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Gigapanning Parasitic Wasps

waspsDESCRIPTION: Parasitic wasps are an incredibly diverse group of insects. Ranging in size from 1mm to 30mm, these stingless wasps parasitize a broad array of plant and animal hosts. The NMNH possesses one of the world’s foremost collections of these wasps, built over the past 150 years of taxonomic research. Curating these wasps is time-consuming and challenging and one way we are seeking to overcome these impediments is to use new GigaPan technology. The Gigapan (http://gigapan.com) imaging system creates high-resolution, panoramic images of insect drawers. These drawer images are then posted online and annotated.  Images link to established database of types specimens such that a particular specimen may be located in the drawer in which it occurs by simple mouse click.  The Gigapan image also supports proof-of-concept cybertaxonomy projects involving taxon experts remotely curating the collection based on drawer images.

QUALIFICATIONS: Interest in Entomology. Interns will be trained in using the Gigapan rig, image annotation and upload, and linking to extant databases.

LEARNING OBJECTIVESInterns will learn about insects, specimen curation and Gigapan technologies.

TIMETABLE: Indefinite


Project Contact Name: Mike Gates

Phone: (202) 633-4554/4552

E-mail: michael.gates@ars.usda.gov