Under development -- please share but do not cite -- draft 16 September, 2010


Project Description

1. Brief Statement of Objectives and Rationale
Understanding the potential impacts of climate change, invasive species, and other large-scale factors on biological systems is a formidable task. It is not feasible to conduct randomized, replicated experiments at regional and continental scales. Instead we can use natural field experiments to study such phenomena (Hargrove and Pickering 1992). Herein we propose to develop a continental scale network for the rapid collection of vast quantities of specimen-level data to inventory and monitor field sites. We will use these data to take advantage of natural experiments. Our specific objectives are

  • to develop the human and technical capacity across this network for researchers to collect, identify, integrate and analyze high-quality digital observations about organisms across geographical and temporal scales;
  • to study the ecology of representative examples of plants, insects and other groups of organisms and model how weather and other large-scale factors affect their phenology, distribution, abundance and interactions.

2. Prior Results