanted to make a key that was easy to navigate, and incorporated our images and information. I started by laying a key out based on the Stroud key, placed our images into it, and then created clickable pop ups that people can use to help move through the key. With this tool, people can identify their insects, and simultaneously learn about the characteristics they have. It’s been super interesting for me to work on this and learn about how to make it really well designed. The next step is to create an interaction for the actual website, which I’ll be working on soon.
In the meantime, here's a preview of drafts of a few of the images!
Technical Report Released - Aquatic Macroinvertebrate Identification Trainings for Volunteers: Results of a National Materials and Practices Inventory Survey
by Jessica Roberts, postdoctoral researcher, HCII
In the fall of 2016 we launched a survey to citizen science water quality trainers throughout the country. We wanted to get a better sense of the state-of-the-field: What do trainings look like? Who are the trainers, and who are the volunteers? What materials and resources do they use?
The primary goal of this survey was to provide information about potential users and their needs as we began the redesign efforts expanding macroinvertebrates.org to the full 150-specimen collection (to be released early in 2019!). In the process, we gained valuable insight about the large community of educators and organizations engaged in this work, which we have consolidated into a technical report.
This report, published through CMU, presents data on six key areas of focus:
You can access the report through the Carnegie Mellon School of Computer Science at this link.
Special thanks to all the team members who contributed to this project, particularly our partners at Stroud Water Research Center, former postdoc Lauren Allen, and undergraduate research assistants Grace Guo and Aiqi Cui.
An interdisciplinary team