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Programme

Reearch

The theme of SPNHC 2014 is ‘Historic Collections: A Resource for the Future’

We are currently developing an exciting programme. There will be two days of workshops at the beginning and end of the week. On the second day of the conference there will be a choice of fieldtrips including a visit the National Botanical Gardens and an excursion to look at the geology of the South Wales coast. The Millennium Centre in Cardiff Bay will be the venue for the two days of technical sessions, trade fair, posters and Democamp. There will also be an opportunities during the conference to tour the collections at Amgueddfa Cymru- National Museum Wales.

Sunday 22nd June 2014 — Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales

Workshop 1: Legal aspects of shipping preserved animals and tissues

This will be a very full day’s workshop covering issues such as the current legal framework around shipping specimens, the introduction of the Access Benefit Sharing (ABS) / Nagoya Protocol and the IATA regulations. More information is here. A beer in a local pub will follow!

Workshop 2: NEW Bruker workshop - National Museum Wales (10:00am – 4:00pm)

The session will include demonstrations of equipment and advising on analytical techniques such as X-Ray fluorescence, (XRF): X-Ray diffraction (XRD); and FTIR / Raman. It will offer an introduction into basic concepts of the techniques, museum applications, practical demonstration and an opportunity to sample and analyse your own material.

If you would like to attend, please email Jen Gallichan who is co-ordinating conference registration - Jennifer.Gallichan@museumwales.ac.uk

Monday 23rd June 2014 — Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales

Fieldtrips

1. Diamonds, Diggers and Distilleries

Description: Geo heritage trail, working coal open cast site and a whiskey distillery.
Place: Cwm Gwrelych, Glyn Neath; Ffos Y Fran; and Penderyn. (Around 45 mins driving from Cardiff)

An innovative geo-conservation initiative in the South Wales coalfield. This trip will involve a visit to the Cwm Gwrelych Geo Heritage Walk and the Ffos y Fran open cast site, stopping off at the Penderyn Whisky distillery on the way! Expect to walk on uneven terrain, and be prepared for bad weather with suitable clothing and footwear.

2. Grassland Conservation and DNA bar-coding

Description: National Botanic Garden of Wales and Waun Las National Nature Reserve.
Place: National Botanic Gardens. (Around 1hr from Cardiff).

A visit to the Gardens and to look at their work on Grassland Conservation and DNA bar-coding. The Waun las National Nature Reserve has been set up to show the link between biodiversity and traditional agricultural practices. The DNA bar-coding project on the Welsh Flora collected its first specimens from the reserve – several hundred different samples were found. This was the beginning of the project that made Wales the first nation in the world to DNA barcode its entire native flowering plants species.

3. Caught between a Celtic tribe and a hard place

Description: Ordovician-Silurian fossils in beautiful Mid Wales and the Sedgwick-Murchison controversy.
Place: Llandovery. (Around 1hr 30mins from Cardiff).

The Ordovician and Silurian series of rocks are named after tribes which occurred in Wales during Roman times. These rocks evoke legendary stories of scientific controversies between eminent great geologists (Murchison and Sedgwick), an explosion of biodiversity and one of the largest extinction events in Earth history. Expect to walk on uneven terrain, and be prepared for bad weather with suitable clothing and footwear.

4. Orchids, adders and crested newts

Description: Parc Slip Nature Reserve developed on a former open cast site.
Place: Parc Slip Nature Reserve. (About 30mins from Cardiff)

Orchids, adders and crested newts - exploring the natural history of this former open cast site. The 247 acre Parc Slip Wildlife Trust Nature Reserve with its Visitor Centre has a variety of different habitat types supporting many different species. There are accessible paths on the Nature Reserve for wheelchairs, walking sticks and for those with sight problems.

5. Glamorgan Heritage Coast

Description: Glamorgan Heritage Coast. Spectacular Jurassic sea cliffs and fossils. Geological Curators Group trip.
Place: Ogmore, Southerndown. (Around 30 minutes from Cardiff).

Exploring the geology and associated natural history of the Glamorgan Heritage Coast. This superb coastline extends from the Cardiff Bay area westwards. Expect to walk on uneven terrain, and be prepared for bad weather with suitable clothing and footwear.

6. Big Pit

Description: Big Pit is one of Britain's leading mining museums.
Place: Blaenavon. (Around 1 hour from Cardiff).

Locate in the Blaenafon World Heritage site this will be a visit to the museum's very own coal mine. The tour includes a trip down the working pithead and into the underground coal workings, followed by a visit to the associated nature trail around the former industrial tips.

7. For those wishing for something more relaxed there will be options to explore the City via a walking or bus tour.

Disclaimer: Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales disclaims liability of any kind for injury, illness, theft, or damage of personal property of any person as a result of participation in a field trip. Whilst every reasonable effort is made to provide safe conditions for these activities neither Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales nor the field trip coordinator nor the trip leader assume any responsibility for a participant’s safety. Persons participating in field trips do so at their own risk.

Tuesday 24th June 2014 — Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales

Reardon Smith Theatre
Reardon Smith Lecture Theatre

Morning: Inaugural Session

The talks programme will launch with the inaugural session. This will be held at Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales in our large lecture theatre, the Reardon Smith.

Afternoon: Open SPNHC Committee Meetings

Following this will be an afternoon for the committee meetings. These have been moved into the main part of the programme to provide an opportunity to open up these meetings to the SPNHC membership. For those not wishing to attend the open committee meetings there will be an opportunity to explore the museum or city, or meet up with the staff of the Natural Sciences department.

NEW Bruker workshop - National Museum Wales (2:00pm – 5:00pm)

The session will include demonstrations of equipment and advising on analytical techniques such as X-Ray fluorescence, (XRF): X-Ray diffraction (XRD); and FTIR / Raman. It will offer an introduction into basic concepts of the techniques, museum applications, practical demonstration and an opportunity to sample and analyse your own material.

If you would like to attend, please email Jen Gallichan who is co-ordinating conference registration - Jennifer.Gallichan@museumwales.ac.uk.

Evening: Newbies Introduction and Icebreaker

In the evening will be the traditional Icebreaker event to be held in the fine main hall of the National Museum Wales. The Icebreaker will initially open for the ‘newbies’ so they get a chance to meet the committee and conference team members, before opening to the whole conference.

Wednesday 25th June 2014 — Millennium Centre Cardiff Bay

Daytime

The conference moves to the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff Bay for the first of two days of talks, democamp, posters and the trade show.

Sessions over these two days will include;

  • Historical special collections. Collections are at the heart of what we do. This session will be a celebration of our historic collections, and the role they continue to play in a modern world.
  • A special ‘mini symposia’ from iDigBio and the Small Collections Network (SCNet) ‘Recruiting, Retaining, and Supporting Small Collections in Biodiversity Digitization Initiatives’. For more information on theme please see here. (Session confirmed for Wednesday).
  • New! The iDigBio / Small Collections Network will be followed by an additional special ‘mini symposia’ entitled ‘Update on Initiatives and Progress in Digitisation of Natural History Collections’. For further information on the theme and on contributing to this session please see here
  • Access and outreach to Natural History Collections – The museum world is changing. Just in the last 30 years, the museum community has seen a shift in their public audience base from passive observers to active participants. How can/do we respond to these challenges?
  • Historical insect collections. The re-curation and conservation of historic entomological collections is a minefield of damaging good intentions. If you’ve ever asked yourself “what’s so important about pins?” then you need to be at this session.
  • UPDATED! Managing Archives, Special Collections and Original Source Documentation in Natural History Collections: Challenges and Opportunities. In the past few years there has been much interest in archival collections from natural history museums, herbaria, botanic gardens and university collections. Through the Council of Library and Information Resources (CLIR) Hidden Collection Program much attention has been drawn to these invaluable resources for historical and scientific research and education. In many instances this documentation holds the clues to the legacy of our institutions, the history of our scientific disciplines and records of biodiversity and global change. In March 2014, an iDigBio workshop was held at Yale University to promote best practices for capturing these histories and disseminating these stories. For more information contact Tim White.
  • University Museums dedicated session – such museums have long played an important role in the development of natural history collections.
  • Conservation – museum conservation in the natural sciences has come a long way in the last 25 years.
  • Advocacy special session coordinated by NatSCA. We are in challenging times financially and politically. So how do we make our relevance to society clear to our funding bodies? (Confirmed for Thursday).
  • Special session of the Emerging Professionals Group – an opportunity for established professionals to get together with emerging professionals.
  • New! Unlocking Evidence: Scientific Collections and Environmental Change. Evaluating and predicting change in the global environment is the largest scientific and policy challenge of our time. Forecasting the effects of future change depends on our understanding of changes in the past. Natural history and other scientific collections, such as core, soil and genetic libraries, offer relatively under-utilized or under-integrated sources of critical evidence about the past, and hold the potential for refining our understanding of how natural systems respond to environmental change. For more information on this session please see here

Evening Social: Museum Pubquiz!

We will be retiring to a decent local pub for a specimen themed pub quiz kindly being organized by those lovely people at Oxford University Museum of Natural History!

Thursday 26th June 2014 — Millennium Centre Cardiff Bay

Daytime

Thursday will see a selection of the themed and open sessions along with a return of the popular ‘Democamp’ providing an opportunity for the practical demonstration of software, equipment and techniques. For further details and information on submissions for the Democamp please see here

NEW Bruker workshop – Wales Millennium Centre (9:00am – 12:00pm)

The session will include demonstrations of equipment and advising on analytical techniques such as X-Ray fluorescence, (XRF): X-Ray diffraction (XRD); and FTIR / Raman. It will offer an introduction into basic concepts of the techniques, museum applications, practical demonstration and an opportunity to sample and analyse your own material.

If you would like to attend, please email Jen Gallichan who is co-ordinating conference registration - Jennifer.Gallichan@museumwales.ac.uk.

Evening Social: Conference Banquet

The ever wonderful conference banquet will be on the Thursday in the fine wood paneled banqueting room of the Park Thistle Hotel. The menu will be Welsh themed, and local beers will be available. Bring your dancing shoes as you’ll have an opportunity to request your favorite tracks to boogey on down to!

Friday 27th June 2014 — Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales

Friday will be the final day (Phew!). The day will start with the SPNHC Annual Business Meeting, followed by a selection of Special Interest Groups. These sessions will open with a few short presentations to help promote discussions. Currently two of these groups are confirmed;

  • Collections Digitization and Opportunities for International Collaboration. More information is available here
  • Sustainability of preservation environments.

The afternoon will then be dedicated to collections tours. As the museum is a multidisciplinary site we will be offering additional tours to other collection areas such as Art and Archaeology and the historic rare books from the library.