Biodiversity Informatics Curriculum


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  • Robert D. Montoya - Department of Information and Library Science, School of Informatics, Computing and Engineering, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN, USA

Core members

We will collect core members via email and on the GBIF community site. All GBIF community site pages are visible for anyone, but you need to register to leave comments.


Informatics is becoming a more and more important approach within every field of science. Despite several major data sharing and linking initiatives and facilities for biodiversity data, biodiversity informatics (BDI) still lacks recognition as an independent methodological discipline providing the fundamental set of skills for students and researchers in biodiversity research. To establish this status, offering a biodiversity informatics curriculum as part of all levels of scientific education and related careers becomes essential.

Rather than training to use different tools, the BDI Curriculum Interest Group should lay basis for deeper understanding of the key principles of biodiversity informatics and synthesize the teaching curriculum for different target groups and credit levels in the field. By identifying the target groups and an evolving topics list, the Interest Group can proceed to define a framework i.e. standardized curriculum modules on a conceptual level. Such a framework would support developing educational informatics programmes in a cost-effective way if need be from scratch. This framework would also provide TDWG with a needed platform for knowledge exchange and sharing of content and ideas with the defined modules.

The interest group is formed based on two sessions that took place during TDWG 2014 conference in Jönköping and similar sessions in GBIF Global Nodes Meeting 2015 in Madagascar.

First concrete tasks for this group would be to identify the target groups, existing expertise and curricula and then collaboratively work to formulate standardized modules that could be used when building a framework curriculum for each target group. Later this Interest group can act as coordinating body for sharing resources, seeking for funding and finding expertise by accumulating and shaping the expertise and survey the needs from the TDWG and the academic communities to develop the curriculum framework further. The IG also aims to initiate and to maintain the discussion of biodiversity informatics curricula from various points of view from academic discipline to training working professionals and career development.

We expect that our activities would contribute to paradigm shift and biodiversity data literacy among young and old biodiversity scientists resulting in neater data. We will contribute to training BDI professionals for the long-term (institutional) and short-term (project) needs. Possible end products include curricula framework, building blocks of the existing teaching programs and complete courses.

Becoming involved

All interested parties are encouraged to become involved with the Interest Group or specific Task Groups it may convene. Membership of the group is open. If you work with biodiversity informatics training at any level, whether it is training working professionals or with the academia, and you would like to be able to find suitable resources and sharing materials and ideas with standardized modules, the Biodiversity Informatics Curriculum Interest Group may benefit from your involvement. Please contact the convener or any core member about how to become involved. The TDWG process requires that any new Task Group be launched through an Interest Group. The Biodiversity Informatics Curriculum Interest Group can facilitate establishment of new Task Groups that relate to this topic.