Practical Training in Biodiversity Informatics through Fieldwork, Distributed Databases, and Web-Accessible Resources


A large barrier to training the next generation of bioinformaticians is that few students are attracted to both biology and computer science. the problem is more obvious in biodiversity informatics in which data is collected in the field and computational methods are derived in the computer laboratory. Herein we describe an ongoing project designed to give students practical training in both computer science and field biology. We developed exercises for three different learning groups (university, high school, and middle school), which include both hands-on hypothesis testing and data collection and the development and use of computational methods to store and analyze data. at all levels, students who participated in these exercises were exposed to the field of biodiversity informatics, biological field work, distributed databases, and the scientific method. These exercises, along with several secondary consequences of the project, fostered interest among the participating students in biology, computer science, and the integration of both fields.


Biological Sciences

Second Department

Computer Science

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Article - Journal

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Publication Date

01 Dec 2003

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