BioSynC 2011 - Meeting agenda

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This meeting agenda was initially drafted on 1-2 September 2011 and is expected to change somewhat as our work progresses leading up to the meeting; Hipp and Alverson will edit as ideas crystallize and attendees ring in with refined ideas about the agenda. It was updated regularly throughout the month of September by Hipp, and the list of discussion topics up top was revised 24 September 2011 by Hipp in preparation for the meeting. Our stated goals for the meeting were laid out in the grant proposal and are addressed in this agenda. However, given that this is a rare gathering of Caricologists (and even some non-Carex Cyperologists), there are numerous goals / questions / discussion items that are not directly entailed in the stated goals but that need to be addressed that that we will allow time for during the meeting, whether during the formal meeting or during meals and breaks.


Discussion topics

The agenda for Thursday and Friday is deliberately open. The plan based on our last conference call is to work iteratively through classification issues on Thursday and Friday, breaking into small groups to address issues and reconvening to discuss findings. In addition to the classification issues that we have been thinking of as the major component of the meeting, a veritable bounty of issues have been cropping up in conference calls, email threads, and individual conversations that we need to address as a group, and all are suitable for the Thursday and Friday breakout sessions. However, these issues are also of interest to the regional group, so final decisions on them may have to proceed via correspondence.

Cyperaceae resources for beginners

Workflow for collaboration going forward

We are a large group, and once we have created this resource, we will want to invite additional collaborators. We need to consider a workflow that includes versioning and archiving at regular intervals, collaborative and attribution protocols for species pages and other collaborative resources

Collaborators - Process and plan

Whom do we want to invite to collaborate? What processes should we follow to make sure that the addition of more people to the mix doesn't unduly increase the frequency of stepped-upon toes?

Goals and scope of the Cyperaceae informatic resource

Are we developing an online monograph? Are we just putting up species pages that will be helpful to people? Do we want to capture specimen data? Do we want to capture character matrices that are based on specimens also databased in the system? Especially given that the Scratchpads / ViBRANT developers are going to be in attendance the last three days of the meeting, this is an excellent time to be thinking big about what we as a sedge community want this resource to be, and how we want to serve different audiences.

Roadmap for species page completion

An obvious goal of this meeting should be the divvying up of Carex into pieces that can be attacked well by a wide range of experts, and identifying the potentially huge range of contributors whom we should contact to make progress on species pages over the next 5 years.

Classification issues

  • Circumscription of the genus Carex. It has for many years been apparent that Kobresia, Cymophyllus, Uncinia, and Schoenoxiphium are embedded within Carex. This meeting would be an excellent time to discuss a publication on making Carex monophyletic. One of the key players in this discussion (Julian Starr) will not be in attendance, but is participating remotely, and could perhaps phone in for a discussion.
  • What do we want our classification to look like? How do we want to make use of alternative classifications? We have the potential to post alternative classifications and link content to all of them. One could easily go overboard with this and create a very difficult-to-use resource; but judicious inclusion of for an evolving (no pun intended) phylogenetic classification alongside a taxonomy that more nearly reflects the state of books today might be helpful.
  • How do we want to encode phylogenetic data?

Plans for future meetings and grant proposals to continue this work

Roadmap to publications about and based on this work

Regionalizing Carex species pages

Character matrices

We have talked previously about incorporating character matrices that could be used to build keys, generate comparison charts, or archive data that would be useful for studying ecology, trait evolution, or anything else that requires quantitative data. This is in the works for Scratchpads (cf. conversation archived at 24aug2011-EdBaker), and as a group we may want to consider use scenarios that describe important uses of such matrices for our purposes to help guide development. Issues that may arise include referencing and attribution, version control,

Standardizing terms

We have the ability to create a glossary in Scratchpads, and we may want to discuss standard definitions for terms early on to avoid confusion downstream.

Rights and licenses

Throughout our previous lifedesks, we utilized the Creative Commons Attribution-nonCommercial-shareAlike license, which is compatible with EOL use and allows contributors to retain full use of their materials while allowing others to use it for non-commercial purposes, as long as they provide credit the content providers and retain the same license downstream (e.g., no one can put your work into public domain against your wishes, or make money off of it, but you can do as you like with it). We have not yet discussed this formally as a group, but we need to make our group decision on this explicit.

Monday: Western Great Lakes (WGL) sedges, day 1

Participants: 19
Break-out sessions:

  • 10:30 a.m. to noon: two groups, ~10 each (access to workstations or laptops for everyone)
  • 1:00 to 5:00 p.m.: four groups, ~ 5 each (access to workstations or laptops for everyone)

Goals for the day

  1. Orient group to BioSynC and to each others' areas of expertise
  2. Learn the Biodiversity informatics tools needed to work on the WGL species pages and keys
  3. Finalize organization into 3-4 subgroups to work on keys and species pages (we'll begin this organization b/f the meeting, but we'll take a little time at the end of the morning to finalize groups)
  4. Begin work on keys and species pages and photos
  5. Assess work progress and make plans for day 2

Preliminary agenda

8:10 a.m. - Coffee and breakfast
8:30 a.m. - Welcome and introductions
9.00 a.m. - Sedges of the Western Great Lakes region (30 mins - Reznicek)
9.30 a.m. - Presentation on what we've accomplished so far in EOL: species pages, taxonomy, nomenclature, images, literature, etc., with focus on the WGL species and what work needs to be done (10 mins - Hipp)
9.40 a.m. - Presentation on what we've accomplished so far in Keys to Nature and what work needs to be done (10 mins - Alverson)
9.50 a.m. - Brief group discussion, organizing into 3 subgroups by sections and one subgroup to deal with classification / taxonomy (led by Waterway), identifying priority areas to work on (20 mins); as time allows, get together as subgroups to plan work, bring up questions, strategize for afternoon
10.10 a.m. - Coffee break
10.30 a.m. - Training in Scratchpads (Hipp, ca. 1 hr), keys to Nature (Alverson, ca. 1/2 hr); classification subgroup may want to leave and organize after Scratchpads training
Noon - Lunch
12.45 - 4.30 p.m. - Subgroup work: keys and species treatments (first three subgroups), classification (last subgroup)
4.30 p.m. - Discussion of issues that have come up and planning for Tuesday work (30-45 mins)
Evening - Supper, individual

Tuesday: WGL sedges, day 2

Participants: 21
Break-out sessions: All day: four groups, ~5 each (access to workstations or laptops for everyone)

Goals for the day

  1. Subgroups continue work on keys, species pages, and classification
  2. Identify progress at end of day and goals for Weds., plus long-term development of WGL Carex resources.

Preliminary agenda

8.10 a.m. - Coffee and breakfast
8.30 a.m. - Any relevant group updates and planning left over from previous day
8.45 a.m. to noon - Subgroup work: keys, species treatments, classification
10.30 a.m. - Coffee break
Noon - Lunch
12.45 - 4.30 p.m. - Subgroup work: keys, species treatments, classification
4.30 p.m. - Progress report and plans for future work and ongoing development of WGL Carex resources (30-60 mins )
6.30 p.m. - Group supper, Zapatista

Wednesday: WGL wrap-up / Global collaboration day

Participants: 32
Break-out sessions: Group works together essentially all day; very short break-out sessions near end of day to plan next steps

Goals for the day

  1. Introduce the global taxonomic attendees
  2. Introduce the Scratchpads and eMonocots projects, provide an overview of how this work fits into the global EOL goals
  3. Provide an opportunity for discussion of how regional and global priorities for Carex species pages, keys, and taxonomic resources work together
  4. Provide in-depth Scratchpads training
  5. Finalize organization into 4-5 subgroups to work on classification and species pages (we'll begin this organization b/f the meeting, but the afternoon discussion may be needed to finalize groups)

Preliminary agenda

8:10 a.m. - Coffee and breakfast
8:30 a.m. - Welcome and introductions of and for arriving attendees
9:00 a.m. - Introduction to eMonocots, and how the Cyperaceae project fits into the whole (30 mins, Simpson)
9:30 a.m. - Introduction to Scratchpads / ViBRANT, background of the project and how it relates to EOL, GBIF, the informatics conversation more broadly (30 mins, Baker)
10.00 a.m. - Coffee break
10:15 a.m. - Open period -- opportunity for broader feedback on regional keys and treatments; open for discussion of any issues related to species page / key audiences
Noon - Catered lunch, full group
1:00 to 2:15 p.m. - Flash lectures (5-15 minutes each) on taxonomic, regional, and informatic issues in Carex taxonomy

  • EOL via Skype (Schulz)
  • Keys to Nature (Alverson)
  • Non-guided online keys and micromapping (Delta and Silverlight; Jones)
  • Classification of the core Carex clade (Waterway)
  • Classification of the Caricoid clade (Gehrke, Luceno and Starr)
  • Classification of the Vignea clade (Ford (+ follow-up by Hipp, Roalson and Chung))
  • Classification of the Siderostictae clade and / or Japanese sedges (Hoshino)
  • Work remaining to be done in Thailand / Malaysia (Simpson)
  • Australia (Wilson)
  • Mexico / Central America (Reznicek)
  • China (Shuren Zhang)

2:15 p.m. - Discussing organization into working groups by clade, region, or other
3:15 p.m. - Coffee break
3:30 p.m. - Scratchpads training (1.5 hours)
5:00 p.m. - Brief meetings with subgroups to plan work for following day
Evening - Supper, individual

Thursday: Global Carex, day 2

Participants: 25
Break-out sessions: all day, 4-5 groups of ca. 5 each

Goals for the day

  1. Begin discussion of how the various classifications in different treatments can be dealt with. We might want to start with a broader discussion, then break out into smaller groups and come back together several times to try to make some progress.
  2. Continue working on classification commenced prior to meeting
  3. Begin discussion of how work for species pages and ongoing development of Carex resources for the world should proceed going forward

Preliminary schedule

8.10 a.m. - Coffee and breakfast
8.30 a.m. - Any relevant group updates and planning left over from previous day
8.45 a.m. to noon - Subgroup work: classification subdivided by clades
10.30 a.m. - Coffee break
Noon - Lunch
12.45 - 4.30 p.m. - Subgroup work: classification subdivided by clades
4.30 p.m. - Brief progress report; discussion of plans for future work (30-60 mins )
Evening - Supper, individual

Friday: Global Carex, day 3 and wrap-up

Participants: 25
Break-out sessions: morning, 4-5 groups of ca. 5 each

Goals for the day

  1. Complete work on classification that can be completed during this meeting
  2. Make a plan for ongoing development of global Carex resources
  3. Discuss future funding / collaborative opportunities

Preliminary agenda

8.10 a.m. - Coffee and breakfast
8.30 a.m. - Any relevant group updates and planning left over from previous day
8.45 a.m. to 11:30 - Subgroup work: classification subdivided by clades
10.30 a.m. - Coffee break
11:30 - Plant for afternoon discussion based on progress during the day
Noon - Lunch
12.45 - 5:30 p.m. - Group discussion: presentation of progress by each subgroup, planning for ongoing work on species pages, and plans for future funding / collaborative opportunities

6.30 p.m. - Group supper, Wishbone

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