Tuesday, December 15, 2009

NBII's Regional Partnerships in Support of Biodiversity Inventory in the Great Smoky Mountains

On December 10-12, 2009 the All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory (ATBI) held its annual meeting in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. This regular end of the year event brings together “scientists, volunteers, and general public to hear about year's field work results, and to celebrate our living natural resources in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park”.

Scientists and staff of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (GSMNP) have teamed with the not-for-profit group Discover Life in America (DLIA) to coordinate the inventory of an estimated 100,000 species living in the park. The NBII's Southern Appalachian Information Node (SAIN) is working with the GSMNP and DLIA to help define and implement ways to disseminate the many types of data being collected, analyzed, and summarized. SAIN is providing web page hosting, development and design, as well as database assistance and coordination with other inventory & monitoring projects to ensure that users are able to interact effectively with the data and information provided.

ATBI started at the Big Thicket National Preserve, an area of rich biodiversity and the first preserve in the National Park System. The Natural Resources Department of the Big Thicket National Preserve has a wealth of biological data. Most of the data have geographic identifiers but are decentralized or are not in their correct geographic projection. Staff of the NBII Central Southwest Gulf Coast Information Node (CSWGCIN) worked with the Big Thicket to gather the various data sets describing the preserve and to organize the data into a logical structure, filling data gaps where applicable.

(Photo: Winter - Snowy Stream at the Great Smokey Mountains National Park. Photo courtesy nps.gov.)


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