Friday, October 1, 2010

Ocean Biogeographic Information System-USA (OBIS-USA)

Following successful completion this year of the Census of Marine Life (COML) – an international effort to catalog the diversity, abundance, and distribution of life in the Earth’s oceans – the NBII has emerged as a critical leader for marine biodiversity data. OBIS-USA, which the NBII coordinates, represents an important accomplishment of the U.S. effort in COML. In collaboration with other agencies and partners, the NBII has succeeded in securing bridge funding (within the United States and other countries) to continue COML and OBIS efforts through the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission. OBIS-USA has focused on data mobilization, partnership development, and improving functionality in this second year of implementation. Recent highlights include:
  • In a letter to USGS Director Marcia McNutt, the Marine Mammal Commission commended USGS for OBIS-USA as a location for the nation’s marine mammal data.
  • In an ongoing partnership with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), NOAA has provided a list of 292 databases for OBIS-USA and funded NBII participation in a project to expand the current OBIS data schema to support the Integrated Ocean Observing Information System.
  • Data from USGS science centers are being added and the NBII is coordinating with the coastal marine geology program to integrate environmental data with biodiversity data, and allow improved spatial planning in marine areas.
  • Over four million records are available for searching, viewing, and downloading data from Large Marine Ecosystems. (See the test site.) The data schema is being expanded to include richer datasets than Darwin Core currently offers.
Access the OBIS-USA portal.

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