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E-Research Roundtable - Geobiology Site-Based Data Curation at Yellowstone National Park and Its Connection to Global Coral Reefs

Wednesday, February 6, 2013
12:30 - 2:00

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Event Details

Session leaders: Bruce Fouke, Director of the Roy J. Carver Biotechnology Center and Associate Professor in Geology, Microbiology and the Institute for Genomic Biology at Illinois.
Description: Abstract: A newly funded Institute of Museum and Library Services Site-Based Data Curation (IMLS-SBDC) project is developing a framework for the curation of research data generated at scientifically significant research sites. The framework will be based on geobiology research conducted at Yellowstone National Park, as an exemplar site producing data with long-term value. Yellowstone is a tremendously important and rich site for geobiology data collection, drawing scientists investigating research questions ranging from the origin of life on Earth to the search for life on other planets. Modern research in the earth sciences increasingly depends on the development of systematic accounts of the interactions of physical, chemical and biological phenomena and the integration of diverse measurements and observations. Making data accessible and functional for these purposes will depend on: (1) principled curation practices early in the data lifecycle; and (2) curating cohesive and usable sets of data for transfer to repositories. The Fouke lab at Illinois has ongoing Systems Geobiology research on Yellowstone hot springs and Caribbean and Pacific coral reef ecosystems. While at first glance, these seem like wildly different and unrelated environments, closer examination indicates a host of striking similarities and scientific parallels. The types of data collected in these geobiology studies and their interpretation will be evaluated and discussed.
Biosketch: Bruce Fouke is a professor in the Departments of Geology and Microbiology, and the Biocomplexity Theme in the Institute for Genomic Biology, at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. He also serves as Director of the Roy J. Carver Biotechnology Center. Bruce specializes in integrated geological and biological studies of: (1) the control of sea surface temperature on coral reef ecosystems in the Caribbean and the global emergence of infectious marine diseases; (2) the response of heat-loving (thermophilic) bacteria in Yellowstone and Turkey to changes in hot-spring water flow rate, chemistry and temperature; (3) microbially enhanced hydrocarbon recovery in deep subsurface oil and gas rock reservoirs of Canada, Alaska and Ireland; and (4) the timing and cause of the last flow of water in the aqueducts of ancient Rome and Pompeii.

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