| 2001: the Stream Ecology class taught by Jim Haney at the University of New Hampshire began a project to develop an image-based key to the stream invertebrates of the New England Region. Using taxonomic structure of Merrit and Cummins "An Introduction to the Aquatic Insects of North America", students outlined a detailed key in Powerpoint using images of features to navigate to the family for the specimen. Although initially this key was conceived of as a key to species of aquatic insects, quite early on it became apparent that because of the enormous species diversity within the stream insects, this was not an achieveable goal. Accordingly, this key has been developed to the Family level within the seven major Orders: Diptera, Coleoptera, Hemiptera, Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera, Odonata, and Trichoptera.
The principle of the key was to be as simple and intuitive as possible, while preserving its accuracy and its scientific content. All writing and additions to the key were peer reviewed and revised as needed.
The Stream Ecology course was taught alternate years so that since 2001 five courses have contributed directly to the development of the image-based key. Members of each class worked on a specific Order and Family, collecting organisms, taking images and videos and writing content for the Family page. In 2008, the key was transferred from a Powerpoint version to html pages for an web-based tool for the public.
2012: a major objective of the class was made to create morphological features pages for each of the Orders as well as "Ecology or Family pages that include detailed accounts of scientific describing several interesting findings about the ecology and behavior of that Family. Where possible important figures and images from the published papers have been modified and linked in the text to roll-over pop-ups that appear in the page.
NSF EPSCoR support for development of the Stream Key was acquired for the summer of 2011 and 2012. The Stream Key was presented via Poster at the EPSCoR Conferences in Vermont (2011) and New Hampshire (2012). Spring semester of 2013 marked the release of the key in its Beta version, while students continued to form the framework of its style and function as "Stream Key"; An Image-Based Key to Stream Insects (Beta version 1.0).
|Undergraduate students who have helped bring the key to its online beta version (1.0):
2008: Guila Fakhoury
2009: Rachel Mixon, Allison McQueen
2010: Johanna Pedersen, Emily Calhoun
2011: Breanna Travers, Bjorn Sage
2012: Crystal Wilson, Ian Stelzner
2013: Kara Koening, Kelsey Dobe, Robert MacNeil, Nathan Battey
Graduate students who have played a critical role in the design, development, and evolution of the key include:
2001: Richard Hathaway
2003: Shane Bradt
2005: Sonya Carlson
2008-13: Amanda Murby
2012-13: Jon Dufresne
Class members who have added information and "character" to the key:
2001: Melanie Blanchette, Sara Sumner, Robyn Irwin, Adam Baukus
2003: Lisa Berry, Sonya Carlson, Jorel Knobelman, Jessica Knox, Emily Lund, Chris Peter, Jody Potter, Pat Quinn, Rachel Skokan, David Rivers, Kathleen Utter
2005: Abby Finamore, Dan Melnik, Sarah Mikulak, Jayson Vallee, Kristen Weaver
2008: Jonathan Dufresne, Guila Fakhoury, Brian Golino, Andrew Mailloux, Ashley Malloy, Robert Pellegrino, Cassie Tegu, Sarah Toupin, Tara Welsh, Mike Walsh, John Pazdon, Mary Mazur, Sarah Adams, Francoise Morison
2012: Calvin Diessner, Grace Marden, Johanna Pedersen, Helen Perivier, Liz Sterndale, Spencer Tate, Sarah VanHorn