GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - Dr. Julie Allen is a biologist at the Florida Museum of Natural History. She works with some of the 40 million specimens and objects housed at the museum.
There is more than 3 billion animal and plant remains in collections worldwide. They provide an important network of information for researchers, but data from older specimens can't be accessed easily for research because the identifying tags are written by hand.
The National Science Foundation has started an initiative to take photos of labels so they can be typed and transferred onto computers. However, biologists need the information much more quickly than it's becoming available which was the inspiration behind Dr. Allen's latest project, Jambun Studios.
Jambun Studios is a Gainesville startup company. Their goal is to create a video game with the objective of coding information for scientists. Local game developers are collaborating with the company to make a game that's fun to play, and effective at solving a major research hurdle.
While this game is still in development, there are other ways to volunteer. If you're interested in seeing and transcribing information from museum collections around the globe, you can do so on your own computer. Follow the link to "Notes from Nature": https://www.notesfromnature.org/