Scientific research doesn’t have to be limited to a laboratory or a small team of scientists; it can be a social discovery.
For its annual Distinguished Guest Speaker Series the California State University, Dominguez Hills College of Natural and Behavioral Sciences welcomes Los Angeles County Natural History Museum (NHM) researcher Dr. Jann Vendetti to discuss how she is utilizing social media and citizen-scientists in her work as a malacologist (malacology is the study of mollusks).
The lunch-time lecture will take place Thursday, February 25 from 11:30 to 1:30 p.m. in the Loker Student Union Ballroom on campus. The event is free and open to the public; lunch will be served.
Vendetti is the Twila Bratcher Chair in Malacological Research in NHM’s Malacology Department. One of her major projects in that role involves cataloging the evolutionary biodiversity of L.A. County’s land-based snails, slugs and other mollusks. To accomplish that task, she and the museum are engaging residents to be a part of their team. Through SLIME (Snails and Slugs Living in Metropolitan Environments), a new project Vendetti oversees, residents can contribute by sending in specimens or simply posting pictures of them on social media sites like Instagram. This project is just one of the many ways the Internet and social media are expanding opportunities for scientists to engage amateur naturalists in the collection of valuable data, as well as raise awareness of their work.
She is also involved in an ambitious project to digitize the museum’s vast catalog of mollusk fossils, thereby making the information available to a wider audience, which was covered by KPCC 89.3. CSUDH history student Cambria Rodriguez is among the staff and interns helping with the digitization the collection, which is housed in a warehouse in Carson.
For more information about the speaker series or to RSVP, contact the CSUDH College of Natural and Behavioral Sciences at (310) 243-2547 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Loker Student Union is on the campus of California State University, Dominguez Hills, 1000 E. Victoria St. in Carson, Calif. Parking in campus lots is $6 payable at kiosks located in each lot. A map of campus is available at here.