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Abstract Detail

Building a High-Resolution, Specimen-Based Picture of Life: Possibilities and Challenges

Mast, Austin [1], Soltis, Pamela [2].

Building a High-Resolution, Specimen-Based Picture of Life: Possibilities and Challenges.

U.S. biological research collections hold perhaps as many as 1 billion specimens. These specimens were typically sampled for narrowly focused, but exhaustively deep, biological studies. New efforts by large, coordinated groups in the collections community have the breathtakingly broad focus of building a high-resolution, specimen-based picture of life on Earth via the digitization (databasing and, sometimes, imaging) of those billion specimens. This will serve not only as a critical map of what we know about species, but it will also delineate more clearly where new work needs to be done.
As a first step, the US National Science Foundation is funding thematic networks of specimen digitization efforts at non-federal institutions, supported by iDigBio, the National Resource for Advancing Digitization of Biological Collections. Similar coordination of federal collections is occurring via the BISON coordinating group.
Both efforts, at non-federal and federal collections, are very new, and not widely familiar to attendees of the Botany meetings. We propose a symposium that combines presentations from iDigBio and BISON (each 30 minutes), from two relatively mature thematic collections network projects (each 30 minutes), and four projects using cross-collection data to address fundamental questions in ecology and evolution (each 15 minutes). Ideas for the last will be solicited from the leadership of the more mature taxon- and range-focused networks, including VertNet and the Consortium of California Herbaria. We will have four 30-minute talks; a 30-minute coffee break; four 15-minute talks; and a 30-minute panel discussion.
Travel support for all symposium participants will be covered in part by iDigBio; no funds are requested from the participating societies.

Broader Impacts:

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Related Links:
iDigBio website

1 - Florida State University, Department Of Biological Science, 319 Stadium Drive, 319 Stadium Drive, Tallahassee, FL, 32306, USA
2 - University Of Florida, Florida Museum Of Natural History, PO BOX 117800, Gainesville, FL, 32611-7800, USA, 352/273-1964

Biodiversity informatics
Biological research collections

Presentation Type: Symposium or Colloquium Presentation
Session: SY11
Location: Franklin A/Hyatt
Date: Wednesday, July 11th, 2012
Time: 1:30 PM
Number: SY11SUM
Abstract ID:26

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