Tag Archives: biodiversity

Global Biodiversity Forecasting and Response System to Embrace Information, Networking Technologies

At the Global Biodiversity Informatics Conference (GBIC) held in Copenhagen, Denmark earlier this month, experts from around the globe agreed on key priorities for using information technologies and social networks to help understand life on Earth.

The focus of the work is on “how biodiversity can continue to sustain human lives and livelihoods.”

Information networks support and permeate nearly every aspect of our daily lives in areas such as banking, commerce and entertainment. We still do not have this kind of rich, globally-interconnected system for understanding and monitoring life on Earth. We know a lot about species, genetics, and ecology, but we can’t easily put this information together into a working knowledge system. This conference has given us a roadmap toward this goal.”

“Over the last quarter century, thousands of talented people have been working hard to bring essential biodiversity data onto the web. Much has already been achieved or is under development. GBIC has reinforced how important these activities are, and at the same time has outlined a path for us to build from where we are and deliver a rich globally-connected system for understanding and monitoring multiple aspects of biodiversity.”

— Donald Hobern, Executive Director, the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF)

The overarching goal is to support collaborative biodiversity observation on a global level so that short-term changes and longer-term trends can be identified and appropriate responses can be enabled.

Next steps include developing an “outlook document” that will prioritize biodiversity informatics in order to create forecasting and response capabilities like those used in forecasting the weather and detecting earthquakes.

How is technology changing your life for the better?

Learn more at http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2012-07/gbif-bgc070612.php

© Tony Leininger and IT for Good 2012. See sidebar for full copyright notice.


Online Tech to Connect Arizona State’s ‘Global Classroom’ to Europe

An educational pilot project at ASU is laying the groundwork for international undergraduate educational collaboration.

Working together with Leuphana University in Germany, Arizona State University has initiated a pilot project that paves the way for international educational collaboration.

The “global classroom” program will use virtual conferencing technology along with online exercises and interactions to test traditional educational roles, put forward new ideas about educational methods, and explore and redefine the ways education is shaped by location.

“…all knowledge has context. So we asked, ‘what if as we teach about sustainability, conservation biology, science, humanities and culture, we have students from Europe, South America, China, and the U.S. all talking together?’ There would be differing views and the sharing of those views might allow students to develop solutions to challenges that none could have conceived of individually. And so was born the concept of a global classroom.”

— Robert Page, vice provost and dean, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, ASU

Potential partners located in Germany, Holland, and Israel are observing the progress of ASU’s Global Classroom, and if the approach is successful, ASU may move forward with creating innovative educational links between the U.S. and China.

How is technology changing your life for the better?

Learn more at http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2012-07/asu-ots070312.php

© Tony Leininger and IT for Good 2012. See sidebar for full copyright notice.

“Map of Life” Project Aspires to Understand and Save World’s Biodiversity

A new, web-based “Map of Life” is being developed by a team of researchers from Yale University and the University of Colorado Boulder. The purpose of the online tool is to show how living plants and animals are distributed around the planet.

A small but powerful next step is to provide a means for anyone, anywhere on the globe to use their mobile devices to instantly pull up animal and plant distributions and even get a realistic assessment on the odds of encountering a particular species of wildlife,”

—Robert Guralnick, Associate Professor and curator of invertebrate zoology, Museum of Natural History, University of Colorado

The team has compiled various types of data about life on Earth that has been collected during the past 200 years. In addition to professional scientists, potential users include wildlife and land managers, organizations that focus on conservation efforts, and the general public.

Additional information is available at http://www.mappinglife.org/about.

How is technology changing your life for the better?

Learn more at http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2012-05/uoca-no051012.php

© Tony Leininger and IT for Good 2012. See sidebar for full copyright notice.

Interactive Classroom Links Teachers, Students in Arizona, Panama

The Desert to Rainforest project vision includes international education reform and global innovation.

Educators in Phoenix and Panama are taking part in a yearlong science education program, Desert to Rainforest, which is supported by the Smithsonian.

Students and teachers in both locations will use interactive video technology to learn about the ways Arizona’s deserts and Panama’s rainforests are alike and different.

An overarching goal of the project is to help develop critical thinking skills, science know-how, and cultural awareness.

The video component will enable us to build connections between students in Panama and here in Phoenix. I think this is a great addition to the project because it enables middle school students to learn not only about biodiversity but cultural diversity as well.”

—Lauren Coffey, student teacher, Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, Arizona State University

A collaborative initiative launched in 2010, the Desert to Rainforest project encompasses the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama (STRI); ASU’s School of Life Sciences, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and Teachers College; Audubon Arizona; Phoenix Public School Districts; and the Ministry of Education in Panama. The project vision includes international education reform and global innovation.

Desert to Rainforest emphasizes the development of core curricula that celebrates life in these two rich ecosystems. The students living in each of these distinctively different environments will use their personal experiences to understand differences and similarities in the habitats in which they live, and they will bring new knowledge home to share with their families.”

—David Pearson, a research professor in ASU’s School of Life Sciences

Learn more at http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2012-04/asu-dtr041612.php

© Tony Leininger and IT for Good 2012. See sidebar for full copyright notice.