Product Availability and Ongoing Development

The project will span three years at two universities, Utah State University (USU) and Northern Arizona University (NAU), and involve 55 person-months of programming. The primary tasks in the project are listed in Table 1. Major tasks are broken down into subtasks. The first three columns are programming effort by year, the next two columns by university. The shading represents the amount of programmer effort; light shading corresponds to 0.5-1 month of programmer effort while progressively darker shades indicate greater effort. Th e subtasks are tied to project goals as described in Section D.2. The table summarizes a more detailed plan (not included in the project description for brevity) that we have developed.

The universities will work cooperatively but take the lead in different areas. USU will be primarily responsible for the data abstraction. This includes mappings to Postgres, etc. as well as creating the data logger and schema additions to support new kinds of data. USU will also code a data migration tool to port data from MySQL to the other kinds of databases. USU will also develop the offline mode and data sync tool. PIs at NAU will lead the effort on refactoring, plugin development, and RESTful web services. NAU will also create and maintain a developer forum to encourage developers in the community to participate in the project and set up and maintain the code repository. Table 1 also lists community-building tasks not associated with specific project goals such as project maintenance and education. These tasks are part of our dissemination strategy in providing thorough instruction and documentation in using and building upon Symbiota2, in addition to providing deliverables.  Deliverables will be provided by, or linked to, the Symbiota.org  web site.

D.5 Ongoing Symbiota Development

Based on end-user requests via GitHub or through a google user forum [61]. Symbiota code is constantly being improved incrementally with funding from NSF, BLM, NPS, USDA pending NEH support, and individual universities. The following larger projects underscore our commitment to improving Symbiota and extending biodiversity informatics capacity that will complement the proposed Symbiota2 project.

Spatial Module: This module was developed in collaboration with the Atlas of Living Australia [5], to support advanced geospatial analyses in a Symbiota portal. The module provides the ability to add political, environmental, and geological layers to a map of occurrence records, calculate phylogenetic diversity of a selected area, provide classification analysis between occurrence data and selected map layers, and integrate research products from other programs (Figure 7) to predict present suitable habitat as well as forecast (climate change) [11][12][13] and hindcast (paleo) suitable habitat.

Computer-Aided Identification – Citizen Science: In our recent NSF-ADBC LepNet TCN (Cobb, lead PI), we have partnered with FieldGuide [23] to develop mobile apps (e.g., LepSnap) to process specimen images using computer-aided identification algorithms, obtain species-level identifications, and harvest image and identifications through the LepNet Symbiota portal. LepSnap is also being used for citizen science users to image live specimens in the field with the option of sharing images with iNaturalist [34]. We are developing capacity to filter images through distribution ranges and growing season to increase the ability to distinguish similar-looking species. We are also creating a specimen-based learning hub within the LepNet Symbiota portal that will include learning tools that integrate computer-aided identification into units for educators and teachers to use within their curricula in the LepXPLOR project.

Ethnobiological Studies: This interdisciplinary collaboration with Jonathan Amith enables integrating, discovering, sharing, and exporting ethnobiological data. It will develop a Darwin Core extension to accommodate ethnobiological data and integrate that extension into Symbiota to organize information important in understanding the cultural history of native societies; and will establish the basis for ongoing collaboration among a diverse set of stakeholders: (a) linguists and anthropologists; (b) native communities and scholars; and (c) biologists and herbaria or museum collections (pending NEH funding).