The theme for the Ocean Biodiversity Informatics ’07 conference, which was the third in a series of international conferences on ocean data management, was enhancing data quality assurance, as well as extending the range of information products that biodiversity informatics practitioners must be developing and delivering to satisfy the needs of users on many different levels (e.g., general public, academics, decision makers, and industry) -- in other words, translating the data housed in databases into products that are useful for society in general and decision makers in particular. To this end, a conference was held on 2-4 October 2007.
Welcoming remarks were given by Dr. Thomas Sephton, as acting director of the Bedford Institute of Oceanography, and by Dr. Fred Grassle, founding director of the Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences at Rutgers State University. The keynote address was given by Dr. Ron O’Dor, the lead scientist for the Census of Marine Life. The conference consisted of 37 oral presentations organised into 7 sessions: 1) Visualisation Tools, 2) Habitats and Ecosystems, 3) Species Names and Management Tools, 4) Metadata Developments, 5) Data Use and Analysis, 6) New Data Systems, and 7) Integrating Different Types of Data. Each session opened with introductory remarks by a session chair and closed with a moderated panel discussion. Over 100 researchers, data managers, and contractors from government, universities, and the private sector participated in this conference, many of whom were from out of town. In general, participants agreed that the workshop was productive, and provided clear recommendations on how to proceed on a global scale with ocean biodiversity informatics.
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