PBIN Strategic Plan 2005-2008

Preserving Biodiversity Through Information Access

Download a PDF version of the strategic plan.

Table of Contents
I.  Purpose of Plan
II.  Mission
III.  Vision
IV.  Priorities - Geographic
V.  Priorities - Thematic
VI.  Priorities - Users
VII.  Three Key Strategies
VIII.  Key Metrics
IX.  Rules of Governance

I. Purpose of the Plan

This plan is the result of a second round of collaborative strategy development meetings held in March and May of 2005. The plan was developed with broad consultation and input from the agencies and organizations listed on the back page. It will help guide the next stage of PBIN's organizational development and has a 3-year time horizon from 2005 through 2008. More specifically, the plan

  • Amends PBIN's previous vision and mission statements;
  • Charts the priorities needed to take PBIN to full maturity; and
  • Clarifies expectations about organizational directions and governance.

Recognizing that having a "strategy" is always more important than having a fancy strategic plan, and that the quest for the "perfect" can sometimes defeat what is perfectly "good," this document provides a general framework and touchstone rather than a specific operational blueprint. This means that it is a guide rather than a specific and detailed operational picture of the future.

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II. Mission[1]

The mission of PBIN is to equip scientists, resource managers, policy makers, citizen groups, and the public with an ongoing information infrastructure through which high quality biodiversity information related to Hawaii and the Pacific Basin can be acquired, analyzed, and distributed.

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III. Vision

PBIN will be a sophisticated, intuitive, and comprehensive knowledge base for the biological resources associated with the Pacific Basin including tropical and subtropical islands and the surrounding marine environment. It will serve as a resource for enabling scientific progress, addressing issues related to biodiversity conservation, and educating people. On a daily basis, it will provide tools that can be used to discover, access, and analyze data about the region's biological resources. Users entering the system will find image libraries, cross-referenced data sets, taxonomies, maps, GIS services and other tools and content materials that will allow them to perform general or specialized analyses.

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IV. Priorities - Geographic

    1. The eight main Hawaiian Islands
    2. The Northwest Hawaiian Islands
    3. U.S. Flag Territories
    4. Partnerships within the regional south Pacific

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V. Priorities - Thematic

    1. Invasive Species
    2. Native Hawaiian Species
    3. The Marine Environment

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VI. Priorities - Users

This plan rests on the following assumptions:

    1. Resource managers.
    2. Scientists.
    3. Policy makers in the public, private, and civic sectors.
Tier II
    1. Planners
    2. Developers
    3. Educators and students
    4. General public and all others

During its first three years of existence, PBIN intentionally cultivated a broad diversity of users and general recognition in the "marketplace" of agencies and organizations that can contribute or effectively use biodiversity information. During the next three years, PBIN will invest its limited human and financial resources in projects, programs, initiatives, and activities that deepen its potential impacts, build content, and develop strategic applications that fully prove PBIN's utility.

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VII. Three Key Strategies

Strategy #1: Further Build PBIN General Content
PBIN will continue to seek to develop the broadest and most inclusive assemblage of high quality data sets, the hardware and software systems needed to support them, and the analytic tools needed to perform analyses. PBIN will strive for data that is consistent, dynamic, and wherever possible, that also has metadata. To the greatest extent possible, data will be simultaneously locational, genomic, and temporal.

Strategy #2: Complete a Proof of Concept
PBIN will build a concentrated base of data in support of one or more specific locales or problems and create a full proof of concept that demonstrates that the node can (a) bring pertinent biological data sets together; (b) apply specialized analytic, mining, or visualization tools; and (c) contribute to practical on-the-ground solutions.

Strategy #3: Refine PBIN Operations, Funding, and Services
PBIN will continue to streamline, strengthen, and appropriately expand its operations, funding, and administrative services. In the future, PBIN will seek to utilize USGS funds primarily to support core operations and content development as it increasingly relies on other support for projects and activities.

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VIII. Key Metrics

Past metrics for the node were based upon those used to measure the establishment of a new organization or entity in the region. These served well and helped PBIN attain its current relationship to the various biodiversity communities in the region. Now that the node is established a new set of measures is warranted. These measures will be divided into two categories: outputs and outcomes.

    1.Outputs are direct products or services delivered by the node. They may or may not demonstrate a direct impact to biodiversity science, management or education. Rather they serve as measures of PBIN development.
      a. Amount of content: number of web resources (URLs), images, data sets, databases served on an annual basis.
      b. Usage of content and technical services: number of website users and collaborative projects.
      c. Quality of content: results of peer review process of content, data sets and tools.
      d. Number of active partners
      e. Amount of USGS and non-USGS funding
    2. Outcomes are the events or conditions external to the program and of direct importance to the biodiversity community that are impacted by the PBIN products and technical services. Some broad examples are listed below. The steering team will work to further develop these measures in hopes of better guiding PBIN activities.
      a. Direct support to the dissemination and access goals of the partners;
      b. Reduction in resources/improved efficiency of partners in managing their data and information; and
      c. Improved application of data and information to support biodiversity conservation, science or education.

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IX. Rules of Governance

PBIN will continue to develop formal contractual agreements between the partners. While decision-making will be collaborative, final administrative authority rests with NBII/USGS. In the spirit of collaboration, difficult decisions will be made with the following principles in mind:

    1. All signatories of the MOU will serve on the steering committee for PBIN.
    2. The steering committee may form ad hoc working groups as needed to provide recommendations on specific issues.
    3. The steering committee will address any and all decisions that are relevant to PBIN, i.e. key annual directions, what projects to recommend for funding, reasonable resource allocations etc.
    4. The general operating principle is to make well-informed, highly inclusive, and consensual decisions in which everyone agrees. However, recognizing that consensus may not be achievable for every decision, the default decision-making mode will be a majority vote.

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[1] Pacific Basin Information Node ("PBIN") is the marriage of several initiatives, all intended to address emerging conservation issues throughout the Pacific Basin. The national effort, or National Biological Information Infrastructure (NBII), grew from a National Research Counsel study sponsored by the Department of Interior. The study recognized the need for a partnership to develop a "National Biologic Resources Information System." The system was originally envisioned as a distributed "federation of data bases" designed to make existing information more accessible and to establish mechanisms for efficient, coordinated collection and dissemination of new information. Further review by The President's Committee of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST, 1998) urged a more active role in the form of services and analytic and synthetic abilities in addition to the content that was already being accessed through the NBII. Simultaneously, local organizations and individuals concerned with Pacific Island conservation urged further collaboration on the scientific and informational aspects of locally pressing issues, especially the escalating invasion of alien species.

January 2005

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