Discover Life in America


Database Planning Workshop

April, 1998

Considerations for an Information Management Plan for the Great Smoky Mountains National Park All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory:

Report of the Herndon Workshop

April 22-23, 1998

The Information Steering Committee of Great Smoky Mountains National Park All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory met in Herndon, VA, on April 22-23, 1998, to discuss the management of the information resulting from the Inventory, which is scheduled to begin on March 1, 1999. It was envisioned that the ATBI information management system would be built on existing software and protocols; therefore, the workshop approach was to review and evaluate operational and beta-version systems which might, in whole or in part, provide solutions useful to ATBI, and then decide on a specific plan of action for the development of an information system for ATBI.

Systems presentations included briefings on the following possible solutions for an ATBI information system:

A Technical Committee, including Colwell, Johnson, Blum, Green and Bauldock, was established to continue the work of defining the information system. Waggoner and Sharkey will comprise a sub-group to address interactive keys.

Recommendations for an ATBI Information System

The Technical Committee met during the course of the Herndon meeting and compiled preliminary recommendations for the ATBI Information System. Additional work will be required to address the details of each component of the information system. The recommendations included:

Interim Solution Prototype Project

Concept: For the first operational year of ATBI, data gathered in the field will be input into either Biota or Oz. Biota and Oz will be configured to provide output in a form which can be input into a data warehouse. It was agreed that proof of this concept could be demonstrated through a prototype in which data output from Biota in a tab-delimited form will be input to the OSU system. Data from the ALAS database will be used to test the transfer between Biota and OSU.

Cost Estimate: Colwell will make the necessary changes in Biota to facilitate this data exchange at no cost to ATBI. Johnson provided (subsequent to the Herndon meeting) a cost estimate of $70K for the work to be done at OSU. Costs include:

Labor (summer)20,000
Labor (release time)10,000
Indirect (est. 48% of labor)10,000
Work at OSU to accept Biota output will not begin until funds are made available.

Time line: A working prototype will be developed by the end of July, 1998. A workshop to review and evaluate the working prototype will be held in La Selva, Costa Rica, during the last week in July, or in Reston, VA, during the first week in September, 1998. The prototype will be completed by March 1, 1999.

Report by Barbara Bauldock, U. S. Geological Survey, Biological Resources Division

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