The Colorado Plateau Biodiversity Center Digital Imaging Facility is located in BIO 154 (928-523-4339). The imaging system was purchased to serve university-wide imaging needs. Although the primary users are curatorial staff from the Colorado Plateau Biodiversity Center collections we are committed to the goal of serving the NAU community. During the summer months adjacent classrooms can also be used for preparation. BIO 154 is large enough to teach imaging classes and/or have a small group of people engage in virtual sessions with other people around the world who are engaged in imaging projects.
The imaging system is an important resource for training students and collaborating on regional projects by having the same system as University of Arizona, Arizona State University, and University of New Mexico. We teach an imaging course every spring for training students to produce high-end digital images BIO 698/498 below). Students who pass the imaging course are allowed to use the facility.
Imaging facility staff are available to provide fee-based services for educational or research projects. We can produce a suite of 2-3 images in 20-30 minutes. We currently charge $20/hour, we provide an initial free consultation to determine the needs of the user. Students that complete the digital imaging course are allowed to use the facility without supervision.
Associated with the imaging system is a dedicated server housed with other Geospatial Research and Information Lab servers (See description below). Neil Cobb is responsible for the operation of the imaging system and Paul Heinrich is responsible for the maintenance of the imaging system and server (See Personnel).
Visionary Digital Imaging System: The Colorado Plateau Biodiversity Center is hosting a high-end imaging system from Visionary Digital. The BK Plus system http://www.visionarydigital.com/IntegratedSystems1.html is a completely customized imaging system perfectly designed for efficiently capturing high- resolution images of biological specimens. Small biological specimens and specimen parts are notoriously difficult to image due to an inverse relationship between magnification and depth of field. Visionary Digital is the only flashed-based imaging system which allows the user to capture high quality single images with the click of a button thereby reducing operator time to fraction of the time other systems require. In addition this system is unique in that it allows the operator to take images rangin in size from insect claws to entire trays of insects with the same setup. The system includes the FX-2 Fiber Optic Illuminator, a P-51 CamLift linear actuator capable of imaging complete drawers and a Tri-Light fiber optic illumination system. It is equipped with a Canon EOS 5D Mark II (21 mega pixel) and a Canon EOS 7D (18 mega pixel). Canon 1.4X teleconverter, Canon 100mm f2.8 macro L-Series lens, Canon 50mm f2.5 L-Series macro lens, a Canon 35mm f1.4 L-Series wide angle lens and a Infinity Optics K2 Long Distance Microscope. There are a variety of additional camera accessories. A SolMate variable aperture trans illumination system is dedicated for slide imaging.
Complementing the Visionary Digital imaging system is a GigaPan EPIC Pro robotic tripod head. This is used with other parts of the imaging system to produce high resolution pan and zoom capable imagery of museum specimen drawers for online content or used to create extremely high-resolution landscape images.
IT Resources: In 2011 we acquired a server and hard drive array dedicated to the imaging system. It consists of a Dell PowerEdge R410 and MD-1000 drive array with 13 TB of storage capacity, Windows Server 2008 R2, Enterprise Edition. This server is configured to serve php- and ASP.NET-based web pages with MySQL 5 as the database engine. All catalog and image data collected at NAU can be stored and served from the SCAN server. Data will be backed up to tape storage on variable schedule from 24-hours to months depending on how often files are modified.