[Taxacom] Biodiversity Information Serving Our Nation (BISON) Public Release. (bison.usgs.ornl.gov)

stinger at stingersplace.com stinger at stingersplace.com
Thu Apr 18 07:55:55 CDT 2013

The USGS makes finding the locations (and more) of U.S. species a lot  
easier with the new digital resource ? BISON

Biodiversity Information Serving Our Nation or BISON is the only  
system of its kind; a unique, web-based Federal resource for finding  
species in the U. S. and territories.  Its size is unprecedented,  
offering more than 100 million mapped records of nearly every living  
species nationwide and growing. And the vast majority of the records  
are specific locations, not just county or state records.

What?s more, BISON provides an ?Area of Interest? search capability in  
which users can query by drawing the exact boundary around their area  
of interest, down to and including towns, villages, or even much  
smaller areas such as parks. For instance, New York City?s Central  
Park has more than 100,000 ?species occurrences? recorded in BISON,  
with each species noted in detail. Other BISON search options include  
querying the species by scientific or common name, year range, state,  
county, basis of record, or provider institution.
As for the results, BISON displays them in both an interactive map and  
a list format. Users can click on each species occurrence point to  
retrieve more information, such as the institution providing the data,  
the collector, the date collected, and whether it was from a  
collection or an observation. Further, occurrences can be dynamically  
visualized with more than 50 other layers of environmental information  
in the system. Extensive web services are also available for direct  
connections to other systems.

?The USGS is proud to announce this monumental resource?, said Kevin  
Gallagher, Associate Director, Core Science Systems, ?and this is a  
testament to the power of combining the efforts of hundreds of  
thousands of professional and citizen scientists into a resource that  
uses Big Data and Open Data principles to deliver biodiversity  
information for sustaining the Nation?s environmental capital."

?BISON is destined to become an indispensable toolkit to manage  
species occurrence data to support scientific, educational, and  
policy-making activities in the US?, Dr. Erick Mata, Executive  
Director of the Encyclopedia of Life explained. ?This is highly  
complementary and synergistic with EOL's efforts to raise awareness  
and understanding of living nature.?

"With BISON, the USGS takes a big step toward making biodiversity data  
held within Federal agencies easier to find and use?, added Mary  
Klein, President & CEO of NatureServe. ?I am enthusiastic about future  
opportunities to work with USGS to increase collaboration among  
Federal, state and private data holders.?

USGS Core Science Systems Mission Area, which developed the resource,  
expects that BISON users will be broad-based and include land  
managers, researchers, refuge managers, citizen scientists,  
agriculture professionals, fisheries managers, water resource  
managers, educators, and more.
Land managers, for instance, might be looking for a piece of land to  
purchase for conservation?but first they want to know what species  
have been documented for that parcel. BISON will tell them after only  
a few mouse clicks.

BISON serves as the U.S. Node of the Global Biodiversity Information  
Facility (GBIF) and will form an integral part of EcoINFORMA, the  
information delivery strategy in "Sustaining Environmental Capital:  
Protecting Society and the Economy," a recent report by the  
President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST).

"BISON responds directly to a key need PCAST pointed out in  
?Sustaining Environmental Capital? -- to make Federal environmental  
data available, inter-operable, and usable to the public," said PCAST  
member Rosina Bierbaum, "We look forward to this 'biodiversity' hub  
being supplemented by complementary ecological data hubs by other  
Federal partners, to further the goal of helping communities across  
the Nation make increasingly wise planning and management decisions."

BISON already includes millions of points from the Federal investment  
in biodiversity research. It is formally cooperating with other  
Federal agencies to greatly expand the delivery of federally funded  
biodiversity data for the greatest possible good. Hundreds of  
thousands of citizen and professional scientists have collected the  
data in BISON. Non-governmental organizations, state and local  
governments, universities, and many others are also participating in  
this enormous undertaking.

The USGS has built and maintains BISON, which is hosted on the massive  
Federal computing infrastructure at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
To learn more, visit: http://bison.usgs.ornl.gov or contact the USGS  
BISON Team at BISON at usgs.gov

The USGS Core Science Analytics and Synthesis program within Core  
Science Systems is home to BISON and focuses on innovative ways to  
manage and deliver scientific data and information. The program  
implements and promotes standards and best practices to enable  
efficient, data-driven science for decision-making that supports a  
rapid response to emerging natural resource issues. One of the ways  
this is accomplished is by developing national data products that  
increase our understanding of the Earth?s natural systems.

**** http://www.usgs.gov/****

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