Scientists building crowdsourced encyclopedia to further Puget Sound recovery
Source: Sandra Hines, University of Wahsington
Representatives of the Encyclopedia of Earth and the Encyclopedia of Life will be on the University of Washington campus Wednesday, Oct. 24, for the public launch of an encyclopedia unique to Puget Sound.
Spearheaded by the UW-based Puget Sound Institute, the Encyclopedia of Puget Sound is meant to be a synthesis of the best available information for Puget Sound recovery from experts with state and federal agencies, academic institutions, tribes and organizations. A key starting point for the project, for example, was to incorporate the latest science update from the Puget Sound Partnership, a state agency and encyclopedia partner.
Organizers of the online-only encyclopedia want to create a network of researchers and students to provide content that regional scientists will review to ensure it is current and authoritative, according to UW’s Jeff Rice, managing editor.
“We call what we’re trying to do curated crowdsourcing,” he said.
Organizers will officially launch the site, which has been online in a test version since May, with a panel discussion on new tools for networked science, the key to building something like the Encyclopedia of Puget Sound, Rice said. The event, which is free and open to everyone, starts at 3:30 p.m. at the UW Fishery Sciences Building.
The panel discussion will be from 4 to 5 p.m., with Mary Ruckelshaus of the Natural Capital Project, Michael Pidwirny with the Encyclopedia of Earth, Tracy Barbaro with the Encyclopedia of Life and UW’s Jennifer Davison representing ScienceOnlineSeattle. The dean of the College of the Environment, Lisa Graumlich, will moderate. A reception follows.
What makes the encyclopedia different from other databases and collections, Rice said, is its focus on the waters of the Salish Sea Puget Sound and the straits of Georgia, Haro and Juan de Fuca as well as the surrounding watersheds.
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