Whether your vantage point is that of an office window or a national park, your view undoubtedly encompasses a rich diversity of life forms, all carefully studied or managed by some scientist, resource manager, or planner. A few simple calculations - the number of species, their interrelationships, and the many researchers studying them - and you can easily see the tremendous challenges that the resulting biological data presents to the information and computer science communities. Biological information varies in format and content: it may pertain to a particular species or an entire ecosystem; it can contain land use characteristics, and geospatially referenced information. The complexity and uniqueness of each individual species or ecosystem do not easily lend themselves to today's computer science tools and applications. To address the challenges that the biological enterprise presents, the National Biological Information Infrastructure (NBII) (http://www.nbii.gov) was established in 1993 on the recommendation of the National Research Council (National Research Council 1993). The NBII is designed to address these issues on a national scale, and through international partnerships. This paper discusses current information and computer science efforts within the National Biological Information Infrastructure Program, and future computer science research endeavors that are needed to address the ever-growing issues related to our nation's biological concerns. ?? 2003 by The Haworth Press, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Information science and technology developments within the National Biological Information Infrastructure