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Mike Dickison in the Auckland Museum Library

I'm Mike Dickison (,, Adzebill on Twitter). I'm a zoologist by training, interested in the evolution of extinct flightless birds such as moa and the conservation of endangered New Zealand insects. I had a previous career as a graphic designer, but have been working in and around museums since 1990.

I've been an active Wikipedian since 2014, beginning with Whanganui Wiki Wednesday while Curator of Natural History at Whanganui Regional Museum. After providing Wikipedia backup for the Critter of the Week radio show for a couple of years I spent 2018–2019 as NZ Wikipedian at Large funded by the WMF, and Sep–Oct 2020 as the West Coast Wikipedian at Large. I'm currently a Digital Discovery Librarian at the Westland District Library in Hokitika, New Zealand.

Participants at the Women in Science Wikipedia workshop, Wellington, August 2017

Various projects[edit]

National Digital Forum[edit]

The National Digital Forum is an annual meetup at Te Papa of the digital galleries, libraries, archives, and museum (GLAM) sector. I've taken part in Wikipedia day (2014), the Palmerston North Barcamp session and Wikipedia panel discussion (video) (2015). I presented an Eight Important Wikifacts workshop (2016), and spoke on "What I learned about Massive Branded Projects from editing Wikipedia" (2016) and "A Wikipedian at Large" (2018). In 2019 I ran the first Wikidata workshop at NDF.

Workshops and edit-a-thons[edit]

I organised the Whanganui 2015 River Week Edit-a-thon, 2016 #NZspecies at Te Papa, 2017 Women in Science at the Royal Society in Wellington, and the 2017 New Zealand Insect Cards Edit-a-thon in Auckland. See the Wikipedian at Large list for 2018–2019 events. I organised the Bauer Media 2019 workshop, was conference Wikipedian for TetZooCon 2019 in London, and ran edit-a-thons on Māori women artists and Australasian endangered plants in 2019. In 2020 I helped with the socially-distanced Playmarket edit-a-thon.



I helped User:Schwede66 resolve the long-running debate over the use of macrons on place names in New Zealand English articles, and created Task force tohutō to organise volunteer efforts. I also created the West Coast task force as part of my role at Westland District Library.


Selected media coverage[edit]

Critter of the Week[edit]

Since 2015 I've been helping with RNZ Critter of the Week, a weekly radio broadcast by Nicola Toki and Jesse Mulligan on native species both endangered and neglected. I and other "wikinerds" improve or create the article for each species discussed: Jesse and I chat about it in this interview. Good examples are the Open Bay Islands leech, New Zealand giraffe weevil, and Mercury Islands tusked weta. Critter of the Week has a Wikipedia project page with a complete list of all critters to date, and links to each broadcast. Feel free to help!

Wikipedian in Residence[edit]

From mid 2018 to mid 2019 I was New Zealand Wikipedian at Large, supported by a one-year project grant from the Wikimedia Foundation. My job was to travel New Zealand to help heritage and research organisations engage with Wikimedia projects as a Wikipedian in Residence, and support the New Zealand editing community through meetups and workshops. If you want to know more, there's a project page with monthly reports, media coverage, and a list of all the events.

In Nov–Dec 2019 I was Wikipedian in Residence at Lincoln University, working on increasing the visibility of the Entomology Department and uploading archival photos to Commons (see project page for details). Jan–July 2020 I worked in the Research & Enterprise office of Massey University, Palmerston North, and amongst other projects ran staff Wikipedia and Wikidata training and an edit-a-thon (see project page).

I'm been a consulting Wikimedian for the Dodd-Walls Centre for Photonic and Quantum Technologies, helping them improve various physics articles and add photos of their researchers to Commons (see the project page), and in Sept–Oct 2020 was the West Coast Wikipedian at Large.

Pages created[edit]

Did you know?[edit]

Review credits: Anti male-guardianship campaign, Israa al-Ghomgham, Nucella ostrina, Cephalotes atratus, Delaware County Institute of Science, Ebenezer Teichelmann

Notes to myself[edit]