Announcing the Biodicen-l List

Fri Jul 22 14:38:00 CDT 1994

          BIODICEN-L Listserver

          The Smithsonian Institution, in cooperation with the University
          of California at Berkeley, is pleased to announce the creation
          of a new listserver to discuss information management for the
          proposed U.S. National Biodiversity Information Center.

          Welcome to Biodicen-L:

          This listserver is a forum for informal, open discussion of
          information management options and issues for the proposed U.S.
          National Biodiversity Information Center. Contributions and
          discussions in this list may help to shape the final proposal
          for the Center. This list is unmoderated. This list may be of
          interest to those with a general interest in biodiversity
          information sources and tools. New subscribers from any sector
          are welcome. Readers can find a straw description of the Center
          concept in the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History's
          gopher,, under Biodiversity Programs.

          The draft mission for the Center is:

          "to function as a clearinghouse to --

          1.    Provide awareness of available biodiversity data
                and information;
          2.    Enable access to such data and information; and
          3.    Facilitate the use and exchange of and
                collaborative discussions about the information --

          in order to meet the needs of public and private customers for
          conservation, sustainable use, education, and scientific

          The objectives of the Center are to:

          o        Promote the use of data and information to conserve our
          biodiversity and ecosystems; achieve sustainable development;
          understand our biodiversity resources, the goods and services
          they provide, and opportunities for sustainable use; and meet
          our obligations under U.S. and international laws and treaties;

          o       Encourage the use of biodiversity data and information
          that are scientifically credible and of known, good quality;

          o       Address the full scope of biodiversity, from genes
          through species through ecosystems, including terrestrial,
          aquatic, and marine, macroscopic and microscopic, obvious and
          cryptic, with a primary focus on the biodiversity of the United
          States and information about collections held in the U.S.;

          o       Meet the needs of a wide range of customers, including
          researchers in academia, government, and other institutions and

          entities; industry and non-governmental organizations; private
          citizens, including land owners, managers, and users; and policy
          and decision-makers in all institutions and entities; and

          o       Provide a forum for discussion and collaborative
          approaches to resolution of biodiversity issues."


          Here are some of the questions for which discussion is invited:

          What information products and services should the Center
          Who are the most important customers and suppliers of
          information? What are the greatest information priorities the
          Center should address? What are the most important uses? Are
          there any functions that require special emphasis?

          Are there any good models for this type of Center? What are they
          and why might they be good models to examine? What operations
          should we look at? Are there any negative models, lessons
          learned, things to avoid?

          How can the Center identify critical information gaps?

          How should the Center obtain customer feedback from its users?
          How should the Center achieve continuous improvement in its
          information quality and quality of its operations?

          What are the key opportunities for collaboration?  With what
          organizations, for what purpose? Are there any "golden
          opportunities" we should pursue? To what extent can the Center
          be virtual rather than physical? How?


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