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Abstract Detail

Digitized natural history collections records in traditional research, collaborative research, and big data research

Denslow, Michael [1].

Digitizing natural history collections and laboratory analyses at the NEON Observatory.

Currently under construction, the nation’s first continental-scale ecological observation system, the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) will quantify the impacts of climate change, land use, and biological invasions by collecting data at 106 sites (60 terrestrial, 36 aquatic and 10 aquatic experimental) across the United States (including Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico) using instrument measurements and field sampling over the course of 30 years. Field activities related to NEON will result in the collection of a variety of biodiversity and earth science specimens which will be made available to the community as a resource for future research efforts. Field collections will include a range of taxa including plants, animals, insects and microbial communities from terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. In addition to whole organism collections, NEON will collect sub-samples such as blood, tissue and DNA extracts. NEON will also archive soil, dust and water samples. The number of collections is currently estimated to be greater than 130,000 per year once NEON is in full operation in the year 2017. Many these specimens will be themselves be analyzed by NEON to create a variety of derived data products such as disease prevalence, DNA barcoding and metagenomic information.  
NEON has a large suite of unique information management needs, which requires a series of custom-built software solutions. Specimen information at NEON requires the management of a distributed resource. For example, field collection events, laboratory analyses and specimen curation are not handled ‘under one roof.’ This presentation will review aspects of the NEON collections resource and associated cyberinfrastructure tools that will be of value to the scientific community. While it is important to envision how the community will leverage NEON specimens in their own right, it is also critical to assess how this resource will be utilized in conjunction with other specimens discovered through data aggregators such as iDigBio. In addition, the NEON data will complement the data mobilized by the Thematic Collection Networks. Both of these programs are designed to address pressing science questions through specimen-based research. The goals of the NEON collections program are similar to those of many museums, to inform the knowledge of biodiversity and to make specimen and derived data available to researchers nationwide.

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1 - NEON, Inc., Scientific Research Collections, 1685 38th Street, Suite 100, Boulder, CO, 80301, USA

museum specimens
Specimen based research.

Presentation Type: Symposium or Colloquium Presentation
Session: SY05
Location: Snake/Boise Centre
Date: Tuesday, July 29th, 2014
Time: 10:45 AM
Number: SY05008
Abstract ID:528
Candidate for Awards:None

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