This amazing research was presented by Jennifer McGlinchey Sexton (former conservation intern at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West) at the annual American Institute for Conservation annual meeting in San Francisco. The research was initiated by Paul Messier and has been worked on by a team including: Jennifer, Alan Phenix, and Jiuan Jiuan Chen.
They have created a set of reference standards and imaging protocols for ultraviolet-induced visible fluorescence. It is similar to the grey scale we have been using for years in our photo documentation.
When you see how different the images are when there are no reference standards, it is easy to see the critical need for this project. The Target-UV Round Robin Test shows how varied the results are when you take the images just using your own judgment. This is fine for the one-off photograph, but not valuable if you are comparing images with other labs or if you want to compare an image to one that was taken ten years ago.
The presentation was fascinating because we got a sense of the problem-solving that went into the testing and developing of this crucial tool.
There was so much information, the audience’s phones were full!