Biological Collections Digitization: Towards Capture and Mobilization of Biodiversity Information Resources

Project: Research project

Project Details


Biological collections represent a significant national resource for research and applied biology, but these data are still widely unavailable in digital form. Development of a digital biodiversity information resource based on existing specimen data will provide an invaluable reference and baseline for future research activities. This award will organize and host two planning meetings that will bring together collections researchers and curators, natural history informatics specialists, and biological specimen imaging experts to develop and publish a 10-year strategic plan that will comprise a directed response toward meeting the data digitization challenge. The strategic planning project will identify issues relevant to the digitization of biological collections that will define the mission, scope, and magnitude of a program to address the capture and mobilization of specimen information, establish a community driven framework to develop, promote, revise, and distribute a strategic plan for biological collections digitization; and engage individuals from across diverse collections and institutions in the planning and implementation of a coordinated collections digitization initiative.

Knowledge of biodiversity, obtained through the use of collections, is critically important for studies of invasive species, biological conservation programs, land management strategies, biotic responses to climate change, the spread of pathogenic organisms, and research and management activities of many kinds. A coordinated effort to digitize existing biological collections and to mobilize the data and images in a freely available online will have major, positive impacts on U.S. scientific achievement and global scientific collaboration.

Effective start/end date5/15/105/31/13


  • National Science Foundation: $38,469.00


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