Barcode Long Island
2017-18 Program

It’s our pleasure to announce the official opening of Barcode Long Island 2017-18! We look forward to your participation this year.

Long Island Biodiversity Projects

In addition to the standard full proposals, this year we have five campaigns that teams can join. Multiple student teams will collect similar organisms at different locations so the pooled results reveal the diversity and distribution of these taxa across Long Island. Participation in a campaign will also streamline the proposal process for teams.

This year’s campaigns include:

  • Beetles
  • Ants
  • Mosquitoes*
  • Marine worms (NOT terrestrial worms)
  • Aquatic (freshwater) invertebrates (ex: insect larvae)

*Teams that plan to work on a mosquito campaign need to submit proposals early in the season to ensure that mosquitos can still be collected. Note that students may need to research ways to trap mosquitos for collection, as they may be difficult to catch.

You can find a streamlined proposal form for campaigns under the BLI section of the “Resources” tab on the DNA Barcoding 101 website.  Completed proposal forms will be uploaded by the mentor on the proposal database for each team participating in a campaign, in place of a full proposal. Campaign forms must contain all requested information, and will still be reviewed by BLI staff for accuracy and clarity.

Teams participating in a campaign will need to submit their proposed collection location, including approximate latitude and longitude, on the proposal form. To ensure collection from different sites, proposed locations will be accepted on a first come, first served basis. If other teams have already been approved to collect in your teams’ proposed location(s), we will contact you to discuss alternatives.

Full Proposals

If students choose to submit a full proposal, we strongly encourage collection of small organisms (smaller than 10mm) and require collection of organisms that cannot be easily identified using taxonomic keys. This eliminates the majority of terrestrial plants and larger invertebrates, with the exception of insects that are hard to identify. This recommendation is aimed at increasing the likelihood that students will find novel or informative sequences, adding to the scientific knowledge of biodiversity on Long Island. Examples could include small round or flat worms (not earth worms) that are found in most environments and are very diverse, small arthropods, fungi without large fruiting bodies, and microscopic organisms like protists, all of which are poorly characterized, often very diverse, and difficult to identify. Teams are encouraged to continue with collections from aquatic pilings or “posts,” but this is will not be required, as appropriate sites proved difficult to identify for many teams. Teams or schools with established collection sites are encouraged to continue collection at these sites if they aim to collect a time series of biodiversity at these locations.

As with last year, we would like students to frame their research in terms of human well-being. This could be by proposing to study organisms that can affect human health (like vectors of disease; pests, like chiggers or biting ants; sources of allergens (fungi, for instance—but not easily identified plants); or organisms associated with unclean water. Alternatively, the projects could focus on climate change, pollution, or other human activity that might degrade the environment (such as increases in nitrogen levels, disturbance of ecosystems, urban/suburban development, etc.), through identification or tracking of indicator species. Note that these projects will require extensive literature searches by the students when developing ideas, which will need to be reflected in their project proposals. We further encourage the incorporation of additional information (such as pH, ground/water temperature, contaminant levels, etc., if possible) into proposals as many teams have done in previous years.


Proposal Submission and Deadlines

To create a team and submit a proposal, mentors will need to log in to the proposal database. New mentors will need to register to create a user name and password for the proposal database. Please register with the same email you used to sign up for the summer training workshop.

Student proposals will be reviewed on a rolling basis, but as in previous years we are providing four submission dates to help organize teams. Note that proposal review usually takes 1-2 weeks, but can take longer in November-December. The FINAL deadline will be December 11, 2017.

  • Deadline 1: Tuesday, September 26, 2017
  • Deadline 2: Tuesday, October 24, 2017
  • Deadline 3: Tuesday, November 14, 2017
  • FINAL DEADLINE: Monday, December 11, 2017

BLI guidelines for participation, as well as a rubric for evaluation of “full” proposals can be found on the DNA Barcoding 101 website under the BLI section of the “Resources” tab. Please review your students’ proposals to ensure their proposed research meets our guidelines, includes appropriate references to the literature, and meets your writing standards before submission. Please review campaign proposal forms for accuracy and clarity as well.

Video Documentation

If a team member or members have an interest in photography and videography, we encourage them to document their Barcode Long Island research from collection through data analysis with pictures and video of team members, collection sites, samples, wet lab work, and bioinformatics. Students are encouraged to interview other team members and mentors about their experiences, and even interview experts in the field. Students are then welcome to compile a “documentary” of their research experience from these pictures and video clips—we will select a winning video to be shown during the BLI symposium in June! Edited videos should be approximately 3 minutes in length.  

Other Important Information

  • Based on the responses we received from BLI mentors, the symposium date has been set for Tuesday, June 5, 2018. Please mark your calendars!
  • Teams will always need written permission to sample—please be sure to include these permissions when you submit your teams’ proposals.
  • The Open Lab registration dates have been posted on the DNA Barcoding 101 website, broken down by “wet lab” and “bioinformatics” Open Labs, and can be accessed under Laboratory Support. We will offer Open Labs on Saturdays from 9:30 am to 4:00 pm at the Dolan DNALC, DNALC West, Brookhaven National Laboratory, and Stony Brook University. We will also be offering an Open Lab on Election Day, Tuesday, November 7, 2017. Mentors must be logged in to their accounts and have approved proposals before registering for an Open Lab or requesting a footlocker. Open Lab space and footlockers are available on a first come, first served basis. Registration closes five days in advance of the Open Lab, and footlockers must be requested at least two weeks in advance of desired pick-up date, and are loaned for a period of ten days.