Murrell, Zack E. , Poindexter, Derick B. , Denslow, Michael W. .
Developing a cyberinfrastructure: Experiences from a regional network of plant taxonomists.
The SouthEast Regional Network of Expertise and Collections (http://www.sernec.org/) is in year three of five years of funding from NSF. The SERNEC community is derived from 215 herbaria distributed in 14 states in the Southeast USA. The curatorial staffs and associated herbarium users come from many career paths, such as systematists, ecologists, land managers, conservation biologists, and educators. This diverse population has agreed to a common goal of making biodiversity information available to various public groups, such as decision-makers, students, teachers, corporations and researchers. The process of mobilizing this community can be compared to herding cats toward a moving target. This cyberinfrastructure includes layers of data infrastructure, computation infrastructure, and communication infrastructure; however, for this cyberinfrastructure, and others like it, to meet the goals of the 21st century, the human infrastructure that is at the crux of the process must develop the tools to function efficiently and effectively. Most of the potential data providers find themselves in situations where they are both overworked and lacking appropriate hardware, information technology support, or administrative recognition of the value of their efforts. Some of these impediments can be overcome through the development of shared resource protocols and community level computational infrastructure. However, major barriers to data availability are 1) the need to expand the community to include computer, social and library scientists, 2) the need to generate a paradigm shift in how productivity is evaluated by administrators, and 3) the need for effective means of communication.
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1 - Appalachian State University, Biology, 572 Rivers Street, Boone, North Carolina, 28608, USA
2 - Appalachian State University, Department of Biology, Box 32027, Boone, North Carolina, 28608, U.S.A.
Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for BSA Sections
Location: Wasatch B/Cliff Lodge - Level C
Date: Wednesday, July 29th, 2009
Time: 3:45 PM