A number of training workshops for biodiversity data management are offered during the year and often these workshops are presented in conjunction with the main forum. These workshops provide professional skills development.
Training workshops offered during the 2019 BIMF-FBIP Forum
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SANBI-GBIF Data Management/Fitness for use of data
Presenters: Bianca Petersen (Conquest Analytics and Training) and SANBI team including Fhatani Ranwashe and Mahlatse Kgatla
The workshop looked at developing and improving data management skills within the community. Topics and software covered included data organisation; OpenRefine was used for data cleaning; and RStudio (Integrated Development Environment for R) was used for data analysis and visualisation.
FBIP Proposal Writing Workshop
Presenter: Michelle Hamer (SANBI)
This workshop used a hands-on approach to illustrate the attributes of successful and unsuccessful FBIP proposals so that participants could gain an understanding of the key requirements for both large and small project proposals and the evaluation process.
BOLD Training Workshop
Presenter: Michelle Van Der Bank & Ronny Kabongo (Uiniversity of Johannesburg)
Barcode of Life Database – using BOLD for DNA barcode data analysis and identification of material. This workshop illustrated some of the key functionalities of the Barcode of Life Database (BOLD).
Training workshops offered during the 2018 BIMF-FBIP Forum
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Introduction to iNaturalist
Facilitator: Tony Rebelo (SANBI)
This workshop provided an introduction to the philosophy behind iNaturalist: how it is designed and works. The participants explored the main components: Observations, Species (taxa), Places, Projects, Guides and People. They looked at what makes an observation, the dictionary and links and extracting and showcasing data. The latter was interspersed with practical coursework: uploading observations; editing observations (including bulk edits); customising your interface – using your dashboard and managing your account. The workshop also explored creating places and species lists; Creating Projects and managing data; Creating Guides and ID apps; Reviewing IDs and contributing identifications.
For more see the South Africa iNaturalist Facebook page
Postgraduate Student Forum
Facilitator: Leigh Richards (Durban Natural Science Museum)
Career development for taxonomists
- Typical skills that are necessary to build a career in taxonomy (Presenter: Tshifhiwa Mandiwana-Neudani)
- Science communication workshop (Presenters: Fortunate Phaka & Thula Zee Cube)
- TV production versus scientific publishing
- The ever-growing online platform
- Science communication – do’s and don’ts for TV, print, radio and online media
Camera trap data management workshop
Facilitator: Rob Slotow (University of KwaZulu-Natal)
Presentations, discussion, and strategy development
- Camera trap data management workshop: input on systems being used for camera trap data management
- Camera trap data standards – existing documentation review and agreement on standards
- Principles for a national camera trap data management system
- Development of plan for establishing a camera trap data management system
Barcode of Life Database
Presenter: Evgeny Zakharov (Associate Director, Genomics, Center for Biodiversity genomics, University of Guelph, Canada)
Using BOLD for DNA barcode data analysis and identification of material. The workshop illustrated some of the key functionalities of the Barcode of Life Database (BOLD)
SANBI–GBIF Georeferencing Training
Presenters: Fhatani Ranwashe (SANBI), Burgert Muller (National Museum, Bloemfontein), Sherwyn Mack (Eastern Cape Parks and Tourism Agency) & Albe Bosman (Iziko Museums)
SANBI–GBIF hosted a georeferencing training event, to build skills in improving data quality. New approaches in georeferencing skills were presented.
Camera trap data management
Presenter: Marco Willi (University of Minnesota), Yvette Ehlers-Smith & Rob Slotow (University of KwaZulu-Natal)
Context: The use of existing systems for storing and working with camera traps data – A large number of projects in South Africa are currently generating camera trap data. A national system for archiving and sharing the data generated from these projects will ensure that a national resource can be developed for future use in research and decision-making.
Training workshops offered during the 2017 BIMF-FBIP Forum
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A number of training sessions for biodiversity data management and related topics were offered during the 2017 joint Forum:
Postgraduate Student Forum
Facilitated by Leigh Richards (Durban Museum). The session included:
1. Presentations and discussions:
- Collection permits (Karin Behr, SANBI Deputy Director: Permits)
- Science communication (Dane McDonald, FBIP)
2. Speed presentations by students to showcase their research projects and share experiences
3. Other activities such as the election of a representative body for the FBIP Postgraduate Student Association, planning of future activities.
Natural Science Collections Facility (NSCF) Workshop
Facilitated by Michelle Hamer (FBIP, NSCF, SANBI). This was an ‘invitation only’ Data Working Group workshop for the NSCF.
FBIP proposal development and evaluation
Presenters: Michelle Hamer & Lita Pauw (SANBI)
The number of proposals submitted to the FBIP for funding is steadily increasing, meaning that the awarding of grants are becoming more competitive. At the same time the funding agency is requiring that the investment into the FBIP results in deliverables that make a real contribution to decision-making or that unlock economic opportunities. The workshop used a hands-on approach to illustrate the attributes of successful and unsuccessful proposals so that participants could gain an understanding of the key requirements for both large and small project proposals and the evaluation process.
Topics covered in the training:
- Aligning with the FBIP requirments for outputs/themes
- Identifying needs for outputs and their impacts
- Feasibility and planning
- Proposal evaluation
SANBI-GBIF Georeferencing Training
SANBI-GBIF hosted a Georeferencing training event to build skills in improving data quality. The training was presented by SANBI team member Fhatani Ranwashe, and was co-hosted by Albe Bosman (Iziko Museums), Burgert Muller (National Museum of Bloemfontein) and Sherwyn Mack (Eastern Cape Parks and Tourism Agency). Our trainers are committed to developing the community of practice in georeferencing skills in the country, after learning from John Wieczorek and his team of experts in previous SANBI-GBIF training offered.
Topics to be covered in training:
- Introduction to georeferencing
- Georeferencing tools
- Uncertainty in georeferencing
- Online resources overview
- Good and bad localities
- The Georeferencing calculator
- Geolocate and Specify
Training workshops offered during the 2016 BIMF-FBIP Forum
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A number of training sessions for biodiversity data management were offered during the 2016 joint Forum:
Introduction to using Specify
Facilitated by Mr. Willem Coetzer (SAIAB) and Ms Rukaya Johaadien (SANBI). The training provided an overview of Specify and what it can be used for in terms of taxonomic data, specimen data and managing collections.
Data quality control and improvement methods
Facilitated by Ms. Hannelie Snyman (SANBI), Mr. Alpheus Mothapo (SANBI) and Ms. Michelle Smith. A number of sources of data quality problems in specimen/occurrence data were discussed during this training session including.
Submitting data to BOLD
Facilitated by Prof Michelle van der Bank and Mr Ronny Kabongo (African Center for DNA Barcoding, University of Johannesburg). The training covered some of the minimum requirements in terms of specimen data and sequence data during this session.
Camera trap data
Facilitated by Ms. Zoe Woodgate (University of Cape Town). The training focussed on how to capture camera trap data into a database; how to perform analyses with camera trap data; and the challenges of working with camera trap data.
Geo-referencing training workshop
On the fourth day SANBI-GBIF hosted a Georeferencing training event to build skills in improving data quality. The training was facilitated by SANBI team members Fhatani Ranwashe and Mutsinda Ramavhunga and co-hosted by Albe Bosman (Iziko Museums), Burgert Muller (National Museum of Bloemfontein) and Sherwyn Mack (Eastern Cape Parks and Tourism Agency).
Specify Training workshop
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The first SPECIFY training workshop was held at SANBI, Pretoria Botanical Gardens from 4-7 October 2016. The workshop, organised and funded through the FBIP, was run by Mr Willem Coetzer from the South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity (SAIAB). On the first three days the training was aimed at people who have no or little experience in using Specify and on the fourth day, there were presentations and discussions on the existing status of databases in the different institutions represented and the challenges to migrating to common software.