Information Technology, or IT, is spurring a revolution in biodiversity research that can deliver a more complete view of the world and help conserve species, according to six biologists who will speak today at American Association for the Advancement of Science Annual Meeting and Science Innovation Exposition in Boston, MA. Biodiversity research today uses the latest IT as much as the traditional butterfly nets and flower presses, said Diana Wall, organizer of the symposium and soil ecologist at Colorado State University, in an interview in advance of the symposium. It has given us the ability to draw on multiple pieces of information from across the world.
Each of the speakers at the symposium Biodiversity Science and Global Research: the International Biodiversity Observation Year leads an international research project as part of the International Biodiversity Observation Year (IBOY) 2001-2002. IBOY is an initiative of DIVERSITAS, the international program on biodiversity science. It seeks to network scientists to improve knowledge about biodiversity and its importance for healthy ecosystems and human societies.
The speakers will present findings across issues as varied as biodiversity itself, but their unifying message is that IT has become a vital tool to help understand global biodiversity issues that are crucial for sustainability. Examples of the technologies being used include 3-D electronic images of species that are accelerating identification of poorly known groups of animals, distributed or interconnected databases that enable scientists to query data stored in multiple databases across the world at the touch of a button, and GIS (Geographic Information Systems) a computer-based tool used to map and analyze multiple and complex characteristics of landscapes, including natural and anthropogenic impacts on biodiversity.
- Diana Wall will present the preliminary findings of the Global Litter Invertebrate Decomposition
Contact: Diana Wall
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