[Taxacom] PRESENT ONLINE: Call for Abstracts, Fiji Workshop on Biodiversity Collections in the Pacific : DNA Barcoding and Digitization Workshop

Schindel, David schindeld at si.edu
Mon May 27 08:47:33 CDT 2013

Dear Colleagues,

We have received many expressions of interest from potential presenters and attendees but many of them lack the travel support necessary to attend a conference in Fiji.  Since both barcoding and collection digitization are community-based initiatives, the organizers have decided to make this an open, distributed Webinar.  People who would like to be presenters or attendees will be able to do so from anywhere.  As soon as the agenda has been finalized we will issue a call for registration which will be limited to 100 web-participants.

The Consortium for the Barcode of Life (CBOL) at the Smithsonian Institution and CSIRO in Canberra, Australia, are the co-organizers of a full-day symposium/workshop at the 12th Pacific Science Association Inter-Congress, Suva, Fiji 8-12 July 2013.  The session is endorsed by the Oceania GBIF Node and the Global Taxonomy Initiative of the Convention on Biological Diversity.  The description of the session is presented below.  You will see that the day will be divided between presentations on barcoding as a tool for digitizing collections and a training workshop on other digitization techniques.

DEADLINE: The organizers invite you to submit abstracts by 15 June.  Applicants for the barcoding session should send abstracts to David Schindel (schindeld at si.edu<mailto:schindeld at si.edu>) and for the digitization session to Beth Mantle (Beth.Mantle at csiro.au<mailto:Beth.Mantle at csiro.au>).



David E. Schindel, Consortium for the Barcode of Life, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC, USA
Beth Mantle, Australian National Insect Collection, CSIRO, Canberra, ACT, Australia

Reference collections in museums, herbaria, botanical gardens, zoos and other repositories are critical infrastructure for research, education, regulation and legislation related to biodiversity.  These collections provide documentation of research results as well as long-term changes in nature.  Patterns of ecological, evolutionary and anthropogenic changes often go unseen and undocumented until samples from these collections material are analyzed and re-analyzed using the latest technology.  In order to be accessible and effective, reference collections need to be digitized and their data and metadata made available to the research and education community, to policy-makers, and to the general public.  Digitization in the most general sense is the association of an organism and its characteristics to a unique identifier that can be indexed for later searching and retrieval.  It can take several forms, ranging from digital capture of label data (date and place of collection, taxonomic identification) to digital image capture and even DNA sequencing.

This full day session will include a half-day symposium of contributed presentations on DNA barcoding and a half-day instructional workshop on biodiversity informatics.  The DNA barcoding symposium will contribute toward development of a regional strategy for Oceania for  construction and use of standardized barcode libraries.  These libraries could serve basic research in ecology and evolution and/or applications such as the protection of endangered species and control of invasive alien species such as agricultural pests.  The biodiversity informatics workshop will showcase initiatives such as the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF), the Atlas of Living Australia (ALA), New Zealand Organisms register (NZOR), and digitization initiatives such as iDigBio and Australia's Virtual Herbarium (AVH).  This session will explore applications and network tools appropriate for the small and scattered countries and territories of Oceania. Participants will learn the latest approaches to the digitization of natural history collections and explore how these could be applied to their collections. The session will conclude with a round-table discussion on strategic development of, and support for, biodiversity informatics in the Oceania region.

The Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) has expressed its support for this proposed workshop as a contribution to enhancing capacity in taxonomy (a goal of CBD's Global Taxonomy Initiative, GTI) and strengthening informatics infrastructure in the Pacific region.   Academic collaborations on biodiversity facilitate achievement by CBD Parties in the region of Aichi Biodiversity Target 9 (invasive alien species) and Target 19 (Biodiversity science).

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