Giving a seminar on the “OKEON Churamori Project” and ant databasing at the Museum of Nature and Human Activities in Hyogo
A workshop for curators of Japan was held at the Museum of Nature and Human Activities in Hyogo and was coordinated by the West Japan Natural History Museum Network and the National Museum of Nature and Science Tokyo. Masashi Yoshimura (Yoshi), the OKEON Churamori Project coordinator, was invited to present a seminar to introduce the OKEON Churamori project and to illustrate how ant data can be used. For natural history museums in general, collection and storage of specimens and research of these specimens are one of the major activities being undertaken. After collecting specimens, it is essential to create a database and open it to the public in order to promote data sharing and to advance research. Since Yoshi is working on managing an ant database for Japan, he was able to participate in this workshop and give a seminar.
With the advancement of transportation systems worldwide, the problem of invasive species is also becoming more imminent. Example questions addressed in the talk include: How can we collaborate with the Okinawan people to deal with invasive species? If there was a problem with invasive fire ants in Okinawa, how will we use the database to deal with this problem? Who and how will be maintaining the database? Other talks were about the collection of fire ants and imaging techniques.
Before the seminar, there was a presentation session by citizen scientists, including poster presentations. There are more and more younger attendees as well as exchange across generations. This museum is an important think-tank as it comes up with many proposals including to the government, and it is a good role-model for the OKEON Churamori project.