This website's home page is at http://www.escalatorhi.com

James E D Cline's Online Photos for Friends and Family

JEDC's Volunteering Activities

At Crustacea, and the Marine Biodiversity Processing Center, Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County

Digital microscope photography of small marine specimens; picking Isopods from bulk specimens; processing small marine specimens for long term storage; helping documentation preparation on computer.

    * Museum's related sites: http://collections.nhm.org http://isopods.nhm.org/ http://isopods.nhm.org/databases/isoimages/

A new volunteer task for me at the Marine Biodiversity Processing Center: microscope digital photography:


Arriving at the museum in the morning, a reminder for the responsibility each needs to accept in our activities


Out of the public eye, exploration and research proceeds to save some of the past and present for the future.


A new workstation is setup for me to photograph the tiny sea creatures of mere speck size, some collected recently, some collected 70 years ago.


I get a self-photo by holding my personal camera at arm's length.


Here is the workstation I used, the Mac with photo of the creature under the microscope on its display. Many others used this workstation, too.


Here is a closer picture of the computer showing a photograph I took with the setup, displaying a microscopic ocean critter, in reality the size of a tiny pinhead. Getting them to take on the various required poses is part of the task, as well as focus, lighting and file handling. Then each one gets its own special alcohol vial and number related to the photo set, to be saved in the museum's collection.


Decorations in the lab help maintain perspective with the greater world, while otherwise intensely focusing on a specific task.


With thanks for a volunteer job well done, helping a financially strugling museum get its jobs done, remembering the fine coffee and tasty grapes and cherries they supplied while I worked, the view as I leave the museum reminds me of the greater magic of the Natural History museum, one of my favorite places in Los Angeles during the past 35 years.


A glance back at the museum shows the many arches formed by the water jets of the fountain, reminding me of the basic theory of the kinetically supported transportation structures which I believe can enable mankind to hugely expand civilization into nearby space in the near future, if we choose to do so instead of continuing to squabble over territory and dwindling resources as we have unfortunatily nearly always done. Yet, surely I can hope and give the world another option via my conceptual designs. This view reminds me that we sometimes strive for the greater, and remember, with creative vision.

The sculpture artwork shown there in the fountain eventually was removed by the artist, leaving the parabolic spray fountain series to sparkle along the path leading to the north entrances of the NHM museum.


The journey to and from the museum, in Exposition Park to back home in Sunland, involved the city bus system and lots of walking for about three hours each direction, six hours a day commute to do this volunteer work; here my foot steps across the staggered brick paving.


Here the microscope fibber optic illumination shines into the specimen dish; two of the small sorting dishes also on the microscope stand, which contain picked specimens, one kind on one dish and another kind it the other, as intermediate step in the species sorting process. A couple of specimen jars can be partially seen on the right side of the photo.


Tools and containers used during the picking of specimens, sorting and inserting labels during the curation process.


Self-photos at the microscope workstation.


Microscope workstation for picking specimens.


Putting my camera to microscope eyepiece, here is what it looks like, seafloor debris along with some specimens to be picked and sorted.


Workstation during breaktime, lid on specimen dish and microscope illumination off, showing tools used


In May 2008, a new chapter in this activity has begun, that of using the internet and my home computer to resume doing some of this volunteer work for Crustacea, even though am far away. It will be doing some steps similar to what I had done on some tasks before, that help provide their species identification database on the internet. Using a videochat, here is my effort to photo one of the discussions:

An Escalator Hi page titled NhmlacCrustacea by J E D Cline started on Wednesday, April 30, 2008 5:50:12 PM US/Pacific

Copyright © 2008 James E. D. Cline. Permission granted to reproduce providing inclusion of a link back to this site and acknowledgment of the author and concept designer James E. D. Cline.