Missouri Botanical Garden Open Conference Systems, TDWG 2014 ANNUAL CONFERENCE

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OBIS-USA Marine BioGeography Extensions in United States Government Science Context; Biodiversity Goals in Regulation, Monitoring, Response, Economic Activity, Education, and Research
Philip Goldstein

Last modified: 2014-09-25


OBIS-USA (http://USGS.gov/obis-usa), a program of the United States Geological Survey Core Science, Analytics and Synthesis, is the United States regional node of OBIS - the International Ocean Biogeographic Information System (http://iobis.org). Worldwide, OBIS nodes use the Darwin Core standard for biogeographic data.  In the United States, OBIS-USA uses Darwin Core and extensions to serve a growing range of applications.  Extensions are driven by US government and international requirements including the need to span agencies, and to show cost-effective ability to serve applications that enhance government activities in regulation, operations, monitoring, response, economic activity, research, education, and other social benefits.  An important USGS/OBIS-USA partner is the US IOOS program (the Integrated Ocean Observing System).OBIS-USA developed extensions to Ratified Darwin Core, called "MBG" for Marine BioGeography, to meet application requirements in the US government science context.  Examples of applications served include (1) animal abundance for ecosystem research, management, and commercial resource support, (2) megafauna population observation for protection during operations and resource management, and (3) animal health mapping for mitigation of stranding and mortality.  These applications are all direct descendents of core biodiversity data management practices.

Underlying the end-use applications mentioned above, OBIS-USA's MBG extensions also incorporate structural requirements to integrate data with other US marine science data such as climate and physical oceanography, as well as terminology to help organize data by marine activity and agency hierarchy.

Another role for Darwin Core in OBIS-USA's government context is to provide techniques and tools for trainable, repeatable processes handing data through a life cycle from origination to distribution, applications, and archiving.  Standards-based and extension-enabled process and tools are necessary for government entities to justify and adopt programs and set up operations.