Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Butterflies and Moths Of North America (BAMONA) Receives MARS Award

The Butterflies and Moths Of North America (BAMONA) Web site was recently selected as one of 25 recipients of the MARS Best Free Reference Web Sites award for 2011. Other noteworthy recipients include Google Translator, WikiLeaks, The ICUN Red List of Threatened Species, and the Public Library of Science (PLOS).

Voted for by member librarians from around the United States, the BAMONA site is to be recognized by MARS this year as an outstanding site for reference information and is included in the list of MARS Best Free Reference Web Sites of 2011MARS is the "MARS: Emerging Technologies in Reference" section of the Reference and User Services Association of the American Library Association (ALA).

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Celebrate Pollinator Week!

The Senate passed Resolution 580 "Recognizing the importance of pollinators to ecosystem health and agriculture in the United States and the value of partnership efforts to increase awareness about pollinators and support for protecting and sustaining pollinators by designating June 24 though June 30, 2007 as 'Pollinator Week'." Read Resolution 580.

Additionally, Mike Johans, Secretary of Agriculture at the United States Department of Agriculture, issued a proclamation calling upon the people of the United States to join in celebrating the vital significance of pollinators to agriculture and to public lands as well as the Department's conservation assistance to farmers and ranchers and its management of ecosystems providing valuable pollinator habitats through the Nation, and recognizing Pollinator Week. Read the Proclamation (University of Arizona Press).

Pollinator Week is June 20 through June 26, 2011. To learn more about this year's events, click here.

The declaration of Pollinator Week was brought about largely through the efforts of the North American Pollinator Protection Campaign (NAPPC).

Monday, June 20, 2011

Bee Identification Guide Project Receives Funding to Cover Western Species

Labeled bee specimen
 in Lovettsville, VA.
Photo: Elizabeth
Sellers, USGS.
The Polistes Foundation, with oversight by Sam Droege and Michael Orr from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), received $50,000 in funds to create extended identification guides for bees to include the Western United States and Canada from the Vetlesen Foundation.  Identification of the United State's 4000 species of native bees is unusually tricky.  Approximately 400 species  haven't been described by science and many are so poorly known that identification is problematic.   Furthermore, no field guide or uniform technical guide exists for bees, thus for researchers, naturalists, and biologists, identification of the bees they study is their most difficult task.  These funds will make their jobs just a bit easier. To learn more about this project visit the Pollinator Project Web site.

Friday, June 17, 2011

USGS Scientist to participate in 26th Session of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) Assembly

On June 28, Mark Fornwall, Manager USGS OBIS-USA, will participate as a member of the U.S. delegation to the Twenty-sixth Session of Assembly of the UNESCO Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC). As chair of the Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS) ad hoc Steering Group, he is needed to participate in consideration of the Group’s recommendations adopted this past March to integrate the OBIS project office within the IOC’s International Oceanographic Data and Information Exchange (IODE) program. Dr. Fornwall manages OBIS-USA, the US component to the international OBIS effort. OBIS serves as the global focal point for the management and integration of marine biogeographic. The OBIS data schema (extension of Darwin Core) is an international standard for sharing and integrating marine biological data (e.g. presence-absence-abundance). OBIS-USA and partners are building a national data resource that will help to address important ocean science and societal issues (climate change, minerals and energy, ecosystems, hazards, health, coastal marine spatial planning are a few examples). USGS; Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforcement (BOEMRE); U.S. Navy; National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA); and National Science Foundation (NSF) are key contributors and have supported the program with both data and funding.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database wins USGS Best Tool Award for Map Features

NAS Point Distribution Map
of the Yellowfin Goby
(Acanthogobius flavimanus)
The Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database team, led by Pam Fuller and supported by Amy Benson and Dr. Pam Schofield, all from the USGS Southeast Ecological Science Center (SESC), was selected to receive the 2011 USGS Best Tool Award.  The award specifically cites the development of the NAS Point Distribution Maps, a feature which shows spatial locations and links to population status and specimen records.   Maps produced from the database are frequently accessed by database users and widely appear in television, internet, and printed news outlets as well as scientific talks, publications, and web pages.