Thanks, Chris, for your thoughts. 

Which reminds me, the same goes for the MCZ Entomology loan program - we are suspending our loan program until further notice as well. So please, hold on to any specimens you may have borrowed and continue to enjoy our delightful reminder emails. If you'd like to extend your loan, email me, and I can extend it for another year.

Crystal

On Thu, Mar 12, 2020 at 8:50 PM Chris Grinter <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
Thanks for starting the thread, Crystal!

Here at the CAS we have just announced our plans to close the entire Academy out of the abundance of caution to non-essential personnel effective Monday morning. We didn't have much of a lead up to the closure, so we spent most of the day in meetings refreshing our emergency plans. Collection managers will spend today and tomorrow securing collections and helping people bring material home to work on when appropriate. Moving forward we have a rotation of managers that will conduct daily rounds through all collection spaces and labs ensuring nothing is amiss, and will help keep our loading dock functional with full time mail room staff. That being said, the Cal Academy loan program is suspended until further notice, and we ask that borrowers retain material for now, or at least check in with me before shipping anything back. Fortunately, most of the collection managers live within minutes of the building and can rely on our wonderful engineering and security staff to help keep things safe.

For at-home projects there will be a slew of transcribing and cleaning up database records. Fortunately we never got around to transcribing data from a few thousand holotype images, and we have freshly scanned field notebooks of Ed Ross and others that could take months to complete. We also dusted off some nice old Wild microscopes for people to take home if they wanted to spend time sorting some of our bycatch wet backlog (lots and lots of that!).

Go wash your hands,
Chris

Christopher C. Grinter
Collection Manager of Entomology
California Academy of Sciences
T  415.379.5320
[log in to unmask]

www.calacademy.org
55 Music Concourse Drive
Golden Gate Park
San Francisco, CA 94118




On Thu, Mar 12, 2020 at 5:32 PM Maier, Crystal <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
Hi All,

I hope that this email finds you in good health, for which we've all developed a new appreciation in the last few months. Massachusetts seems to be one step ahead of much of the rest of the country, in terms of COVID-19 cases and the response - our university is sending students home and making plans "social distancing" and remote work. 

I'm hoping to start a conversation on preparedness - how are you preparing for the possibility of extended remote work? ...for extended periods without staff on site, with no one attending to the collection on a daily basis?

Here in the Entomology Collection at the MCZ, we are:

1) Learning how to use collaborative tools, such as Zoom and google docs to keep in touch remotely, and planning for a regular schedule for check-ins among staff.

2) Preparing projects that can be completed remotely: scanning old documentation, field notes, etc., taking photos of specimen labels, etc., that can be transcribed from anywhere; initiating data cleanup projects (and making sure we have the right database exports on hand) that probably needed to be done anyway; and vetting type statuses against publications. Different institutions have different policies on taking specimens home, so it's a good time to think of alternative projects that don't involve direct interaction with specimens and start preparing those photos, scans etc.

3) Of course, the whole hand sanitizer, hand washing rigmarole. We've posted signs reminding people to wash their hands.

4) Getting the collection ready for an extended period of non-attendance, should it come to that - ALL pinned specimens in cabinets, locking cabinets of historical material, updating and posting home/cell phone contact lists, unplugging unused electrical devices, closing blinds, doors, etc.

Thoughts? What are you doing right now?

Also, on a personal note, as things progress, please don't hesitate to reach out. We're a small community, tied together by a common love for insects and a deep interest in museum collections - we need to lean on each other for support in these trying times, and it's nice to connect with kindred spirits to keep us looking forward.

Stay well, everyone!

Sincerely,

Crystal

--
Crystal A. Maier, Ph.D.
Curatorial Associate, Entomology 
Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University
26 Oxford Street, Cambridge, MA, 02138 U.S.A.

+1-617-496-1055


--
Crystal A. Maier, Ph.D.
Curatorial Associate, Entomology 
Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University
26 Oxford Street, Cambridge, MA, 02138 U.S.A.

[log in to unmask]
+1-617-496-1055