Glossary of Projects and Organizations

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Short Name Long Name URL Definition
ABLS American Bryological & Lichenological Society Professional association of brytologists and lichenologists. The society was founded in 1898, is devoted to the scientific study of all aspects of the biology of bryophytes and lichen-forming fungi, and is one of the nation's oldest botanical organizations. Membership is open to all persons (professionals and amateurs) with interest in these organisms.
ACIS Advanced Computing and Information Systems Laboratory Associated with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Florida (UF). Since 2001, the ACIS Lab has pioneered research and development in machine and application virtualization in distributed computing and web-based science gateways, high-performance wide-area overlay virtual networks, social and peer-to-peer virtual private networks, and self-configuring virtual appliances. The ACIS Lab hosts one of the main funded sites of the NSF FutureGrid project. The ACIS Lab has excellent connectivity to national and international networks through either 1-Gigabit or 10-Gigabit fiber connections.
ADBC Advancing Digitization of Biodiversity Collections This program encourages new collaborations to develop thematic networks and an innovative national resource coordinating organization, the purpose of which is to create a national resource of digital data documenting existing biological collections and advancing scientific knowledge by improving access to digitized information (including images) residing in vouchered scientific collections across the United States.
AIM-UP! Advancing Integration of Museums into Undergraduate Programs Natural history collections form a crucial physical basis for understanding the diversity and history of life. Often these collections are associated with universities, yet their depth and significance is accessible almost exclusively to practicing researchers. AIM-UP! is an NSF-funded Research Coordination Network (RCN) exploring the use of natural history collections in undergraduate education.

Five themes are proposed for the five years of the project:

  • Integrative Inventories: Complex Biotic Associations Across Space and Time Geographic Variation
  • Evolutionary Dynamics of Genomes
  • Biotic Response to Climate Change
  • Co-evolving Communities of Pathogens and Hosts as Related to Emerging Disease
ALA Atlas of Living Australia The Atlas of Living Australia is a joint initiative to build a national database of Australia's flora and fauna. The project brings together a huge array of information on Australia's biodiversity, accessible through a single website. Partners in this collaborative project include CSIRO, museums, herbaria, other biological collections, the Australian Government, and the community.
AmphibiaWeb An online system that provides access to information on amphibian declines, conservation, natural history, and taxonomy. Includes georeferenced distribution maps utilizing Berkeley Mapper.
Animal Diversity Web Animal Diversity Web (ADW) is an online database of animal natural history, distribution, classification, and conservation biology at the University of Michigan. Data include descriptions, still images, video, and audio.
BHL Biodiversity Heritage Library The Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL) is a consortium of natural history and botanical libraries that cooperate to digitize and make accessible the legacy literature of biodiversity held in their collections and to make that literature available for open access and responsible use as a part of a global biodiversity commons. BHL also serves as the foundational literature component of the Encyclopedia of Life (EOL). BHL content may be freely viewed through the online reader or downloaded in part or as a complete work in PDF, OCR text, or JPG2000 file formats.
BiSciCol Biological Science Collections Tracker BiSciCol (Biological Science Collections) Tracker is an NSF-funded collaborative project with the goal of building an infrastructure designed to tag and track scientific collections and all of their derivatives. BiSciCol is designed on the simple premise that changes to data objects are trackable with GUIDs, and that semantic relationships are assignable and discoverable among physical and data objects.
CF21 Cyberinfrastructure Framework for 21st Century Science and Engineering A report from the National Science Foundation outlining cyberinfrastructure crises, needs, issues, and strategies for the 21st century.
CNABH Consortium of North American Bryophyte Herbaria Created to serve as a gateway to distributed data resources of interest to the taxonomic and environmental research community in North America. Through a common web interface, we offer tools to locate, access and work with a variety of data, starting with searching databased herbarium records. A suite of data access technologies and a distributed network of universities, museums, and agencies that provide taxonomic and environmental information.
CNALH Consortium of North American Lichen Herbaria Created to serve as a gateway to distributed data resources of interest to the taxonomic and environmental research community in North America. Through a common web interface, we offer tools to locate, access and work with a variety of data, such as keying to species. A suite of data access technologies and a distributed network of universities, botanical gardens, museums, and agencies that provide taxonomic and environmental information. Initially created to integrate databases between Arizona State University and the Santa Barbara Botantical Garden, the consortium is growing to extend its network to other partners within North America.
CollectionsWeb CollectionsWeb is an outreach of The Research Coordination Network (RCN) for Building a National Community of Natural History Collections, which started as a way to build communication among people at natural history collections, researchers using those collections, other programs dealing with issues important to collections, and other stakeholders. The goal of this project is to build community among natural history collections and for CollectionsWeb to serve as an online hub for collections-based activities. It provides links to sites with specimen data, but does not deliver data, itself.
CRIA Centro de Referência em Informação Ambiental The Reference Center on Environmental Information of Brazil, is an educational, nonprofit organization, which aims to disseminate scientific and technological knowledge and promote education, to promote the conservation and sustainable use of natural resources and the formation of citizenship. See their project 'speciesLink'
DataONE Data Observation Network for Earth Data Observation Network for Earth (DataONE) desires to be the foundation of new innovative environmental science through a distributed framework and sustainable cyberinfrastructure that meets the needs of science and society for open, persistent, robust, and secure access to well-described and easily discovered Earth observational data. Supported by the U.S. National Science Foundation, DataONE will ensure the preservation and access to multi-scale, multi-discipline, and multi-national science data. DataONE will transcend domain boundaries and make biological data available from the genome to the ecosystem; make environmental data available from atmospheric, ecological, hydrological, and oceanographic sources; provide secure and long-term preservation and access; and engage scientists, land-managers, policy makers, students, educators, and the public through logical access and intuitive visualizations. Most importantly, DataONE is not an end but a means to serve a broader range of science domains both directly and through the interoperability with the DataONE distributed network.
Discover Life Provides free on-line tools to identify species, share ways to teach and study nature's wonders, report findings, build maps, process images, and contribute to and learn from a growing, interactive encyclopedia of life that now has more than one million species pages.
EOL EOL's vision is to offer global access to knowledge about life on Earth. Its mission is to increase awareness and understanding of living nature through an Encyclopedia of Life that gathers, generates, and shares knowledge in an open, freely accessible and trusted digital resource.
EU BON Building the European Biodiversity Observation Network Sustainable governance of our biological resources demands reliable scientific knowledge to be accessible and applicable to the needs of society. The fact that current biodiversity observation systems and environmental datasets are unbalanced in coverage and not well integrated brings the need of a new system which will facilitate access to this knowledge and will effectively improve the work in the field of biodiversity observation in general. In light of the new Intergovernmental science-policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), such a network and approach are imperative for attaining efficient processes of data collation, analysis and provisioning to stakeholders. A system that facilitates open access to taxonomic data is essential because it will allow a sustainable provision of high quality data to partners and users, including e-science infrastructure projects as well as global initiatives on biodiversity informatics. EU BON proposes an innovative approach in terms of integration of biodiversity information system from on-ground to remote sensing data, for addressing policy and information needs in a timely and customized way. The project will reassure integration between social networks of science and policy and technological networks of interoperating IT infrastructures. This will enable a stable new open-access platform for sharing biodiversity data and tools to be created. EU BON’s 30 partners from 18 countries are members of networks of biodiversity data-holders, monitoring organisations, and leading scientific institutions. EU BON will build on existing components, in particular GBIF, LifeWatch infrastructures, and national biodiversity data centres.

The main objective of EU BON is to build a substantial part of the Group on Earth Observation’s Biodiversity Observation Network (GEO BON). EU BON’s deliverables include a comprehensive "European Biodiversity Portal" for all stakeholder communities, and strategies for a global implementation of GEO BON and supporting IPBES. Due to EU BON’s contribution overall European capacities and infrastructures for environmental information management will be strengthened.

Exploring Genomics Data The Genomics Explorers provide an iterative way for students to choose strategies for asking and addressing biologically interesting questions using a range of genomics tools.

See Science article:

FishNet 2 FishNet 2 is a collaborative effort by natural history museums and other biodiversity institutions to establish a global network of Ichthyology collections. There is an open invitation for any institution with a fish collection to join. The current portal is an outgrowth of the original FishNet project with improvements in network stability, georeferencing capabilities, and technical support. Users are provided access to searchable, mappable, and downloadable data that are cached on a regular basis from participating institutions who have published their data via the DiGIR or TAPIR protocols with a Darwin Core schema.
GBIF Global Biodiversity Information Facility The Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) was established by governments in 2001 to encourage free and open access to biodiversity data, via the Internet. Through a global network of 57 countries and 47 organizations, GBIF promotes and facilitates the mobilization, access, discovery, and use of information about the occurrence of organisms over time and across the planet. GBIF is not a data repository. Its purpose is to serve data from other repositories.
Gene Ontology The Gene Ontology project is a major bioinformatics initiative with the aim of standardizing the representation of gene and gene product attributes across species and databases. The project provides a controlled vocabulary of terms for describing gene product characteristics and gene product annotation data from GO Consortium members, as well as tools to access and process this data.
GLOBIS Global Butterfly Information System The Global Butterfly Information System provides information on butterflies based on several research projects. It supports data, pictures, and label information on nearly all type specimen of European museum collections. Summary factsheets are also available on a growing number of species.
Herbaria@Home A crowd sourcing method for documenting the United Kingdom's herbarium collections using remote volunteers.
HerpNET HerpNET is a collaborative effort by natural history museums to establish a global network of herpetological collections data, funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF No. 0132303) and a GBIF DIGIT grant. Sixty-four institutions are participating in the HerpNET community, with an open-ended invitation to institutions who would like to join. Currently 50 institutions are available on the specimen searching portal, with data from over 5.5 million specimens available for searching.
HUB Home Uniting Biocollections A co-funded partnership between the University of Florida and Florida State University that will deliver the Integrated Digitized Biocollections (iDigBio). The central aggregator of digitized biological collection data from TCNs, PENs, and other collection locations. Charged by NSF with being the national resource for biological collection digitization.
Hymenoptera Online Extensive information of Hymenoptera including specimen-based distribution, literature references, along with digitalized publications, and specimen images.
iDigBio Integrated Digitized Biocollections The project funded by the NSF to develop an integrated national infrastructure for digitization of existing biodiversity collections in the U.S. iDigBio is also known as the National Resource for Advancing Digitization of Biological Collections (ADBC).
InvertNet InvertNet InvertNet is one of three initial Thematic Colletions Networks funded by the National Science Foundation's Advancing Digitization of Biological Collections (ADBC) program to provide unprecedented access to specimen images and data from invertebrate collections. This website is designed as a platform for research and education on the biodiversity of invertebrate animals, initially focusing on terrestrial and freshwater aquatic arthropods (insects and related groups).
iPlant iPlant Collaborative iPlant is a community of researchers, educators, and students working to enrich all plant sciences through the development of cyberinfrastructure - the physical computing resources, collaborative environment, virtual machine resources, and interoperable analysis software and data services that are essential components of modern biology.
IWGSC Interagency Working Group on Scientific Collections An interagency group studying and characterizing federally held scientific collections and determining their long-term stewardship needs.
Macaulay Library A multimedia resource for the study of animal behavior and biodiversity, with more than 175,000 audio and 60,000 video recordings documenting the behavioral diversity of birds and other animals. The organization also provides training, expert consultation, and equipment that enable scientists, educators, and nature enthusiasts to discover and record the natural world.
Map of Life This website aims to be a complete resource for convergent evolution. It allows exploration of the ways that similar adaptive solutions have repeatedly evolved from unrelated starting points and identifies hundreds of examples of convergence.
MIBBI Minimum Information for Biological and Biomedical Investigations This website is a portal to minimum information guidelines from diverse bioscience communities
Morphster's goal is to develop a demonstration prototype of a service-oriented architecture enabling and supporting morphologically based phylogenetic studies.
National Biodiversity Data Center National Biodiversity Data Center The National Biodiversity Data Centre is a national organisation that collates, manages and analyses and disseminates data on Ireland’s biodiversity.
NEOMAP Neogene Mammal Mapping Portal NEOMAP is an initial stage in a distributed database system for paleomammalogy, designed to link different, free-standing databases (Miocene Mammal Mapping Project [MIOMAP] and FAUNMAP) by a common access portal. These two linked datasets now provide point-occurrence data for all published late-Oligocene through Holocene mammals in the USA, and for many Quaternary localities in Canada. Interactively search for, retrieve, and analyze data from the MIOMAP and FAUNMAP databases, either separately or in concert.
NEON National Ecological Observatory Network NEON is a continental-scale ecological observation system for examining critical ecological issues. It is designed to gather and synthesize data on the impacts of climate change, land use change and invasive species on natural resources and biodiversity. Data will be collected from 106 sites (60 terrestrial, 36 aquatic and 10 aquatic experimental) across the U.S. (including Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico) using instrument measurements and field sampling. The sites have been strategically selected to represent different regions of vegetation, landforms, climate, and ecosystem performance. NEON will combine site-based data with remotely sensed data and existing continental-scale data sets (e.g., satellite data) to provide a range of scaled data products that can be used to describe changes in the nation’s ecosystem through space and time.
NESCent National Evolutionary Synthesis Center The National Evolutionary Synthesis Center (NESCent) is a nonprofit science center dedicated to cross-disciplinary research in evolution. NESCent is jointly operated by Duke University, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and North Carolina State University, and is sponsored by the National Science Foundation. NESCent promotes the synthesis of information, concepts and knowledge to address significant, emerging, or novel questions in evolutionary science and its applications. NESCent achieves this by supporting research and education across disciplinary, institutional, geographic, and demographic boundaries.
NIBA Network Integrated Biocollections Alliance An alliance that developed the strategic plan from which the National Science Foundation's Advancing Digitization of Biological Collections (ADBC) was launched.
NSCA Natural Science Collections Alliance The Natural Science Collections Alliance is a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit association that supports natural science collections, their human resources, the institutions that house them, and their research activities for the benefit of science and society. Members are part of an international community of museums, botanical gardens, herbariums, universities and other institutions that house natural science collections and utilize them in research, exhibitions, academic and informal science education, and outreach activities.
OpenStack Open Stack Cloud Manager OpenStack is an IaaS cloud computing project by Rackspace Cloud and NASA. Currently more than 120 companies have joined the project among which are Citrix Systems, Dell, AMD, Intel, Canonical, SUSE Linux, HP, and Cisco. It is free open source software released under the terms of the Apache License. OpenStack integrates code from NASA's Nebula platform as well as Rackspace's Cloud Files platform.
Phenoscape The overall objective for Phenoscape is to create a scalable infrastructure that enables linking descriptive phenotype observations across different fields of biology by the semantic similarity of their free-text descriptions. In other words, we are trying to make descriptive observations amenable to large-scale computation so that they can be subjected to computational data integration and knowledge discovery techniques in ways similarly powerful as the traditional techniques used for numeric, quantitative observations.
pro-iBiosphere Coordination and policy development in preparation for a European Open Biodiversity Knowledge Management System, addressing Acquisition, Curation, Synthesis, Interoperability and Dissemination -

Biodiversity information constitutes an important source of knowledge for many disciplines. For example, it is fundamental to supporting conservation and for understanding the potential impacts of climate change. External and internal factors call for an urgent modernization of the production and accessibility of these data, information and knowledge. These external factors include the need for biodiversity data to support decisions for regional and taxon focused conservation. Internal factors are a consequence of the opportunities of the digital revolution, and the need to reconcile the escalating volume of data with the requirement to curate it by a fixed number of taxonomists. The pro-iBiosphere project has been launched for a period of two years (September 1st, 2012 to August 31st, 2014), with the goal of addressing technical and semantic interoperability challenges and preparing the ground for the creation of a system for intelligent management of biodiversity knowledge which will improve the present system of taxonomic literature.

Species 2000 Species 2000 is a "federation" of database organisations working closely with users, taxonomists, and sponsoring agencies. Its goal is to create a validated checklist of all the world's species (plants, animals, fungi and microbes) by bringing together an array of global species databases covering each of the major groups of organisms. The programme in partnership with the Integrated Taxonomic Information system (ITIS) of North America currently produces the Catalogue of Life, which is used by the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF), and Encyclopedia of Life (EoL) as the taxonomic backbone to their web portals.
speciesLink species Link is a distributed system that integrates information in real-time primary data from scientific collections. The system was developed thanks to the support of institutions: FAPESP, GBIF, JRS Foundation, MCT, CNPq, FINEP and CRIA . The goal of the network is to link species integrate specie and specimen data available in natural history museums, herbaria and culture collections, making it openly and freely available on the Internet. Tools are being developed to help interoperability, integration, visualization, and data cleaning.
SPNHC Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections The Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections [SPNHC] is an international society whose mission is to improve the preservation, conservation and management of natural history collections to ensure their continuing value to society. SPNHC takes a leading role in promoting collections care issues to the academic community, governments, and the general public. Our members are dedicated to training and mentoring the next generation of collections professionals.
STEM Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Coalition The Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education Coalition works to support STEM programs for teachers and students at the U. S. Department of Education, the National Science Foundation, and other agencies that offer STEM related programs. The STEM Education Coalition represents all sectors of the technological workforce, from knowledge workers, to educators, to scientists, engineers, and technicians. The participating organizations of the STEM Education Coalition are dedicated to ensuring quality STEM education at all levels.
Symbiota Symbiota Software Project, The Symbiota Software Project is working towards building a library of web tools to aid biologists in establishing specimen-based virtual floras and faunas. Symbiota web tools strive to integrate biological community knowledge and data in order to synthesize a network of databases and tools that will aid in increasing our overall environmental comprehension. The central premise of this open source software project is that through a partnership between software engines and scientific community, higher quality and more publicly useful biodiversity portals can be built.
TCN Thematic Collections Network Networks of collaborative institutions funded by NSF as part of Advancing Digitization of Biological Collections (ADBC). TCNs are responsible for conducting the digitization of collections. TCNs are charged with defining and delineating subprojects for technology development or content generation; identifying deliverable goals, metrics for assessment, and specific needs for community support; providing technical support; and strengthening communications and outreach to other collections.
The Field Book Project The Field Book Project's overall mission is to create one online location for scholars and others to visit when searching for field books and other field research materials. Funded by the Council for Library and Information Resources (CLIR), the Project is a joint initiative between the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History and the Smithsonian Institution Archives.
Universal Chalcidiodea Database Allows users to find the current valid taxon for genus- and species-group names; browse valid families, genera, and species, with synonyms; list chalcidoid parasitoids of an associate family, genus, or species; list taxa associated with a valid chalcidoid genus or species; list chalcidoid taxa recorded from regions, countries, or states; and browse images and videos of chalcidoids.
UFBI University of Florida Biodiversity Institute Established at the Florida Museum of Natural History (FLMNH) and located on the University of Florida (UF) campus, the mission of the Biodiversity Institute is to expand the research and outreach capacity of the FLMNH. The Institute creates a cross-disciplinary research facility where scientists, educators, students, and policy-makers develop research and educational collaborations. It will meet the challenge of understanding biodiversity in a rapidly changing world by accelerating research and distribution of validated information, thereby improving the ability to respond to environmental issues and challenges. The Institute is expected to create additional synergy and efficiencies through the hiring of key positions and the implementation of policies that create collaboration and holistic problem solving.
USVH United States Virtual Herbarium (USVH) project The mission of the United States Virtual Herbarium (USVH) is to provide, using digital technologies, integrated access to all the plant specimen information in the museums and herbaria of the United States of America and, by so doing, better inform scientific research in areas of national and global significance, promote adoption of internationally recognized biological data management standards, and encourage interest in plant diversity.
VertNet Vertebrate Network VertNet is a growing collaboration of natural history collections designed to fulfill the critical need for high quality biodiversity data. It provides an integrated, globally accessible, and sustainable infrastructure via a cloud-based architecture to create a fast, cost-effective, and scalable data platform. This infrastructure represents a new model for data publishing that maintains the fundamental capacity for curation of data at the source, while leveraging the advantages of cloud-based computing technologies. VertNet is the umbrella organization for MaNIS, HerpNET, ORNIS, and FishNet2.