University of Washington: Better wildfire and smoke predictions with new vegetation database

University of Washington: Better wildfire and smoke predictions with new vegetation database. “Researchers from the University of Washington and Michigan Technological University have created the first comprehensive database of all the wildfire fuels that have been measured across North America. Called the North American Wildland Fuel Database, the tool incorporates the best available measurements of vegetation in specific locations, and allows fire managers to see where information about fuels is missing altogether.”

‘A treasure waiting to be seen’: Yukon First Nations crack open massive archive (CBC)

CBC: ‘A treasure waiting to be seen’: Yukon First Nations crack open massive archive. “Grand Chief Peter Johnston has barely scratched the surface, but what he’s seen so far of the Council of Yukon First Nations’ (CYFN) archival records is ‘incredible,’ he says. ‘Almost 100,000 pieces of audio, print media, pictures … it’s just a treasure waiting to be seen,’ he said. ‘It’s one of the best things I’ve been involved with, in my life.’”

CBC: Gwich’in language centre’s move to Inuvik includes new digital archive centre

CBC: Gwich’in language centre’s move to Inuvik includes new digital archive centre. “The Gwich’in Tribal Council is digitizing all of its archived material collected over the past 30 years. The digital archive centre — based out of the Gwich’in language centre — will digitize photos, language resources, oral histories and books, then put it all into a catalogued database. The council recognized there was a need to make Gwich’in more accessible to everyone, according to chief operating officer Carolyn Lennie.”

Science Magazine: An integrated assessment of the vascular plant species of the Americas

Science Magazine: An integrated assessment of the vascular plant species of the Americas. “The cataloging of the vascular plants of the Americas has a centuries-long history, but it is only in recent decades that an overview of the entire flora has become possible. We present an integrated assessment of all known native species of vascular plants in the Americas. Twelve regional and national checklists, prepared over the past 25 years and including two large ongoing flora projects, were merged into a single list. Our publicly searchable checklist includes 124,993 species, 6227 genera, and 355 families, which correspond to 33% of the 383,671 vascular plant species known worldwide. In the past 25 years, the rate at which new species descriptions are added has averaged 744 annually for the Americas, and we can expect the total to reach about 150,000.”

Arizona State University: ASU students learn from the dead at Teotihuacan

Arizona State University: ASU students learn from the dead at Teotihuacan. “Teotihuacan was once the largest and most influential city in the ancient new world. Yet its social structure seems to be more egalitarian than those in its fellow ancient cities. ‘Most ancient societies had an elite class that lived in big houses and had big fancy tombs. Then you got the commoners living in little houses and their burials were very simple with no gravestones,’ said Michael E. Smith, a professor in the School of Human Evolution and Social Change at Arizona State University. ‘You don’t seem to have that distinction at Teotihuacan.’”

CCNY: CCNY-based DSI launches unique site on early Blacks in the Americas

A new Web site traces the history of the first Black people in the Americas. “The core of [the] new resource comprises a collection of 72 archival document packages. They contain an equal number of manuscripts from 16th century La Española, the Island now shared by the Dominican Republic and Haiti. The selected material documents in various ways the presence of the black-African population and their descendants that lived in the island-colony (the first European outpost in the Americas in modern times) during the first 100 years of colonization. It is the first platform to make this kind of collection of sources available on the internet to the general public.”

LGBTQ Oral History Archive Underway

In development: a digital archive of LGBTQ oral histories. “[Elspeth] Brown, an associate professor at UTM, is director of The LGBTQ Oral History Digital Collaboratory, a multi-year research project that will create the largest collection of LGBTQ+ oral histories in North America. Known as the Collaboratory, the project explores ‘the histories of trans people, queer women, gay men and lesbians in the U.S. and Canada through the creation of a virtual research meeting place.’ Based at U of T, the project is partnered with Toronto’s Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives, University of Toronto Libraries and a several community-based archives across North America. Over five years, the Collaboratory will digitize and transcribe existing oral history collections, and create new collections of trans-related materials. It will also develop a digital ‘oral history hub’ of resources, along with a library guide to aid research in the CLGA’s large collection of trans history materials.”