Community Input Requested: Extending U.S. Biodiversity Collections to Address National Challenges

A workshop held 30 October – 1 November 2018 at Oak Spring Garden in Upperville, VA under the leadership of the Biodiversity Collections Network (BCoN) addressed the future deployment of data held in U.S. biodiversity collections for research, policy and education. In their discussions, participants drew heavily on recent literature as well as surveys, meetings and workshops held over the past year with the stakeholder community of collections professionals, researchers, and educators.

A report derived from the workshop and stakeholder outreach is now available for public comment. The comment period will be open until 5:00 PM Eastern on 1 February 2019. Please send your comments to Dr. Barbara Thiers at

A final version of the report will be issued in early February after user feedback is incorporated.

Download Report

Download Appendix A: List of Participants

Download Appendix B: NIBA Digitization Progress

Download Appendix C: Stakeholder Outreach Summaries

Download Appendix D:  Selected References on Recent Uses of Biodiversity Collections


  1. In general, I think this document is on the right track, but it falls short of what is needed. In addition to advocating for continued digitization and networking of existing specimen data and funding for continued collection of specimens (and digitizing/networking the associated data), there needs to be a commitment to long-term biodiversity monitoring across multiple taxa and ecosystems at multiple sites (both in ‘pristine’ areas and in areas affected by development). We are in the early stages of a creeping apocalypse of biodiversity decline, but there are markedly few datasets that can cleanly show this. By monitoring the same sites in the same way over time, we can better understand and document the gravity of the changes that are now occurring. It would be sensible to establish a new federal agency focused on coordinating this effort.

    1. Merrill,

      Thank you for sharing these comments. We will consider your recommendations along with other suggestions as the report is finalized. Thank you for your time and contributions to this effort!

  2. With great interest studying the presented reports. Especially the NIBA Status Report and can’t agree more with the first bullet on the 10-years vision: “digitize data from all US biological collections, large and small, and integrate these in a Web-accessible interface using shared standards and formats”.
    As stated in this report: “Goal 4.2: Develop industry partnerships and outreach meetings with potential industrial partners”.

    Picturae is very much open to discuss how to develop this industry partnership.
    By posting this comment like to invite members to get in touch to define this industry partnership. Picturae is open for additional investments in digitisation solutions and beyond digitisation, solutions for visualizations, analysis tools, data mining and georeferencing processes.

    Hereby our open invite to get in touch!

    Rob Jacobs
    Vice President Picturae Inc., New York

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