Armchair Botanist

The BRIT Armchair Botanist program is a collaboration among botanists, museum professionals, students, biodiversity informaticians, and you! 

The scientific specimens curated by BRIT are carefully stored in museum cabinets in a climate-controlled facility, making them difficult to access. It is the goal of this program to make all our specimens available online (images and data) to further research and education. A digitized specimen is a tool that allows access to scientific vouchers and observations that span hundreds of years – an essential component to biological research, as well as any research that deals with past environmental change and future models.

This program includes activities such as presentations, transcription blitzes, and online community science activities to help liberate the scientific specimens that are held in public trust by the Botanical Research Institute of Texas.

Scheduled Activities

May 26th, 2022: #TranscriptionThursday CANCELLED. If you have any questions about our projects, please email

 Please pre-watch the training video here (until min. 25 after which the workflow has been adjusted):

June 2nd, 2022: #TranscriptionThursday at 12pm (central time) via Zoom. Link to be posted prior to the event. 

June 9th, 2022: No meeting this week.

Ongoing Activities

Notes From Nature: This is an online community science platform that allows anyone to view scientific specimen images online, then (guided by prompts) transcribe information from their labels. Scientific specimens span hundreds of years, and many of our labels cannot accurately be read by computer technologies such as optical character recognition –we need you! 

BRIT is one of many institutions around the world that have created “expeditions” in Notes from Nature, and we hope you explore them all (plants, bugs, butterflies, labs). If you would like to help BRIT out by exploring our expeditions, view this BRIT guide to Notes from Nature, or look for any expedition with “BRIT”, “VDB”, “Vanderbilt”, or “NLU” in its title.

Current Expeditions:

Past Activities

The Armchair Botanist zoom sessions have been running weekly since April, 2020, with a few exceptions. Please check back on this page for zoom invitations to future events. 

2022: April #TranscriptionThursday via Zoom (Apr. 7th WeDigBio 2022 with special fern guest, Dr. Alejandra Vasco; 14, 21, 28)

2022: March #TranscriptionThursday via Zoom (Mar. 3, 10 17, 24, 31)

2022: February #TranscriptionThursday via Zoom (Feb. 10, 17, 24)

2022: January #TranscriptionWednesday via Zoom (Jan. 12, 20, 27)

2021: December #TranscriptionWednesday via Zoom (Dec. 1, 8, 15)

2021: November #TranscriptionWednesday via Zoom (Nov. 3, 17)

2021: October #TranscriptionWednesday via Zoom (Oct. 6, 20, 27) & WeDigBio event via Zoom (Oct. 14)

2021: September #TranscriptionWednesday via Zoom (Sept.1:Special guest, Rachel Carmickle, talked about pitcher plants and bogs in Texas, Sept. 8, 15, 23, 29)

2021: August  #TranscriptionWednesday via Zoom (Aug. 4, 11, 18)

2021: July #TranscriptionWednesday via Zoom (Jul. 7, 14, 21)

2021: June #TranscriptionWednesday via Zoom (June 2, 9, 16, 23, 30)

2021: May #TranscriptionWednesday via Zoom (May 5, 12, 19, 26)

2021: April WeDigBio events via Zoom (Apr. 7-11) & #TranscriptionWednesday via Zoom (Apr. 14, 21, 28)

2021: March #TranscriptionWednesday via Zoom (Mar. 3, 17, 24, 31)

2021: February #TranscriptionWednesday via Zoom (Feb. 3, 10, 17, 24)

2021: January #TranscriptionThursday via Zoom (Jan. 7, 14, 21)  & #TranscriptionWednesday via Zoom (Jan. 27)

2020: December #TranscriptionThursday via Zoom (Dec. 3, 10, 17)

2020: November #TranscriptionThursday via Zoom (Nov. 5, 12, 19) 

2020: October #TranscriptionThursday via Zoom (Oct. 1, 15, 22, 29); 

2020: October 14: Private (virtual) Armchair Botanist event for registrants of the 2020 Texas Master Naturalist Virtual Annual Meeting

2020: October 15: WeDigBio Online Transcription Blitz from 1-4pm (central time) via Zoom. Learn more about the effort: 

2020: September #TranscriptionThursday via Zoom (Sep. 3, 10, 17, 24) 

2020: August #TranscriptionThursday via Zoom (Aug. 6, 13, 20, 27) 

2020: July #TranscriptionThursday via Zoom (Jul. 2, 9, 16, 23, 30) 

2020: June #TranscriptionThursday via Zoom (Jun. 4, 11, 18, 25) 

2020: May #TranscriptionThursday via Zoom (May 14, 21, 28)

2020: May 7: #TranscriptionThursday with guest host: BRIT Fern Curator Dr. Alejandra Vasco

2020: April #TranscriptionThursday via Zoom (Apr. 23, 30)

2020: April 16-20: WeDigBio Lite Online-only Transcription Blitz using the Notes From Nature platform (Zoom interaction with BRIT staff on Fri., Apr. 17 at 4pm CDT, and Sat., Apr. 18 at 11am CDT., 28

Happy Botanizing!



Point of Contact

Tiana Franklin Rehman

Herbarium Collections Manager

Phone: (817) 546-1845


Ways to Engage

BRIT Facebook

BRIT Twitter

NotesfromNature talk: @jbest@trehman, and @abordelon