News Story

Editorial Review Board meeting and workshop


22 February, 2010

Sarah Spaulding

Don Charles and Marina Potapova, both of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia (ANSP), hosted two momentous events in late January.

The first event was the formation of an Editorial Review Board for the Diatoms of the United States database. Representatives of the USGS (Steve Moulton) and EPA (Ellen Tarquinio, Richard Mitchell) joined the members of the board to discuss a vision of success for this new taxonomic and ecological resource on diatoms. The long-term objective is to create a common resource for diatom identification, so that labs are able to produce taxonomically consistent and accurate datasets.

The second event was a workshop for members of the board and invited expert contributors to test the process of assembling image and taxonomic data for “species pages.” From a starting list of 10 common species from the ANSP/USGS National Water Quality Assessment list of diatoms, the group gathered information for 8 species pages. As a result of the workshop, the board determined that 15-20 additional species pages are needed for species that are easily confused with the 8 common ones. The workshop was an exciting trial run of the process of adding new species pages that will occur in 2010.