Monday, June 01, 2009

You Write the Book of Life

Am I the only one who thinks of all of you readers/commenters when I see that the public is being informed they are needed to compile a Book of Life? The observations we get here are so observant, and give such an informed view of our world, I think most of you should take part.

Based at the Smithsonian Institute, for the U.S. portion of the effort, this study will have a perfect source. I had such a privilege being able to visit there with my kids when we lived in the D.C. suburbs, and am excited to think the study will make it more a part of all of our lives. Our weekly birds, critters, and general familiarity with the natural world, will be enhanced. Yes, plantsman and monkeyfister, War On War Off and shrimplate, and many many other natural world observers, I'm looking at you! and linking the address. The ecosphere conference e-Biosphere '09 is going on in London right now! Go to the link and you can twitter with that event's participants.

A virtual book of all life on Earth is being created by UK and US scientists.

The online reference work will create a detailed world map of flora and fauna and track changes in biodiversity.

The database, dubbed a "macroscopic observatory', will be populated with data about local species gathered by members of the public.

Early elements of the giant database, such as automatic species identification systems, are already under construction.

Field guide

Over time the database will log shifts in species and other data such as changes in the density of forests and when plants first flower.

As you know, things are moving up on the schedule of blooming here in N.TX., while the dry line is moving eastward toward my little plot of earth. I was sending you pictures of daffodils and tulips in February. I know all of you see things changing in your window on the world as well.

I'm hearing baby birds being fed near my window now, and will happily report on it. Kites have moved into the southern area of town, birds I hadn't seen there before this spring. Last year, we had a dismal acorn crop.

These are things that each of us can report on, and I know you will want to help out and contribute to the body of knowledge about our world.

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