Reeling in the biologists: connecting the dots between observers, integrators, and decision makers


Our life on Earth depends on a healthy balance of other types of life and whether we can use living and non-living resources in a sustainable manner into the future. One of the big challenges of our time is to characterize the diversity of life on Earth and measure how it is changing as this is a fundamental requirement to sustain our use of resources while the earth’s climate is changing at the same time. This requires not only updating the framework, architecture, and interoperability of national and international databases to include measures of the diversity of life around us but also making the analyses associated with those measures more transparent and computationally-enabled.

Analyses such as biodiversity indicators and better predictive capabilities are imperative for understanding and taking action to support biodiversity. These indicators and predictive capabilities need to be incorporated into products that decision makers can readily make use of. However it is not enough to simply make these predictions, we also need to unlock the black box around the workflows that are the basis for these indicators and predictions.

We invite biologists and those associated with curating and analyzing biological data to join us to present and discuss strategies for new products for decision makers that require biodiversity data in its broadest sense. We will explore in more detail connections between groups such as:

The Marine Biodiversity Observation Network (MBON) works to bring together legacy data while collecting new observational data to improve our understanding of changes and connections between marine biodiversity and ecosystem function.

The Marine Biodiversity Virtual Laboratory (MBVL) looks to address multi-scale, heterogeneous data challenges with informatics solutions that enable the cyber-generation and documentation of biodiversity indicators, providing the traceability between data and information to be used as a basis for sustainable ecosystem-based management and needed policy decisions.

The Ocean Biogeographic Information System-USA (OBIS-USA) integrates marine observation data from multiple data providers using the Darwin Core data standard and provides those data up to the international community through the International Ocean Biogeographic System and the Global Biodiversity Information Facility.

The Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ocean Observing System (GCOOS) has been working with the Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS) and OBIS-USA to standardize biological datasets for use in ERDDAP Servers and ingestion by OBIS-USA.

The objective is to identify areas of common interest and trace a path from observations to integrated data that can be incorporated into indicators and predictions within an open science framework to enable a revolution in science-based decision-making.

File obrien_SBC_MBON_intro.pptx2.32 MB
Benson, A.; Reeling in the biologists: connecting the dots between observers, integrators, and decision makers; Winter Meeting 2017. ESIP Commons , October 2016