Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Biodiversity Informatics Training Workshop (BITW) - call for applications

Second Call: Applications for VertNet’s first biodiversity informatics workshop are due on January 10th, 2012. Please share this information with your colleagues, students, friends, and anyone else whom you believe would be interested in this opportunity.

The Biodiversity Informatics Training Workshop (BITW), June 24-30, 2012, will provide participants with the training and experience to work with primary biodiversity data sources and new tools necessary to become proficient in biodiversity informatics and conduct biodiversity research. Led by experienced informaticists and researchers, the BITW will emphasize the use and analysis of aggregated biodiversity data from VertNet, and other sources, for a wide of variety of research.

During the course of five days, participants will work closely with trainers to address compelling biodiversity research questions, focusing on the entire scope of a research project, from initial data acquisition to tools for data evaluation to analysis and finally, project dissemination and outreach. The workshop will include large and small group exercises on a common curriculum as well as the opportunity for participants to discuss and explore individual research questions with trainers. During the workshop, participants will explore and utilize:

  • Data sources for discovery, acquisition, data standards, database creation and organization (e.g., VertNet, GBIF, Darwin Core)
  • Organization, analysis, work flow, and data improvement tools
  • Biodiversity measurement and analyses techniques (e.g., species richness, turnover)
  • Species distribution modeling approaches
  • Dissemination, education and outreach mechanisms (e.g., citizen science)

The goal of the workshop is to provide conceptual frameworks and hands-on experience on a suite of data sources such as VertNet (including MaNIS, FishNet, HerpNET, and ORNIS), EOL and Map of Life, and new and developing software tools such as BioGeomancer, GEOLocate, DivaGIS, Quantum GIS, R Statistics, ArcGIS, ModEco, Maxent, and OpenModeller.

At the end of the week, participants should leave the workshop with:

  1. an understanding of the evolution of, and the work flows within, a research project,
  2. a set of basic skills to use data repositories and informatics and analytic tools, and understand which tools are appropriate for tasks
  3. knowledge of the abundant resources and additional training available.

Who should attend?
Advanced undergraduates, recent post baccalaureates, and early-career graduate students currently working, or interested in a career in a biodiversity related field, including, but not limited to, ecology, conservation, geography, biology, environmental science, computer science, and library science.

Workshop Selection and Support
Acceptance to the BITW is a competitive process and the workshop is limited to 25 participants. All applications materials and recommendations must be received by 11:59pm PT on January 10, 2012 for consideration. Accepted participants will be notified in March 2012. Individuals selected for participation will receive support to cover reasonable costs for transportation, accommodations, and per diem. Accommodations will be provided on the University of Colorado Boulder (UCB) campus.

Application materials are available at http://vertnet.org/about/BITW.php. Submit application materials online (http://vertnet.org/about/BITW.php) or send all completed materials and one letter of recommendation to dbloom@vertnet.org or David Bloom, VertNet Coordinator, Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, UCB, 3101 Valley Life Sciences Building, Berkeley, CA 94720.

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