Biological Data Working Group 1999 NSDI Accomplishments
Goal 1: To increase the awareness and understanding of the vision and concepts of the NSDI through outreach and education.
Objectives: Communicate the goals and objectives of the NSDI and the benefits of participation in the NSDI to existing and prospective participants, with a particular focus on expanding the understanding and awareness of the NSDI to the biological resources community. Help expand and increase applicability and pertinence of NSDI practices, standards, etc. for use in facilitating collection, exchange, sharing, and application of biological data.
Actions: 1. Develop an initial set of generalized descriptive materials (written handouts, overhead transparencies, etc.) on the goals and objectives of the Working Group (and its relationship to the FGDC/NSDI). These materials can then be available for use by Group members to help in communicating about the Group when attending other meetings, conferences, professional societies, etc. Much of this material can be drawn from Group Charter, work plan, and other FGDC/NSDI materials as needed.
2. Develop a concise (one-page) description of the short-term focal points of the Working Group (e.g., biological metadata standards, biological nomenclature standards) and what the objectives of these efforts will be. This document can then be used, in conjunction with more general materials developed in Action item no.1 to help particularly identify potential groups, organizations, communities that have an interest in, are working in, would like to be involved in these respective areas and that thus should be targeted for special outreach/communication efforts.
3. Develop an initial list (which will be continuously updated and expanded) of groups, organizations, activities, or Acommunities@ that have a potential interest and involvement in one or more of the prospective focal areas of the Working Group.
4. Coordinate and work with the FGDC Communications Working Group to identify communications activities and/or materials that the two groups can work on together in this area.
5. Maintain a web site for the Working Group, as part of the FGDC web site, and use the web site as one mechanism to communicate about Working Group goals and activities.
Results: During 1999, the Working Group completed a series of four new NSDI fact sheets on its activities. These fact sheets have been printed and distributed in hard copy and distributed online through the FGDC web site and the Working Group web site. Copies have been provided to the FGDC Communications Working Group. The fact sheets include: 1) an overview of the Working Group, 2) a description of the biological metadata profile, 3) a description of the proposed development of an FGDC biological nomenclature data standard, and 4) a summary of key biological data programs of the Working Group=s member agencies. In addition, information on the Working Group and its activities was included as part of presentations made at several national-level conferences and scientific meetings in the biological/ecological sciences community. The Working Group web site was regularly updated and expanded throughout the year.
Goal 2: Develop common solutions for discovery, collection, access, and use of geospatial data in response to needs of diverse communities.
Objectives: Within context of NSDI goals and objectives and practices, help to promote and coordinate the development, refinement, and implementation of standards, tools, and approaches for facilitating collection, exchange, sharing, and application of biological data.
Actions: 1. Coordinate the development of a Biological Profile for the FGDC Geospatial Metadata Content Standard (or a parallel Biological Metadata Standard), as based on the approved proposal for development of a biological profile which the USGS Biological Resources Division submitted to the FGDC Standards Working Group in 1996. Consider comments received from the FGDC Public Review and the FGDC and USGS/BRD sponsored AIBS Review and take appropriate actions. Work with FGDC Standards Working Group to have the biological profile of the Geospatial Metadata Standard (or a parallel Biological Metadata Standard) approved as an FGDC standard.
2. Coordinate development of data content standard for biological nomenclature and taxonomy, and work with the FGDC Standards Working Group to work toward approval of this as an FGDC standard. Summarize comments from public review of standards proposal, develop appropriate responses to comments and report results to FGDC Standards Working Group. Take the actions required to develop a draft biological nomenclature and taxonomy standard (Steps 3-5).
3. Develop a long-term (3-5 year) list of other potential action areas which the Working Group will address, e.g., additional biological data standards, tools and protocols for accessing and exchanging biological data, etc. This list will, in effect serve as basis of a strategic plan for the Working Group and will be continuously refined, as needed.
Results: The Biological Data Profile was formally endorsed by the FGDC Steering Committee on October 26, 1999. The Working Group developed a revised proposal for development of a biological nomenclature and taxonomy data standard; this proposal was approved by the FGDC Standards Working Group in August 1999. The Working Group has identified a task team to develop a draft nomenclature and taxonomy data standard. The Working Group received an award of $7500 from the FGDC to support participation of non-Federal experts in the development of this standard. The Working Group identified two key new action areas for FY2000 and beyond: 1) continued efforts to communicate and provide information on the biological metadata profile to help increase awareness and use of the standard by government agencies, professional societies, academic researchers, etc. and 2) develop a description of requirements for software tool(s) that can be used to collect and manage biological metadata (in accord with the profile).
Goal 3: Build relationships among organizations to support the continuing development of the NSDI.
Objectives: Help to strengthen and promote linkages among FGDC subcommittees and working groups on issues and activities that pertain to biological data. Help expand the goals and objectives of the FGDC and NSDI by fostering increased awareness, coordination, and cooperation among government agencies and other organizations which are involved in collection, access, exchange, and application of biological data.
Actions: 1. Increase understanding and awareness of the respective biological data activities and programs of the member agencies and organizations of the Working Group by having each member present overview to the Group of their agency=s biological data activities, interests, and responsibilities. Develop a summary fact sheet, which describes the members= major biological data activities as part of the set of Working Group outreach and communications materials described under Goal 1.
2. Review goals and activities of other FGDC subcommittees and working groups as they pertain to collection, access, exchange, and application of biological data. Develop list of potential actions which the Working Group could undertake in conjunction with these other FGDC groups to help achieve mutually beneficial outcomes. Meet with representatives of the other FGDC groups where potential joint actions are identified to discuss further steps.
3. Begin development of a list of programs and activities outside the FGDC structure (e.g., private sector, State or local government, professional societies, etc.) that are related to biological data standards development, biological data access and exchange tools and protocols, etc. This list will be continuously updated and will serve as a reference for the Working Group to help leverage, build on, and incorporate existing work and products that support the goals of the Working group and the FGDC in the biological data arena.
Results: In 1999, the Working Group completed the summary fact sheet describing the member agencies= biological data activities. The Working Group also added new regular members from the U.S. Long-Term Ecological Research Network and from the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. In addition, the Working Group hosted a presentation on biological data activities at NOAA.