Researchers collect species occurrence data, records of an organism at a particular time in a particular place, as a primary or ancillary function of many biological field investigations. Presently, these data reside in numerous distributed systems and formats (including publications) and are consequently not being used to their full potential. As a step toward addressing this challenge, the Core Science Analytics and Synthesis (CSAS) program of the US Geological Survey (USGS) is developing Biodiversity Information Serving Our Nation (BISON), an integrated and permanent resource for biological occurrence data from the United States. BISON will leverage the accumulated human and infrastructural resources of the long-term USGS investment in research and information management and delivery. CSAS is also the U.S. Node of the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF), an international, government-initiated and funded effort focused on making biodiversity data freely available for scientific research, conservation and sustainable development. CSAS, with its partners at Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), hosts a full mirror of the hundreds of millions of global records to which GBIF provides access. BISON has been initiated with the 110 million records GBIF makes available from the U.S. and is integrating millions more records from other sources each year.
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Biodiversity Information Serving Our Nation (BISON)