A collecting event is a place and time where collecting occurred. It may also include a collecting method, though this is most often unspecified or assumed. A collecting event often applies to more than one catalogued specimen, so be careful that changes you make to a collecting event apply to all of the specimens. New Collecting Events are normally created when specimen records are bulk-loaded. To manually create a collecting event:
- Find a similar Collecting Event with Locality Search.
- Click the Clone button to clone (and edit) the event.
- Change Locality for the event if necessary.
Locality, Time, and Method are attributes of a collecting event. Locality itself is really an identifying key to a separate table because a locality may apply to more than one collecting event (See documentation of Localities). Nevertheless, Verbatim Locality and Habitat are place-related components of Collecting Events:
VARCHAR(255) not null
Verbatim Locality is the locality description as provided by the collector and is specific to the Collecting Event, not to the Locality. The same Locality may have been described differently at different times, and this distinction allows us to incorporate assumptions about the locality into Specific Locality while maintaining the original verbage in Verbatim Locality. Verbatim Locality may include any locality descriptors as written verbatim in field notes or on a specimen tag – whatever the collector wrote, warts and all. If the locality is outside of the U.S., include the higher geography as given verbatim by the collector. Verbatim Locality is not often displayed.
- spruce forest
- shrub tundra
Although consistent vocabulary is desirable, this is an uncontrolled text field. This field is distinct from Microhabitat, which is associated with Collection Objects. Thus, specimens may have been collected from a locality where the habitat is spruce forest, but individual specimens may have been collected from microhabitats such as “decayed spruce log,” “viburnum leaves,” and “red-squirrel midden.”
VARCHAR(15) not null
Collecting Source: This field describes the source of the specimens from a collecting event. A Collecting Source of “wild caught” is, by far, the most common value, and indicates that the record is a natural occurrence of the taxon. For other values of Collecting Source, the record is assumed to an unnatural occurrence, such as an animal from a zoo or pet store. Accordingly, specimens with a Collecting Source other than “wild caught” will not map to BerkeleyMapper. Vocabulary for this field is controlled by code table.
Time, in the context of Collecting Events, refers to when the collecting event occured, and not necessarily when specimen(s) ceased to grow or change (i.e., died). In contrast, Verbatim Preservation Date refers to when a living organism died, and is an attribute of the specimen, not an attribute of the collecting event. In the absence of a Verbatim Preservation Date, the specimen is assumed to have died in the Collecting Event.
The date of the Collecting Event is expressed in three fields: Verbatim Date, Began Date, and Ended Date. The purpose of these three fields is to encompass the uncertainty and imprecision inherent in collecting dates as they are often recorded by collectors, and to properly record the duration of Collecting Events that may have been longer than a single day.
VARCHAR(60) not null
Verbatim Date: is usually a transcription of the date provided by the collector. If it is an unambiguous date, then some editing for standardization may be justified. (This is the value printed to labels and displayed in public interfaces to the data.) If the collection date is given as “unknown,” then a value such as “before 14 Jan 2005″ should be entered. (The time is never completely unknown: We always know that a specimen in hand was collected before the present.)
Collecting_Event . Ended_Date
ISO8601, not null
Began Date and Ended Date: These delimit the range of dates encompassed by the Verbatim Date. Unlike Verbatim Date, they are ISO8601 date values, not an indeterminate character string. If the Verbatim Date is a valid date, then both the Began Date and the End Date should be the same as the Verbatim Date. If the Verbatim Date is unknown or vague, put the latest possible date in the End Date field (e.g., the date the specimen was received or accessioned), and the earliest date on which the specimen could have been collected in Began Date. Often this can be assumed on basis of known history, such as the life span of the collector, etc.
The following examples are instructive:
|Verbatim Date||Began Date||End Date||Comment|
|October 14, 1959||1959-10-14||1959-10-14|
|early March 1999||1999-03-01||1999-03-15|
|spring 1906||1906-03-21||1906-06-20||Assumes temperate northern hemisphere.|
|summer 1910||1910-06-21||1910-09-20||Assumes temperate northern hemisphere.|
|fall 1937||1937-09-21||1937-12-20||Assumes temperate northern hemisphere.|
|winter 00/01||1899-12-21||1900-03-20||Assumes temperate northern hemisphere and beginning of 20th Century.|
|before 2003||1900-01-01||2002-12-31||Assumes 20th Century or more recent.|
Collecting Method is not yet widely used. It will be of particular importance in groups such as marine invertebrates. If animals are sampled but not removed from the wild, then the method “biopsy” should be indicated. If the organism was not obtained from the wild, then methods such as “purchased,” “cultivated,” or “bred in captivity” should be indicated.