Integrating Paleoecological Databases



[1] Neotoma Consortium Workshop; Madison, Wisconsin, 23–26 September 2010; Paleoecology can contribute much to global change science, as paleontological records provide rich information about species range shifts, changes in vegetation composition and productivity, aquatic and terrestrial ecosystem responses to abrupt climate change, and paleoclimate reconstruction, for example. However, while paleoecology is increasingly a multidisciplinary, multiproxy field focused on biotic responses to global change, most paleo databases focus on single-proxy groups. The Neotoma Paleoecology Database ( aims to remedy this limitation by integrating discipline-specific databases to facilitate cross-community queries and analyses. In September, Neotoma consortium members and representatives from other databases and data communities met at the University of Wisconsin-Madison to launch the second development phase of Neotoma. The workshop brought together 54 international specialists, including Neotoma data stewards, users, and developers. Goals for the meeting were fourfold: (1) develop working plans for existing data communities; (2) identify new data types and sources; (3) enhance data access, visualization, and analysis on the Neotoma Web site; and (4) coordinate with other databases and cooperate in tool development and sharing.