A big thank you to everyone who took part in the Plant Club BioBlitz! Over two weeks we made 725 observations of 313 species across the UK. We had observations from car parks in Portsmouth, pavements in Leeds and London, people’s gardens, and even clifftops in Cornwall and the Outer Hebrides. You can view all our observations on iNaturalist.Continue reading “Thanks for taking part in the Plant Club BioBlitz! | Citizen Science”
With the platform and CSS approach covered in Part 1 (Link), I’ll go into detail about some of the key technical features and functionality we built out for the site (www.nhm.ac.uk/wpy). We’ll cover the core image gallery solution with it’s API filtering and Flickr style image layout. Then jump into the lazy loading and next gen image format topics, before finally covering the page routing architecture of this API-driven site.Continue reading “Recreating Wildlife Photographer of the Year online – part 2 – key site features”
Sometimes plants can be easy to miss. But when we take time to look a little closer, we see how exciting and important they really are!
As part of the Museum’s Family Festival, the Citizen Science Team invite you to join the Plant Club virtual BioBlitz, to take a closer look at plants and discover which grow near you. Look closely at the shapes and textures of leaves and flowers and use the resources on our BioBlitz webpage to help you to tell different plants apart.Continue reading “Discover plants near you with the Plant Club BioBlitz!”
I’ve been involved with the Wildlife Photographer of the Year brand for as long as I’ve been at the Natural History Museum, which let’s just say is a long time. I’m still very proud and privileged to work on such important and inspirational content.
This series of posts is about the recent re-platform of our ageing WPY microsite. I’ll start by setting the scene for how the project came about and then dive into some of the technical decisions. Later on I’ll talk about some of the site’s key features and what we’ve learnt with the tech and working towards a more modern API-driven web architecture. It’s been great having something so rewarding to work and focus on during these strange and difficult times in lock-down.Continue reading “Recreating Wildlife Photographer of the Year online – part 1 – Introduction and technical approach”
This pre-lockdown publication from the Micropaleontology team at the Museum has received a lot of press and social media attention. CT scans of the calcareous shells of microscopic plankton called Foraminifera have shown that modern examples can be considerably thinner than their equivalents recovered by the ground breaking Challenger Expedition of the 1870s. We argue this thinning is due to increased levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and subsequently more acidic oceans.
Read on to find out about the methods used and why this discovery is so significant for the future of our oceans and planet.
The private herbarium of the eminent eighteenth-century naturalist and explorer Sir Joseph Banks became one of the founding collections of the Natural History Museum’s herbarium following his death 200 years ago this year, in 1820.
The legacy of Banks’s voyages overseas – and particularly the Endeavour voyage with James Cook – has been well documented. This post, by Fred Rumsey, looks at the British specimens Banks collected, or was gifted, and considers the significance of those collections today.
I joined the NHM two years ago, passionate about the natural world and all its diversity, yet fearful for its future as a result of the catastrophic loss of species and their habitats due to human action. And the past two years have not been a disappointment. I have found a passionate community at the NHM highly committed to protecting and promoting diversity in nature – it’s at the heart of our vision of a world where people and planet thrive.
Yet, the vastly increased awareness raised through the Black Lives Matter movement following the brutal murder of George Floyd has highlighted the stark inequalities across our society. It’s been a wake-up call that we haven’t been focussed enough on diversity for people at our Museum. If we are truly ‘for people and planet’ then we need to be.
And that this has happened when we are in the midst of a global pandemic which is widening further the inequality gap, drives home the point even more starkly.
Museums are places for society to come together, reflect, debate and discuss, but they can only be so if they are inclusive of the society within which they sit. We have a lot of work to do in diversifying our workforce, audiences, and the way we understand and talk about our collection until that is true.Continue reading “What we are doing to tackle racism and promote diversity and inclusion”
A guest blog by Pete Wing
We are opening up the Museum’s Bee type collection to the world by digitising, geo referencing and releasing the specimens online. Continue reading “Creating a buzz around the world| Digital Collections Programme”
In a recent blog post we looked at the contribution of the eminent eighteenth-century naturalist and explorer Sir Joseph Banks to the herbarium at the Natural History Museum. Banks died in 1820 – 200 years ago this year – at the age of 77. His private herbarium subsequently became one of the founding collections of the Natural History Museum’s General Herbarium of over 5 million specimens.
As a young man, Joseph Banks was a traveller. For seven years, from the age of 23, his travels took him across the globe, to all continents except Antarctica, and they established his reputation as a leading natural historian of the day. Collecting specimens was at the very core of what he was doing during those voyages undertaken during the late 1760s and early 1770s. Botanical specimens that he collected are today in the herbarium at the Natural History Museum .
In this post, we look at Banks’s botanizing during the voyages he made overseas – to Newfoundland and Labrador in 1766, on James Cook’s first Circumnavigation from 1768–71 and to Iceland in 1772 – and we consider the scientific significance today of the collections that he made.
Biodiversity loss is low on the public agenda, but the pandemic could help us reassess our relationship with the natural world, writes Clare Matterson, the Museum’s Director of Engagement.
A newfound appreciation for weeds in the cracks of city pavements, enjoying melodious birdsong in place of the booming traffic and marvelling at quiet clear blue skies have become daily lockdown news.
Amidst the tragedy of Covid-19, nature has thrived and as we have slowed down in lockdown its variety has caught our eye.
Today is International Day For Biological Diversity, created by the United Nations 27 years ago to raise awareness of biodiversity issues and celebrate that variety.
Since then scientists have warned us about the catastrophic loss of species and their habitat because of our actions.
We need that variety of life on earth for food, medicines and clean water, never mind a spiritual boost in tough times.