Demonstrating the value of holistic research strategies that link specimens, associated geographic and ecologic information, and biodiversity informatics to address how biotic communities vary through space and time.
AIM-UP! is refining existing efforts and developing new integrated approaches to collections-based training in large-scale questions using the expertise of educators, curators, collection managers, database managers, and scientists whose work spans disciplines and relates topics covering a spectrum of time and space. The network is:
developing teaching and analytic tools for training students in the emerging fields of climate change, evolutionary genomics and molecular ecology
developing instructional tools for museum databases, such as ARCTOS, that are freely available to the public
developing an integrated network of educators working on specimen-based questions
including minority and female scientists, agency biologists, academics, international participants, and museums with large public audiences
training undergraduate students in museum-based field and laboratory research
conducting outreach targeted to underrepresented students with an emphasis on issues relevant to their communities.
Network participants communicate through 1) an annual three-day all-hands working meeting at field stations and participating institutions; 2) workshops at scientific meetings, such as the Natural Science Collections Alliance; 3) frequent interaction via interactive internet services (e.g., video conferencing, AIM-UP! blog, ARCTOS blog); 4) short-term exchanges of museum educators for intensive content development; 5) a short course (two weeks) for undergraduate students at 1 host institution to beta-test new approaches, and 6) a fall semester seminar course at the University of New Mexico (available via webcasting to all network participants). While AIM-UP! began as a collaboration between the University of Alaska, Harvard University, the University of California at Berkeley, and the University of New Mexico as a way to integrate expertise and data across these institutions, it is already expanded to other universities, federal agencies, and a large museum-based genetic consortium in Canada.