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Trip Report - Practical introduction to the electronic keys to the flora in NZ

Trip Report – 3 November 2012:   Practical introduction to the electronic keys to the flora in NZ

A wet day was ideal weather for an indoor “field trip” at the Otari Information Centre.

David Glenny, Landcare Research NZ, Lincoln, brought copies of interactive keys to NZ’s flowering plant genera, and Coprosma.   The workshop was to learn how these keys worked, and give members practice with them.   After copying the keys to our own laptop computers, David took us through the operation of the keys, the in-built functions, and how to get to the copious illustrations.   The room hummed for the next two hours as twenty BotSoccers practised, with David giving advice as he moved around the room.

Then he gave an introduction to the Coprosma key, explaining the characters that were important in identifying Coprosma species, followed by a short practice.

As David explained, the other aim of the workshop was to find out what went right and what went wrong for newcomers to the keys.   By the end of the morning, David had a page of suggestions for additional characters to add to the interactive keys, and suggestions for clarifying characters.   A win-win for all who attended.

Participants :   Bev Abbott, Eleanor Burton, Sandra Clark, Ian Goodwin, Bryan Halliday, Anthony Hill, Chris Horne, Jane Humble, Rodney Lewington (scribe), Vivienne McGlynn, Barbara Mitcalfe, Chris Moore, Mick Parsons, Leon Perrie, Grant Roberts, Lea Robertson, Darea Sherratt, Sunita Singh, Julia Stace, Carol West.

Our thanks to Rewi Elliot, curator / manager of Otari-Wilton’s Bush, for the use of the Information Centre, and for just a few specimens from Otari’s northern North Island “38 degree” collection.

For those who did not attend, you can access the keys for free at:


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