Integrative Paleobotany Portal

The community gateway to fossil plant research and education


PBot Spring 2021 Workshop

You are invited to register for the Integrative Paleobotany Portal (PBot) Spring 2021 Workshop April 16 & 17! Each day will run from 10am to 3pm CST, with included breaks. Please follow the link below to complete the registration form. Registration is FREE and a description of the workshop goals and agenda are included below.

Follow this link to register: PBot Registration

Registration Deadline: March 31, 2021.

Hope to see you there!

Kind regards, PBot Development Team


Overview: The PBot Spring 2021 workshop is a two-day workshop intended to familiarize the paleobotanical community with the current status and intent of this upcoming resource for fossil plant research, outreach, and education. We are in the first year of our three-year development plan, and we are very interested in working with the broader paleobotany community throughout the design phase to build this resource to fit a wide range of uses. While at this stage we will not be showing the eventual user interface, we would like to solicit feedback on PBot’s major elements and intended user workflow, as well as gather community opinions regarding several technical elements (e.g., privacy levels and user registration levels). Feedback from our initial workshop at the MPC 2020 and our recent survey have already aided greatly in this process, and we hope to continue this open dialog and development concept.

Feel free to attend either or both days! Day 1 is for information exchange and learning, and Day 2 will be the “work day” for character schemas. More detailed information for each day’s agenda is below:

Day 1 of the workshop is intended to familiarize you with the major components and functionality of the PBot portal, as well as the major existing databases that it will be designed to function with (e.g., The Paleobiology Database and iDigBio). We will walk through the database features, have break-out groups to solicit feedback and discuss specific aspects of the database, as well as some breaks and social activities.

Day 2 will consist of focus groups to draft character schemas primarily for different types of foliage, including general morphological and anatomical characters. The basis for these schemas will be explained fully in day 1, however a short explanation here may be helpful. The PBot database is centered around the entry of Operational Taxonomic Units (Linnaean or morphotaxa) based on descriptive characters. Sets of descriptive characters (and their possible states) are referred to as character schemas. At this stage, we are inviting you to contribute your expertise to help design the baseline schemas that will be implemented in the initial launch of the database! The products of this workshop’s focus groups will be further refined and tested over the remainder of the database development period. We should note that even after the launch of the database, you will be able add your own descriptive schemas and characters to the database - this flexibility and evolvability is a fundamental aspect of PBot. However, by pre-loading the database with baseline schemas, we aim to best accommodate and facilitate research immediately and reduce the burden on researchers to enter these from scratch.

The list of specific possible break-out sessions, with aims for each, is provided in the registration survey. If you select to attend Day 2 you will be able to rank the sessions that you would like to attend.

*A full agenda for each day, including session assignments, will be provided closer to the workshop.

email: PBotPortal@gmail.com

twitter: @PBotPortal