Lessons in Finance for Sustaining Biological Infrastructure
Jan30

Lessons in Finance for Sustaining Biological Infrastructure

Sustaining Biological Infrastructure training course, 9-11 June 2015 Living stocks, field stations, museum collections, data archives – a wealth of material and data infrastructure support the everyday activities of biologists. Collections and tools require steady funding to maintain materials and services and infrastructure managers must also be able to innovate, developing their resources to get the most value for users. But funding this essential infrastructure is not as sexy as developing new projects. As government agencies cope with tight budgets, the traditional funding support for infrastructure is feeling the pinch. Project directors face the need to diversify their approach to funding and manage long-term planning given diverse and sometimes unpredictable revenue streams. ESA’s training course in Sustaining Biological Infrastructure is customized to help directors of biological databases, field stations, museum collections, living stocks collections and other biological infrastructure expand their financial toolset. Participants will learn strategies for enhancing the financial stability for their projects and programs and communicating effectively with funders, users, and providers.   Call for participants: Applications for the June 9-11, 2015 SBI training course are due Friday, February 6, at 5:00 pm EST. Who should apply: Ideal applicants include experienced directors and principal investigators of biological infrastructure projects (such as digital data resources, museum and living stocks collections, field stations, and marine laboratories) that have been established for at least two years. More information is detailed on the training course website. 2015 Instructors: Lynda Ramirez-Blust, Financial Management Strategist and Coach, LSRB Consulting Jon Anderson, Senior Research Scientist, LI-COR Biosciences Marilyn Hoyt, Consultant, Nonprofit Consulting SBI Advisers: Kevin McCluskey, Curator, Fungal Genetics Stock Center Helen Berman, Former Director, Protein Data Bank (PDB) Bill Michener, Project Director, Data Observation Network for Earth (DataONE) Mary Klein, President and CEO,...

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Ecological Applications mandates data sharing
Feb07

Ecological Applications mandates data sharing

From 2014 onward, the editors of ESA’s journal Ecological Applications will require authors to make their data publicly available. Authors must deposit data that they discuss in the results of their research reports in a permanent, publicly accessible data archive or repository before publication of the manuscript.

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New strategic vision for field stations and marine labs

Field stations and marine labs take on the future of science In this guest post, Ian Billick, PhD,  introduces the new strategic vision, released today, for the disparate network of field stations and marine labs. Recommendations include creating virtual access to historic data archives and streamlining physical access to field sites for extramural researchers. Billick  is Past President of the Organization of Biological Field Stations and current Executive Director of the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory. Bodega Marine Laboratory and Reserve. Credit, University of California Natural Reserve System. AS a field station director, I’m often dealing with the present, negotiating access to research sites or managing construction projects. Recently I participated in a planning effort organized by field stations and marine labs (FSMLs) to figure out what field scientists will need in the future, and how FSMLs can help. The Organization of Biological Field Stations and National Association of Marine Laboratories hosted a national workshop and conducted a survey of hundreds of place-based research sites. Perhaps the loudest call was for a stronger network among FSMLs. As research expands to more complex problems and greater spatial and temporal scales, integrating FSMLs into a coherent portfolio of national assets could help scientists take advantage of the available opportunities—from conducting research across multiple sites to integrating rich data streams. FSMLs are a critical part of the nation’s infrastructure for field science. They serve as hosts for a number of large-scale initiatives, such as the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON), the Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI), and the Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) network. Furthermore, the FSML network, almost 90% of which is not involved in these national initiatives, represents a highly flexible, decentralized network that supports field research across a broad geographic scope. More than 400 FSMLs all across the country, with $1+ billion invested in them collectively, provide logistical support, access to field sites, critical contextual knowledge, and opportunities for cross-disciplinary collaboration. Not only did many of the ideas and technical expertise that support national initiatives largely emerge from individual FSMLs, but many of the insights generated by national initiatives will require complementary research at FSMLs outside the programs. Each of these field stations and marine labs has historic data that is priceless. If we’re serious about understanding a changing world, we need to make these data accessible to scientists—not just the data that can be harmonized across large geographic areas, but also the idiosyncratic location-specific information that FSMLs tend to specialize in. It is precisely this incredible richness and diversity of knowledge about each site that offers the greatest potential for discovery. One of the other issues that emerged was the increasing difficulty...

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