September 2008 newsletter summary

September 2008 – Atlas activities, articles and reports, media releases, conferences and workshops, biodiversity weblinks

Bioinformatician positions advertised

Two positions have been advertised for bioinformaticians to work with the ALA to manage data captured by the Australian Phenomics Network (based in Canberra, closing date, 24 September 2008) and the Australian Plant Phenomics Facility (based in Adelaide, closing date 19 September 2008).

Memorandum of Cooperation with Earthwatch Australia

The ALA has signed a Memorandum of Cooperation with Earthwatch Australia to work together on developing tools for capturing observations of Australian organisms, particularly as part of Earthwatch’s ClimateWatch project to capture data on the timing of recurring natural phenomena such as flowering or nesting dates.

Sharing data with the ALA

Draft guidelines have been prepared to assist data providers with making data accessible through the ALA. Comments are welcomed on these guidelines and the ALA staff will be happy to talk to potential data providers to clarify any issues.

For more information on sharing data with the Atlas.

Data Integration and Annotation Services for Biodiversity

The Data Integration and Annotation Services for Biodiversity (DIAS-B) project (funded by the NCRIS National e-Research Architecture Taskforce, NeAT) has now developed its project plan. This project will develop the Atlas’ Metadata Repository and Data Annotation Services components. The kick-off meeting for the project team will take place in Canberra on 8th and 9th September 2008.

The DIAS-B NeAT Project Plan is online – PDF (136KB).

TDWG meeting in Perth, 19-24 October 2008

TDWG, the international organisation dedicated to developing standards and tools to support the integration of biodiversity information, is meeting this October in Perth. The agenda for the conference is almost finalised and includes a whole day devoted to the ALA (Wednesday, 22 October), as well as many other topics of relevance to those using or developing information on Australian organisms. We encourage anyone interested to come along and participate in the meeting. Note that conference fees are reduced for registrations received on or before 6 September 2008.

The TDWG conference agenda is online.

Other activity

Over the last seven weeks the ALA team has been working on the following tasks:

  • Finalising the ALA Business Plan 2008-2009 (Draft) – PDF (329KB)
  • Planning the implementation of the DIAS-B project (Metadata Repository and Data Annotation Services)
  • Starting work to port the GBIF Data Portal software for use as an Australian data portal
  • Continuing work on the Atlas’ user needs analysis
  • Meetings to explore possible collaborations with related organisations and projects, including contacts with representatives from Council of Australian Museum Directors, Australian Biosecurity Information Network, Canberra Ornithologists Group, Australian National Botanic Gardens, Australian National University, Landcare New Zealand, the e-Marine Information Infrastructure Facility, the DEWHA Genetic Resources Management Section and the Australian Partnership for Sustainable Repositories.