OOS 79
Beyond the Spreadsheet: Data Integration and Informatics for the Next Century of Ecology

Thursday, August 13, 2015: 1:30 PM-5:00 PM
337, Baltimore Convention Center
Ramona L. Walls, University of Arizona
Christine Laney, NEON
Annie Simpson, United States Geological Survey (USGS)
Data have always been the foundation of ecological research, but how we collect, share, and use them is changing rapidly. It is now common for data for a single study to be collected by many individuals across multiple sites and for analyses to depend on previously published data from data repositories or the literature. At the same time, many of today’s most pressing ecological questions -- such as how global climate change will affect species distributions and ecosystem processes or how to manage natural resources such as international fisheries or the Amazon rainforest -- depend on integration of data from many sources. Unfortunately, our training as scientists does not always prepare us for how to generate, find, and use data in this new landscape. This session will bring together ecologists from a diverse set of academic and federal organizations who focus on integration and re-use of data -- both big and small -- to discuss opportunities and challenges in data integration. Talks will follow three main themes: 1) the current state of data integration and how to make it better, 2) tools for finding, managing, sharing, and visualizing ecological data, and 3) reports on research using integrated data. The goal of this session is to raise awareness of the importance of informatics in ecology, which we will do in two ways. First, we aim to demonstrate the utility of informatics to a broad range of researchers by offering talks that educate ESA members about the many options available for data integration, the larger visions and technologies under development by national informatics organizations, and research that leverages those resources. Second, we hope to distill an understanding that informatics is an innovative research discipline within ecology in its own right, not just a support service (although its role as a support service is substantial), by presenting new research on the development of informatics and data integration tools. No ecologist should be uncomfortable with phrases like “big data”, “bio-informatics”, or “data sharing” and we hope this session will help overcome lingering fears.
1:30 PM
 Towards data integration: Access and sharing of biodiversity, ecological, and environmental data for science and decision-making
Elizabeth Martín, United States Geological Survey (USGS); Annie Simpson, United States Geological Survey (USGS)
2:10 PM
 Advancing research data management practices in ecology and biodiversity with technology, training, and support
Roman Gerlach, Friedrich-Schiller-University; Birgitta Koenig-Ries, Friedrich-Schiller-University
3:10 PM
3:20 PM
 TraitBank: An open digital repository for organism traits
Katja Schulz, Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History; Jennifer Hammock, Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History; Cynthia Parr, UDSA
3:40 PM
 Reproducible science via semantics and provenance for ecological data
Matthew B. Jones, National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis; Christopher Jones, University of California Santa Barbara; Lauren Walker, University of California Santa Barbara; Peter Slaughter, University of California Santa Barbara; Benjamin Leinfelder, University of California Santa Barbara
4:00 PM
 TraitCapture and Phenomic Environmental Sensing Arrays: NextGen tools for scaling from seeds to traits to ecosystems.
Timothy B Brown, Australian National University; Joel Granados, Australian National University; Chuong Nguyen, Australian National University; Kevin D. Murray, Australian National University; Riyan Cheng, Australian National University; Cristopher Brack, Australian National University; Justin Borevitz, Australian National University
4:20 PM
 Inventorying life: New standards and approaches for re-using and integrating taxonomic inventory data
Rob Guralnick, University of Florida; Walter Jetz, Yale University; Ramona L. Walls, University of Arizona
4:40 PM
 Utilizing species data repositories to support conservation planning
Kaylene E. Keller, US Fish and Wildlife Service; Orien Richmond, US Fish and Wildlife Service