Missouri Botanical Garden Open Conference Systems, TDWG 2016 ANNUAL CONFERENCE

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Biodiversity Informatics Curriculum Interest Group – BDI Curriculum IG
Hanna Koivula

Building: Computer Science
Room: Computer Science 3
Date: 2016-12-08 11:15 AM – 12:30 PM
Last modified: 2016-10-24


Informatics is becoming a more and more important approach within every field of science. Despite several major data sharing and linking initiatives and facilities for biodiversity data, biodiversity informatics (BDI) still lacks recognition as an independent methodological discipline providing the fundamental set of skills for students and researchers in biodiversity research. To establish this status, offering a biodiversity informatics curriculum as part of all levels of scientific education and related careers becomes essential.

Rather than training to use different tools, the BDI Curriculum Interest Group should lay basis for deeper understanding of the key principles of biodiversity informatics and synthesize the teaching curriculum for different target groups and credit levels in the field. By identifying the target groups and an evolving topics list, the Interest Group can proceed to define a framework, i.e., standardized curriculum modules on a conceptual level. Such a framework would support developing educational informatics programmes in a cost-effective way and if need be from scratch. This framework would also provide TDWG with a needed platform for knowledge exchange and sharing of content and ideas with the defined modules.

Task Groups are created within an Interest Group to develop a specific product within a specific time frame. An Interest Group is also responsible for maintaining the products of its past Task Groups.

This interest group session will first give an overview of the current status of BDI training and teaching activities during the past two years as reported by GBIF and TDWG members. Then we will set targets for concrete tasks and task groups that will aim to identify the BDI Curriculum target groups, existing expertise and curricula, and then collaboratively work to formulate standardized modules that could be used when building a framework curriculum for each target group. These tasks will be carried out with online tools by the tasks group members and the resulting framework will be reported to TDWG and hopefully presented in TDWG2017 meeting.

Later this Interest group can act as a coordinating body for sharing resources, seeking funding and finding expertise by surveying the needs of the TDWG and academic communities to further develop the curriculum framework(s). The interest group also aims to initiate and maintain the discussion of biodiversity informatics curricula from various points of view, e.g., academic discipline; training working professionals; and career development.