Armchair Botanist

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

The scientific specimens curated by the BRIT Philecology Herbarium 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 FWBG | BRIT.

Scheduled Activities

August 11th, 2022No meeting this week due to the herbarium hosting the TORCH conference at FWBG|BRIT.  

August 18th, 2022: #TranscriptionThursday at 12pm via Zoom. Link to be posted prior to the event.

Project Instructions

Below is a brief step-by-step introduction to our current project in the Notes from Nature platform.

Feel free to email us with questions, and stay tuned for a recorded training session to be posted below.

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! 

The BRIT Philecology Herbarium 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 our collections 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: August: #TranscriptionThursday (Aug. 4)

2022: July: NotesfromNature Training (July 5, 8) #TranscriptionThursday (July 7, 28); Quercus tardifolia discussion (July 21)

2022: June #TranscriptionThursday via Zoom (June 2, Scotland presentation: 16. 23, 30)

2022: May #TranscriptionThursday via Zoom (May 5, 12, 19)

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

Director of the Herbarium & Collections Manager

Phone: (817) 546-1845


Ways to Engage

BRIT Facebook

BRIT Twitter

NotesfromNature talk: @jbest@trehman, and @abordelon