U.S. National Science Foundation Project OCE 00-03970

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Task 1: PROJECT MANAGEMENT, INCLUDING DISSEMINATION OF RESULTS
Subtask 1a: Coordination and integration

Fautin, Buddemeier, Bits&Parity, Bartley, Misgna, Hunsinger, other support staff

Design and specification of data and software formats and capabilities to ensure compatibility within the project, ease of access and application by the user community, and suitability for linkage to the overall OBIS system. An Oracle functionality will be created for the database to allow 1) multiple simultaneous users, 2) remote interaction with the database, 3) password protection for various levels of access, 4) batch entry of data, and 5) a QA/QC step for new data before they are incorporated into the database. Throughout the project, it will be responsible for monitoring schedules, deliverables, and QA/QC of products, and for ensuring that all components are effectively linked and combined. This activity initially plans for conceptual and GIS components of the database and applications to ensure user -friendly access and compatibility with the WWW and individual distribution formats, and that they coordinate with other elements of OBIS. Monitors progress throughout the project to identify problems and opportunities, and conducts a final integration test and preparation of demonstration and tutorial products to accompany distribution of the final products. Work conducted at widely separated locations will be coordinated through internet sites between personnel meetings. 

Subtask 1b: Product development and dissemination (information, education)

Fautin, Buddemeier, Bits&Parity, GIS and support staff

This activity initially plans for conceptual and GIS components of the database and applications to ensure user-friendly access and compatibility with the WWW and individual distribution formats, and coordination with other elements of OBIS. Monitors progress throughout the project to identify problems and opportunities, and conducts a final integration test and preparation of demonstration and tutorial products to accompany distribution of the final products. Work conducted at widely separated locations will be coordinated through internet sites between personnel meetings. 

Task 2: DATABASES AND DATABASE APPLICATIONS
Subtask 2a: Nomenclatural and biogeographic databases and applications

Fautin, Ardelean, Bits&Parity, Hunsinger, students to be named, support staff.

As part of this task, Ardelean will 1) refine the synonymies application, train users, and write documentation for it; 2) intermediate between Veron and David to ensure data on hermatypic scleractinians are translated appropriately; and 3) help Ryland and his student on data entry matters. Students will enter data from literature provided by Cairns. One will develop a gazetteer that contains georeferences for common localities for species in the database in order to speed data entry and minimize inconsistencies in latitude/longitude assigned to a feature described only in words; station lists for relevant expeditions and cruises (including those provided by Cairns for US government ships) will be included. The gazetteer will be made available on the website with the database and its associated tools and linked sites as a biogeographic resource to the user community.

Subtask 2b: Environmental and habitat-related databases and applications

Buddemeier, Bits&Parity, Bartley, Misgna, support staff

This task will 1) identify and provide metadata and source information (electronic links where possible) for potentially useful data sets at scales of large regions (ocean basin or continent) to the globe, and 2) create direct access to a selected set of environmental data sets and GIS coverages that will be based on the LOICZ typology data (to be acquired from the most complete and up-to-date offerings of NOAA, NCAR, and other global data sources), appropriately extended to the open ocean as well as coastal zones.

Task 3: Ptychodactiaria, Actiniaria, Corallimorpharia

Fautin, Ardelean, other students

State of taxonomic knowledge of the six orders to be included differs considerably. For the three with which Fautin built the database, bibliographies and all original names and type localities have been entered. It has been determined that Ptychodactiaria should be integrated into Actiniaria.

Of the 1306 nominal species of Actiniaria, perhaps 900-1000 are valid. As part of Ardeleanís initial development of the synonymies application, non-type locality records were entered and synonymous names were linked for approximately 20 species. An REU student comparing the diversity of anemone faunas in the Arctic and Antarctic entered synonymies for species relevant to his research. Under Fautinís PEET grant, two Ph.D. students (including Ardelean) are revising taxa of Actiniaria. A post-doctoral fellow who will join the lab in early 2001 will revise a large genus of actinians. The students and post-doc will compile the locality and synonymy lists for the species that are the subject of their research. Entry of non-type localities for the remaining actinians (perhaps 800 species) will be done by students on Fautinís second PEET grant, under Ardelean's guidance.

Synonymies must be linked for all 50 nominal species of Corallimorpharia, of which an undetermined number is valid. This will be done as part of a Ph.D. project under Fautinís second PEET grant to revise, at the generic level, the entire order. The still-to-be-identified student, who will enter graduate school in 

January 2001, will spend part of his/her first academic year doing this to become acquainted with the group, which probably actually belongs among Scleractinia.
 

Task 4: Ahermatypic (non-reef-forming) Scleractinia

Cairns, support staff

The inventory of 1314 valid Scleractinian species, both hermatypic and ahermatypic, that Cairns has assembled is available in electronic format. It includes the bibliographic citation to each species. Those data can readily be "poured" into the database. However, Cairns does not have a complete list of all junior synonyms, which probably total 300 additional species for the ahermatypes (about half the scleractinian species). Some of the descriptions are in obscure publications that will take effort to locate. Cairnsí major tasks are to 1) become acquainted with the capabilities of the database so he can improve it and constructively interact with people handling data entry for ahermatypes, 2) locate the original descriptions of species he does not possess, 3) provide guidance on linking of synonyms, and 4) locate subsequently published accounts of all species that provide locality data. Cairns will also provide station lists from US government cruises, particularly those on which hexacorals were collected Ė in electronic format, when possible. Data-entry tasks will be done primarily in Kansas. 
 

Task 5: Zoanthidea

Ryland, graduate student

Ryland has recruited an M.Sc. student to enter bibliographic, locality, and taxonomic data as part of a biogeographic/systematic research project. The basis of the systematic inventory will be a mimeographed listing of species of most zoanthid families with relevant bibliography (Walsh 1967), which Ryland already has available as a word-processing file. This will be corrected and up-dated, and omissions will be rectified. Locality information will have to be obtained from the original literature. Ryland and the student will come to Kansas to learn the functionalities of the database. 
 

Task 6: Hermatypic (reef-forming) Scleractinia

Veron, Bits&Parity, support staff and students

Veron has spent the past three decades inventorying hermatypic corals. From this inventory he compiled the information for his soon-to-be-published three-volume work on reef-forming corals of the world. The data underlying these volumes will be made available electronically for the first time as part of the proposed hexacoral database. Having been accumulated over considerable time, they are in various formats in several applications, some of which are no longer readily available. We will therefore have all the data parsed and translated so they can be "poured" into the Access database. This task, to be done by Bits & Parity in the Philippines, will provide an opportunity to check them and obtain from them information relevant to other parts of the database.
 

Task 7: Ceriantharia

Molodtsova, student assistants

Of the orders yet to be included in the database, Ceriantharia has the fewest nominal species, with about 50, of which most appear valid. Because of limited computer and literature resources available at her home institution, Molodtsova will come to the US early in the project to learn the functionalities of the system and then remain to complete data entry. After she returns to Russia, Molodtsova will work mainly to assemble distributional and taxonomic data for larval cerianthids, which are large, distinctive, and abundant in some plankton tows. Although there is a substantial literature on them, few larvae have been raised through metamorphosis, so larvae have not been matched with adults, and scientific names have not consistently been applied to them. Molodtsova will attempt to reconcile as many records as she can and, on a second trip to Kansas, will enter information on larvae into the database. These data will differ from the others in the database because they will be for the plankton rather than the benthos.