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International Diatom Symposium, Minneapolis MN

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15 September, 2010

Sarah Spaulding

Several of the Diatoms of the United States contributors and Editorial Review Board attended the International Diatom Symposium in Minneapolis, MN in September. The Editorial Review Board made a couple of formal presentations to the international community and many informal ones. Following the plenary talk, Marina Potapova, Pat Kociolek and Sarah Spaulding presented the first talk of IDS with the entire Editorial Review Board as co-authors. We discussed the process for creating of taxon pages by expert contributors, editing by the Editorial Review Board, and planning for continued addition of taxa. We discussed the need to reach a critical number of species pages at which the site will be the primary resource for analysts. The community response was very positive and we had a number of questions about and kudos for the project.

Later in the week, we held an informational workshop for people to learn more about the project and how diatomists can become involved. There were over 60 people in attendance, which was nearly half of the total meeting participants. The response was great, but also overwhelming, because we now need to think about how to accommodate scaling up to a much larger input and upkeep of taxon records.

For a short update on current activities, we started the project year with 25 species pages (initially contributed by Marina Potapova). By February 2011, 70-90 additional species pages will be completed by Marina Potapova and Eduardo Morales. By the end of March 2011, 100 species pages will be completed by Pat Kociolek, Kalina Manoylov and Rex Lowe. There are now 92 pages completed or in progress (including the initial 25). We are making great strides, but there is still alot of work to meet our 2011 timelines for around 200 species pages reviewed and publicaly available.

We have two work sessions planned at ANSP, one in December and one in January. These sessions are for contributors to have a focused session to use the resources at ANSP to complete the literature and microscope work needed to complete their taxon pages. In early December, Rex Lowe, Kalina Manyolov, Sam Rushfort, and Paul Hamilton will attend, with Marina and Sarah guiding the process. The January work session details are not yet finalized.

We also need the Editorial Review Board to keep pace with the completed pages and review content before it is publically posted. Sam Rushforth has been an editing superstar. In fact, Sam blew up the memory allocated by his sheer number of reviews. David Lubinski is still working on that fix.