Armchair Botanist


Point of Contact

Tiana Franklin Rehman

Herbarium Collections Manager

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

The scientific specimens curated by BRIT 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. Click here to access our digitized specimens.

This program includes activities such as presentations, transcription blitzes, and online citizen science activities, to help liberate the scientific specimens that are held in public trust, by the Botanical Research Institute of Texas. 

Scheduled Activities:

July 30, 2020: #TranscriptionThursday at 2pm (central time) via Zoom.   Invitation: ; Meeting ID: 872 1638 6205 PASSWORD: 366370
          Please pre-watch the training video here:


August 6, 2020: #TranscriptionThursday at 2pm (central time) via Zoom. Invitation will be posted on this page before the start of the session.

October 2020: WeDigBio Online Transcription Blitz; onsite and virtual events.


Ongoing Activities:

Notes From Nature: This is an online citizen 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! 

BRIT 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 BRIT 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.

Happy botanizing!

Ways to engage: BRIT Facebook, BRIT Twitter, NotesfromNature talk: @jbest and @trehman

Past Activities:

July 23, 2020: #TranscriptionThursday at 2pm (central time) via Zoom.

July 16, 2020: #TranscriptionThursday at 2pm (central time) via Zoom. 

July 9, 2020: #TranscriptionThursday at 2pm (central time) via Zoom.

July 2, 2020: #TranscriptionThursday at 2pm (central time) via Zoom.

June 25, 2020: #TranscriptionThursday at 2pm (central time) via Zoom.

June 18, 2020: #TranscriptionThursday at 2pm (central time) via Zoom.

June 11, 2020: #TranscriptionThursday at 2pm (central time) via Zoom.

June 4, 2020: #TranscriptionThursday at 2pm (central time) via Zoom.

May 28, 2020: #TranscriptionThursday at 2pm (central time) via Zoom.

May 21, 2020: #TranscriptionThursday at 2pm (central time) via Zoom.

May 14, 2020: #TranscriptionThursday at 2pm (central time) via Zoom.

May 7, 2020: #TranscriptionThursday at 2pm (central time) via Zoom with guest host: BRIT Fern Curator Dr. Alejandra Vasco.

April 30, 2020: #TranscriptionThursday at 2pm (central time) via Zoom.

April 23, 2020: #TranscriptionThursday at 2pm (central time) via Zoom.

April 16-20, 2020: 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.