Email from John Pickering to Soetikno, 2 July, 2005

Date: Sat, 2 Jul 2005 16:31:00 -0400
From: John Pickering
Subject: International network of centers to share biodiversity information


Sorry it's taken me a few days to respond. I've just returned from a trip
to Harvard. We now have Ed Wilson's support in developing an international
network of regional centers to share biodiversity information via Discover
Life and contribute to the Web's growing encyclopedia of life. I'll fill
you in on the details as soon as I can. In short, the good news is that
Ed's fully behind our goals and committed to helping us develop them.

Before my next trip to Boston cerca 23 August, we should plan to write a
prospectus of what would be involved in establishing 8 centers around the
world to take photographs, assemble information, and build identification
guides to the flora and fauna in each region. During my visit to Malaysia,
let's detail what we will need to establish a center in Kuala Lumpur that
will serve the 10 countries in southeast Asia through ASEANET and your
partner organizations.

The mission of each center will be to provide the technology and expertise
to best study and monitor species locally and to share knowledge freely
worldwide. We need to determine priorities, set goals, and figure out how
to staff, train, and support each center. In addition to folks using
Discover Life's on-line tools, I envision that a function of each center
will be to produce very high-resolution images of species. In this regard,
Gary Alpert, who's helping to spearhead the effort to photograph world
ants, has offered to lend his expertise and help train folks to take and
process top-quality images. I propose that our initial target groups
include all plants, ants, pests, and invasives.

By August, we need to select and get the formal support of the institutions
that will host other centers. I suggest that we select one from each of
BioNet International's regional networks of taxonomists. I'm copying this
to some of our friends so that they can join us in the process and help us
coordinate our efforts with theirs. In addition to Richard, Lucie, Connal
and Malika in BioNet, I hope that we'll get feedback and support from
Gladys Cotter and Annie Simpson (Interior/NBII/GISIN), Steve Hubbell
(CTFS), Chuck Lydeard (NSF), Peter and Pat Raven (Mobot), Cristian Samper
(Smithsonian/Encyclopedia of Life), and Ron Stinner and Yulu Xia

Thanks for your help in preparing for my visit. Very much look forward to
it. I'll respond to your specific questions in a separate email.


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