Portal Campaign

In August 2022, leadership of the Macroalgae Herbarium Consortium collaborated with the Symbiota Support Hub to grow and advance the Macroalgae Portal‘s data quality and community.

Campaign Summary

Led by the University of New Hampshire, the Macroalgae Herbarium Consortium has been aggregating and sharing algal collections data through the for nearly 10 years (NSF Award 1304924 and others).

In August, the Symbiota Support Hub completed its third Portal Advancement Campaign, this time focusing on the Macroalgae Portal. This month-long event was held in collaboration with the Macroalgae Herbarium Consortium led by the University of New Hampshire. Momentum to digitize and aggregate algal collections data was initially catalyzed by the Consortium’s Thematic Collections Network (TCN) funded from 2013-2019 (NSF Award 1304924 and others). Three years after the TCN’s conclusion, in April 2022, the Macroalgae Portal was updated and migrated to Arizona State University’s servers, enabling the portal and its community to be fully supported by the Symbiota Support Hub.

With these latest improvements came energy to revisit and build upon existing datasets in the Macroalgae Portal, and the community came together again in a series of meetings to grow and improve the portal’s data quality. Alongside metadata housekeeping and data cleaning tasks, the Hub encouraged portal contributors to refresh or newly publish their datasets to the iDigBio and GBIF data portals; they also reached out to potential new portal contributors to help the community expand. During the campaign, the Support Hub and algal collections community worked together to accomplish the following:

  • Adding 6 new collections to the portal
  • Standardizing 55k country values
  • Resolving 69% of reported coordinate issues
  • Indexing 1.7k taxonomic names to the central thesaurus, making an additional 7.1k specimen records searchable in the portal
  • Publishing 8 additional collections, in turn contributing 52k+ specimen records to the GBIF data portal
  • Sending 99 data cleaning, data publishing, and portal invitations
  • Creating a new Algal Collections Consortium Google Group (join here or email the Hub to learn more)
  • Meeting participation from 33 community members

The Symbiota Support Hub looks forward to continuing to work with the Algal Collections Community beyond the campaign. If you have an algae collection and would like to be involved in the portal, please contact us. The Macroalgae campaign has been followed by the MyCoPortal campaign happening now through Friday, September 30th. 

Research applications of the Macroalgae Portal were recently highlighted in the July edition of iDigBio’s Research Spotlight. Learn more here

Campaign Documents

Office Hours meetings were held weekly to facilitate discussion and knowledge sharing. Meeting recordings can be accessed at the links below.

Algal Collections Google Group

As part of this campaign, a new Algae Collections Consortium Google Group was created to help facilitate discussions among algal collections. You can join this group here: (click the “Ask to join group” button at the top, or you can email the Hub to be added). To post to this list, send an email to: