31 August 2006: A new web site at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute will serve as a clearinghouse for all available STRI scientific data. In addition, the site offers a range of tools including: a GIS make-your-own-map service, and a Google-style species search engine. A Map Library offers maps, satellite images and aerial photographs of Panama and the region.
The site (http://biogeodb.stri.si.edu/bioinformatics/) already links to a phenomenal amount of information including: Jackie Giacalone-Willis’s mammal monitoring data from Barro Colorado Island, Dr. Annette Aiello’s insect rearing records, Dr. Joe Wright’s plant phenology data, Bocas del Toro Station’s photo-illustrated data base of organisms, the Tree Atlas for the Panama Canal Watershed and data from the Center for Tropical Forest Science’s long term forest dynamics plots, digital records for STRI’TMs complete herbarium collection, as well as long term physical environment and biological monitoring data from the STRI Environmental Sciences Program.
STRI will continue to leverage partnerships with Discover Life, the Inter-American Biodiversity Information Network (IABIN) and others to further the goal of making data available on the web. Discover Life is an independent, non-profit web initiative created by John Pickering at the University of Georgia. Discover Life currently hosts STRI databases for tropical insects, herbarium collections and digital images.
The Bioinformatics Office will develop websites and host data for STRI-affiliated individual researchers or projects that do not have the resources to do it themselves. Access to the STRITM online photo data base is in the works, as is a major project to allow interactive searches of Eastern Pacific and Caribbean Shorefish.
Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute
The Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI), a unit of the Smithsonian Institution, headquartered in Panama City, Panama, furthers understanding of tropical nature and its importance to human welfare, trains students to conduct research in the tropics and promotes conservation by increasing public awareness of the beauty and importance of tropical ecosystems. www.stri.org