March 01, 2018 - Jennifer BoschOBIS training USA

The First U.S. IOOS Biological Data Training Workshop, 8-9 February 2018

The inaugural IOOS Biological Data Training Workshop was held February 8-9, 2018 in Seattle, WA. Hosted by the Northwest Association of Networked Ocean Observing Systems (NANOOS, an IOOS Regional Association), this workshop was co-sponsored with the U.S. Node of the Ocean Biogeographic Information System (U.S. Geological Survey, OBIS-USA) in coordination with the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission’s (IOC) OceanTeacher Global Academy and OBIS international. The workshop built on the successful partnership between IOOS and OBIS to develop a community of practice around the management and analysis of biological ocean observing data. It provided hands-on training to partners from the IOOS Regional Associations, Marine Biodiversity Observation Network (MBON), National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI), Federal and State government agencies, Smithsonian Marine GEO, Ocean Tracking Network, Animal Telemetry Network, Ocean Networks Canada, and Fisheries and Oceans Canada. The objective of the workshop was to educate participants in the benefits, goals, technology and process to make biological data more widely accessible in standardized formats and disseminated via community systems.

The workshop began with an introduction to applications of biological data, including the MBON Portal, OBIS Portal, MBON Explorer and Infographics, and MBON Seascapes. Participants were then introduced to IOOS and OBIS standards and tools for biological data and web services for data access, like rOBIS and ERDDAP. Following these presentations were several hands-on sessions where participants could begin to align their own data to the Darwin Core standards, WoRMS taxonomy and metadata standards that are used for reporting on global biological diversity data.

Outcomes from the workshop include a collection of software and scripts available on a GitHub repository to aid in the curation and use of biological data, training materials available on the OceanTeacher website and an expanded network of IOOS, Canadian and OBIS collaborators that are all motivated to expand the global repository of marine biodiversity information. The hope is that these workshop resources can be adapted as technologies are developed to streamline management of biological data, and that they can be replicated for other groups interested in applying Darwin Core and associated standards and dissemination practices in their biological data management activities.