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Tide Bites: The FHL Marine Science Image Gallery: a New Resource for Students and Teachers at All Levels

Do you need a quality image of a sponge for your next invertebrate zoology lecture? Maybe one of your students needs an algal photo for a class report? Or, perhaps one of Friday Harbor's schoolteachers wants to show their students what a limpet looks like.

Well, look no further – FHL now has an online photo gallery (Figure 1) that will likely meet your needs. This growing gallery already contains over 2500 photos, and is organized by geographical area and by subject. For example, there is a large section that features organisms living in the Salish Sea, and another for photos of marine habitats along the Pacific coast.

In developing the gallery, we solicited images from FHL researchers with projects all over the world. They responded by contributing enough material to build galleries for the Pacific islands, Caribbean, Mediterranean, North Atlantic, and many more. We also added galleries for FHL activities, classes, and research in action, and we plan to add more photos covering FHL's long history.

Fig. 1: The index page of the FHL Marine Science Image Gallery, showing 5 of the 19 galleries available.

The FHL Marine Science Image Gallery was initiated in summer 2013 during the final year of the National Science Foundation’s Graduate Fellows in K-12 Education (GK-12) Program at the University of Washington, with assistance from GK-12 faculty, teachers, and students. This “Ocean And Coastal Interdisciplinary Science (OACIS GK-12)” Graduate Program was administered through the UW FHL, the Department of Biology, and the College of the Environment.

The project was led by Ken Sebens, Principal Investigator of the GK-12 grant, and Tim Dwyer, GK-12 teacher at the Spring Street International School (SSIS) and researcher at FHL. GK-12 graduate fellow Caroline Pew assisted with the project, as did FHL part-time staff Alex Spietz and Jessica Nordstrom, and SSIS high school student Max Kessler.

Fig. 2: An image from the "UW Friday Harbor Laboratories class" gallery, showing a Zoobot class at Botanical Beach on Vancouver Island.

During the summer of 2013 the image gallery development team combed through thousands of photos, chose the most appropriate to include from each set, and then cropped and modified each picture for optimum presentation. They also added information about every image, including the name of the photographer and the date and location, plus identification of the focal species in the photo where possible (Figure 2).

Over the past year and a half, we’ve added more images and verified the accuracy of supporting information. FHL's Senior Computer Specialist Alan Cairns designed the database format and arranged for permanent UW hosting and backup of the photographic data. There is still some work to be done identifying species and checking accuracy of labels, as well as in accessioning new photo collections into the gallery.

The galleries are updated regularly as new images are donated, and we encourage all FHL users to contribute. If you have good quality photos to share, with information on their content, we are interested in adding them to the database. Additionally, if you are perusing the gallery and happen to notice an error of identification or know of a new genus/species designation to replace an older name, please let us know so that we may make corrections.

Fig. 3: The site's search function allows for quick gathering of images for specific topics. Shown here are results for a Pycnopodia (Sunflower star) search.

The real strength of the marine science image gallery is its search function. Each photo is tagged with the focal species’ scientific and common names, broader taxonomic memberships, habitat type, photographer, and multiple levels of geographic location. For example, a search for “Pycnopodia” currently returns 12 quality images (Figure 3). We invite you to explore the gallery and make use of these images. We also welcome suggestions as to how we can improve this gallery for the future.

Use of the Gallery images: This marine science image gallery will be maintained by the UW Friday Harbor Laboratories as a resource for teachers and students at all levels and stages of their education. The images are provided by scientists at FHL, and may be used free of charge for all non-profit purposes including lectures, reports, etc. Please cite the FHL marine science gallery website and the photographer for any use of a photo in your presentations and reports. Any for-profit use or publication of these images is prohibited without prior consent of the photographer.

The images in the gallery are in medium-resolution format, but many exist as much higher resolution images available from the photographer. If you wish to obtain a copy of a higher-resolution image, you can contact the photographer directly where contact information is provided or get in touch with FHL (sebens@uw.edu) and we will forward the request.

The web address for the FHL Image Gallery is depts.washington.edu/fhl/photogallery.html or you can click any of the links in the paragraphs above.

Last modified onFriday, 11 October 2019 15:30

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