Smithsonian offers new tropical biodiversity data and tools on the Web



Keel Billed Toucan.
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A new web site at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute will serve as a clearinghouse for all available STRI scientific data. In addition, the site offers a range of tools including: a GIS make-your-own-map service, and a Google-style species search engine. A Map Library offers maps, satellite images and aerial photographs of Panama and the region.

The site already links to a phenomenal amount of information including: Jackie Giacalone-Willis'TMs mammal monitoring data from Barro Colorado Island, Dr. Annette Aiello'TMs insect rearing records, Dr. Joe Wrightâ€TMs plant phenology data, Bocas del Toro Station'TMs photo-illustrated data base of organisms, the Tree Atlas for the Panama Canal Watershed and data from the Center for Tropical Forest Scienceâ€TMs long term forest dynamics plots, digital records for STRI'TMs complete herbarium collection, as well as long term physical environment and biological monitoring data from the STRI Environmental Sciences Program. And more.

STRI will continue to leverage partnerships with Discover Life, the Inter-American Biodiversity Information Network (IABIN) and others to further our urgent goal of making data available on the web. Discover Life is an independent, non-profit web initiative created by John Pickering at the University of Georgia. Discover Life currently hosts STRI databases for tropical insects, herbarium collections and digital images.

Beginning in late 2006, STRI will become the coordinating institution for the ecosystems thematic network of the IABIN - a regional initiative designed to connect biodiversity databases throughout the Americas and the Caribbean, sponsored by the Organization of American States (OAS) and the World Bank.

The Bioinformatics Office will develop websites and host data for STRI-affiliated individual researchers or projects that do not have the resources to do it themselves. User comments are welcome, but please be patient, as some areas of the site are still under construction.

Access to the STRITM online photo data base is in the works, as is a major project to allow interactive searches of Eastern Pacific and Caribbean Shorefish.

New bioinformatics site: http://biogeodb.stri.si.edu/bioinformatics/ Enjoy!

Also check out our new canopy program site: http://www.stri.org/english/research/facilities/terrestrial/cranes/index.php

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The Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI), a unit of the Smithsonian Institution, headquartered in Panama City, Panama, furthers our understanding of tropical nature and its importance to human welfare, trains students to conduct research in the tropics and promotes conservation by increasing public awareness of the beauty and importance of tropical ecosystems. www.stri.org

Photo captions and credits:
Tucanlow.jpg Keel Billed Toucan credit: Christian Ziegler


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