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Abstract Detail

Botanical Cyberinfrastructure: Issues, Challenges, Opportunities, and Initiatives

Prather, L. Alan [1].

LINNE and other cyberinfrastructure initiatives for natural history collections.

THE natural history collections of the world constitute an enormous legacy with tremendous potential to address major scientific questions and societal challenges. Yet, such fundamental questions as “What are the Earth’s species and how do they vary?” remain unanswered despite hundreds of years of cataloguing biodiversity. Much of the collections and data necessary to answer these questions already exist in natural history collections, and it is up to today’s taxonomists to develop a mechanism that will finally allow us to access the specimens and data in an efficient and effective way. LINNE and other cyberinfrastructure initiatives are in development to facilitate systematic research and curation. These initiatives will be discussed to inform botanists of recent developments and so that botanists can play a role in formulation of these initiatives. The goal of LINNE is to accelerate taxonomic research and improve biological collection infrastructure so that reliable information on biological diversity is available to all branches of science and society. LINNE will be an interactive network of taxonomists and institutions incorporating the latest technologies to seamlessly link researchers with other scientists, biological collections and other research facilities, and state-of-the-art instruments for efficient species discovery, description, identification, and classification. LINNE will transform taxonomy and make comprehensive information on the world’s species easily accessible to researchers, educators, and decision-makers who depend on a comprehensive knowledge of biological diversity to inform their decisions. 2020 Vision is another initiative that endeavors to facilitate formation of collaborations among herbaria to achieve the shared goal of databasing all plant specimens in US institutions by the year 2020. The status of these initiatives will be discussed.

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Related Links:
LINNE website
Herbaria Collaborative

1 - Michigan State University, Department of Plant Biology, Herbarium, 166 Plant Biology Wilson Road, East Lansing, Michigan, 48824-1312, USA

taxonomic data.

Presentation Type: Symposium or Colloquium Presentation
Session: 4-9
Location: 206/Performing Arts Center
Date: Monday, July 31st, 2006
Time: 2:00 PM
Abstract ID:354

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