With the ever-growing footprint of human activity, a central challenge of 21st century science is developing a predictive understanding of the processes that sustain Earth’s ecosystems and our impact on them. Unraveling this complexity requires a great depth and breadth of data, from specimens in natural history museums, field data, aerial and satellite imagery, and measurements from environmental sensor networks to algorithms of predictive models of global change. Despite the disparate nature of these data, all are bound by place, space, and time. The Berkeley Institute in Global Change Biology (BigCB) is integrating these data as part of its mission to understand the complexity of the natural world and our impact on it. Relevant to the Data Science Initiative, the BigCB’s activities include coordination and support of the IT developers and the scientists needed to meet the challenges of data integration. Prime examples of their activities include the development of the Berkeley Ecoinformatics Engine (Holos), which will provide an open technical infrastructure for researchers and students to make sense of this wealth of information; the rescue and digitization of dark datasets; and the running of training workshops.
Charles Marshall's talk will be followed by a panel discussion with Kevin Koy, Geospatial Innovation Facility; Maggi Kelly, Environmental Science, Policy, and Management; Rosemary Gillespie, Essig Museum of Entomology; and Michelle Koo, Biodiversity Informatics, Museum of Vertebrate Zoology.
Charles Marshall is the director of the University of California Museum of Paleontology, chair of the Berkeley Natural History Museums, and a professor of integrative biology. He is broadly interested in how paleontology can inform our understanding of the history of life and the processes that control it. Charles' research often takes advantage of data from genomics, molecular phylogenies, developmental biology, and functional studies.