Wildlife diseases


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  • Hello I am Cris Marsh. I am the Content Lead for the Wildlife Disease Information Node, or WDIN as we affectionately call it. I am here to talk about the tool and services we’ve built to make it easier for people to connect and integrate wildlife disease information
  • Since I am going to be talking with your for the next hour or so, I thought I would give you a little background about me. I am a librarian but that happened only a few years ago. I started out with an undergrad degree in Zoology.
  • After graduating, I had a number of different biology related jobs before going back to school for my masters. I work as a seasonal zoo keeper for a few summers.
  • I had a short stint as a Pet Store Clerk.
  • And than for the next 15 years or so I worked as a Veterinary Technician.
  • And then like many people, I wanted a change and decided to return to school. I got my degree in Library Studies and started working for WDIN in 2004. My job is to search, select, catalog and organize wildlife disease related resources (articles, reports, images, news, maps and so on).
  • Here is rest of the crew that makes up WDIN. With this slide I want to give my colleagues credit for the wonderful work they do. But also to point out our diverse backgrounds. WDIN’s function is to help people connect, manage and exchange wildlife disease information. I think we do this pretty well because of what each of us brings to this project. Josh Dein – is a Wildlife Veterinarian and Project Manager of WDIN. He is our wildlife disease specialist and has extensive knowledge about this science domain. Megan Hines – is our Technical Manager. Her background is urban development and GIS programming. She is the primary builder of all the applications I’ll be showing you. We love her because she designs from a user’s perceptive and she can translate techo-speak for us non-technical people. Barbara Nash – is our Outreach Specialist. Her background is in educational communication and technology. She studied how to effectively use multi-media in this age of the Internet for education and communication purpose. She has work many years in IT support. Laura Wynholds – is a Librarian Student who brings both library and IT skills to the benefit of WDIN. And last but not least is Vicky Szewczyk – is our Administration Manager. With her knowledge of financing and budgeting she help us navigate the perilous waters of managing funds as a non-profit organization. Together we help people better understand and use science information. Informatics is one area of science we draw on to guide our work. This word means something slightly different to different people, but I think Wikipedia offer a board definition: the science of information, the practice of information processing, and the engineering of information systems. Which is what WDIN does, putting data and information to work to create knowledge.
  • Here is quick overview of what I am going to cover. I know for the next week or so you’ll probably be sitting through a number of PowerPoint presnetations so I will try to be as entertaining as possible. I’ll talk about what WDIN is and who we serveProvide a overview of the WDIN website Walk you though our cataloging tool, an application we use to get content/stuff up on to our website. Share our long term goals for WDIN Show you the WDIN tools and services we’ve developed to promote wildlife disease current awareness and community building. Describe our information management systems for wildlife disease surveillanceLastly, I’ll provide a sneak peak to projects we are interested in tackling in the near future.
  • So what is the Wildlife Disease Information Node? It is part of the NBII biological network. Which you’ve learned about earlier this week. We are just one of many nodes that act as a entry point into NBII’s network of information and data on our nation’s plants and animals. We focus on the ecological issues of wildlife disease. We are located in Madison, WI (where I left cold and snow). The other red stars represent existing nodes some of which are ecological nodes like WDIN, such as the Invasive species or Bird Conservation node. Then there are some, the like California Node that focus on a specific geographical region.
  • As you have probably learned, NBII’s infrastructure is built on partnerships and collaboration. And so too is WDIN’s. We are lucky that we collaborate with many great organizations. And I could not fit them all, but from this sample I think you can appreciate the diversity. You’ll notice we work with all types of organizations ranging from governmental (federal, state and local), educational institutions to non-profit organizations. Our core partners are the USGS National Wildlife Health Center and the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies at the University of Madison, WI. The National Wildlife Health Center is an ideal partnership because the Center is known nationally and internationally for their knowledge and expertise on wildlife disease. Since 1975 their biomedical laboratory has been assessing the impact of disease on wildlife, identifying the role of disease agents that contribute to wildlife losses and providing leadership on wildlife health issues. Basically they are the experts.The Nelson Institute helps us broaden our reach outside the wildlife disease realm to other disciplines that are not necessarily directly related to wildlife health but have a motivate interest in wildlife disease data and information as it intersects with their work.
  • For example, medical professionals have an interest in wildlife disease because so many are potentially zoonotic, meaning they can be transmitted to people. This slide shows the potential ways Lyme disease, a tick-borne disease, can be transmitted to people by animals. It is estimated that 70% of emerging disease in humans have a wildlife connection. What this diagram doesn’t show is that transmission of zoonotic disease is a two-way street and people can infect wildlife also. A journal article in Aug 2008, demonstrated how chimpanzees living at Mahale Mountains National Park in Africa have been suffering from a respiratory disease that is likely caused by a variant of a human virus. There is mounting evidence to suggest a linkage between visiting scientists and tourists, and the virus that threatens the endangered chimpanzee population.
  • Domestic animal veterinarians are concerned about wildlife disease because many diseases that affect wildlife can also affect livestock and our pets. Bovine Tuberculosis, Brucellosis and Rabies to name only a few. These diseases not only can have a devastating economic impact, but they are also a threat to food safety and human health. For example, since 1994 in US state of Michigan, there has been a concern about the transmission of tuberculosis from white-tailed deer to domestic cows who come in contact with each other in the grazing pastures. Tuberculosis is a bacterial disease that causes progressive wasting in cattle and other livestock. In addition this infectious bacteria can be passed on to humans through the consumption milk and meat from infected cattle. Brucellosis is other important disease to the agricultural business and has fueled a contentious debate in Yellowstone National Park in the US between ranchers and wildlife conservationists. Ranchers are concerned that bison who migrate outside the park boundaries could possibly carry the disease and infect grazing cattle. This bacterial disease rarely causes death, but does decrease reproductive success and calf growth, and hence has a negative economic impact. One the other hand wildlife conservationists do not believe the threat substantiates the killing of bison who roam outside the park. As for Rabies, about 10 percent of reported cases each year come from domestic animals. It is caused by a deadly virus that attacks the nervous system.
  • Policymakers, like the federal department of Homeland Security, have a vested interest in understanding wildlife disease because of the economic impact on commerce. These stats on the slide are from 2006, so the numbers have probably increased. According to one estimate from the World Bank, the continuing outbreaks of avian influenza in parts of South-east Asia that began in late 2003 and early 2004 have been disastrous for poultry; by mid-2005, more than 140 million birds had died or been destroyed. Losses to the poultry industry are estimated to be in excess of $10 billion US dollars. The introduction of Foot-and-Mouth Disease, a virus affecting livestock, into the US would cost approximately $6-14 billion dollars to control. Just as domestic animals are a commodity so is our wildlife. The estimated value of wildlife from the Gross Domestic Product in 2004 was 129 billion dollars, this is related to the commerce wildlife generates from activities such as ecotourism, hunting and wildlife watching.
  • Wildlife conservationists are concerned about wildlife disease because of the potentially devastating affect it can have on wildlife populations. Wildlife is considered one of our national treasures and as this slide illustrates disease can quickly desolate a wildlife population. In the upper left-hand corner is a picture taken in the 1970’s at one of the first outbreaks of Duck Plague in wildlife at Lake Andes National Wildlife Refuge in South Dakota. This herpes virus historically only affected domestic ducks in Europe. When it came to the US, it was responsible for loss of 50 to 60,000 wild waterfowl. In 2006, it was reported that over 15,000 birds died of Avian Botulism at the Great Salt Lake, in Salt Lake City, Utah. It is a disease caused by the ingestion of a toxin produced by bacteria. These organisms flourish in decomposing birds. Maggots in these carcasses absorb the toxin and are eaten by other birds, which then also become sick. The result of avian botulism is paralysis and death. In 2006, in Africa there was an anthrax outbreak that killed 143 wild animals in the Chobe National Park. The number consists 70 buffaloes, 37 zebras, and 23 elephants. September 2004, the disease claimed the life of 848 wild animals, mostly buffaloes.A disease that is making the news today, is white-nose syndrome which is killing bats by the thousands in the northeast states of the US. When researchers have investigated outbreak reports, the estimated mortality has, in many cases, exceeded 75% of the inhabitants occupying the particular cave dwelling. And there are signs that the disease is spreading. Scientists don’t know what causes the disease but the disease’s tell-tail sign is white fungus growing the nose, ears and wings of the infected animals. West Nile virus was originally confined to Africa and Asia, but it has spread to other countries, including the US in 1999. It is a viral disease that can be fatal in humans and domestic animals, such as horses, where it causes inflammation of the brain, and sometimes, death. This disease is a concern for wildlife because of the potential negative impact it could have on endangered species, such as song birds in Hawaii.
  • The intersection of where all these different disciplines overlap is what we call the wildlife health community. Members may have different reasons for being concerned about wildlife disease, as seen in the previous slides, but they all share the same desire to control and prevent the spread of wildlife disease.
  • Enough gloom and doom about wildlife disease. I’ll go back to WDIN and what we are and who we server.
  • Conceptually, we see WDIN as two parts, or two sides of the same coin if you will: 1) the website side which provides wildlife disease web resources (maps, images, reports) along with notifications of current events (upcoming meetings and wildlife disease issues) to promote a better understanding about specific diseases and or the broader topic of disease ecology. 2) The other side is the database side which captures and holds data, and can generates wildlife disease surveillance reports. We are continually looking for ways connect or bridge these two spheres in order to provide a more comprehensive picture of wildlife disease issues and help wildlife professionals control and prevent disease more effectively.
  • WDIN uses NBII’s three key objectives to guide us in our how we chose our projects and shape WDIN’s future. Those objectives are: To store data and informationTo work as a tool for knowledge discovery and managementAnd lastly to become a pipeline for sharing information among partners and outside parties.
  • Whether it is as a professional or of personal interest, if you are resident of good old mother earth, wildlife disease can easily impact you in your own backyard. Hopefully I convinced you of that in my earlier slides of how wildlife disease is of interest to others even though they may not be wildlife disease specialists. Therefore the goal of our node is not only to collect, organize and disseminate wildlife disease information but to integrate information from different disciplines so it can be consumed by a broad user audience with varying information needs and levels of knowledge.
  • Here is the WDIN home page. On the site you’ll find links to our products and services, including our databases and wildlife disease news resources. For the website we collect all kinds of resources, such as maps, images, reports, journal articles, web sites and news. It is a very large site and we are continually looking for ways to add value to it by making it easier to both browse and search for information. A couple of examples of how we did this: We have a designated spot for materials that would be of particular to medical professionals and domestic animal veterinarians, here under human health connections and domestic animal health. The site is database driven so anytime new content is added to the database, the website is automatically updated. The additional benefit is we can create customized feeds to populate the web site. Examples of these feeds can be found at the bottom of the page. This feed is pulling new content that was recently added to the siteHere are news stories we’ve recently collectedAnd lastly our top 10 resources of the month The site provides general information about wildlife disease as a topic but also information about specific disease. Right now we cover 8 disease, such as west Nile virus and avian influenza, we provide extensive information on them,
  • The information for each disease topic is organized into categorizes, informational web sites, news sources, literature (publications and reports), links to research activities and a collection of maps.
  • This slide just shows how the resources are displayed on our website. We tried to layout the bibliographic information to facilitate easy browsing. If something looks interesting the user can click on the title and go directly to the resource or they can view the complete record. The short record show title, publisher, resource type, keywords and a excerpt of the abstract. If you click on a keyword, a query is submit to the database and a search window will open containing all the resources that match that keyword.
  • We have both a simple and advance search engine. This is what the guided search interface looks like. It is uses filters to allow the user to broaden or narrow their search results. Here 225 records were retrieved using the filter “Specific Disease” and selecting the term chronic wasting disease, which is a neurological disease that affects deer, elk and moose. To narrow the search I selected maps from the resource type filter. This narrowed the results to a more manageable subset of 16 records which contained all the CWD maps resources. If the user wanted to modify the search to another resource type they could just click on the red X button remove maps and return to the filter resource type menu to make another selection such as journal articles. They can mix and match the filter field keywords with WDIN’s controlled terms or their own free-text keywords.
  • In our work we are striving to make WDIN more than a information container. We are trying to create a dynamic site with tools and services that allow people more control over how they find, interact and integrate information. We feel this involves modeling WDIN to be more like an interactive online community than a warehouse. A place where members of the wildlife health community can connect with wildlife disease information but also communicate and collaborate with their colleagues. To create this kind of environment WDIN has been for the last two years has been developing and integrating new social networking technologies, such as blogs, RSS feed, social bookmarking and the Google Map API to create new or enhance existing WDIN’s tools and services. By using these new web technologies that are part of the Web 2.0 movement, we are exploring ways to make it easier for users to integrate, control, reuse, update and port wildlife disease information.
  • We can take advantage of many of these new web innovations because our website is database driven. When we find a resource (a map, website, report or image) that we want to include in the WDIN site collection, we use a home grown content management tool, called a cataloging or input tool (which I go over in more detail shortly). We use this application to enter over 20 fields of information about that resource (title, description, keywords, geographical location, format type). Time is spent up front indexing the record in detail, but it is only done once. Properly parsed and stored, it can be reused many times, in many places with almost any application. Here, once the web resource is cataloged it can show up on our website, pushed out in a RSS feed, or exported to the NBII’s central records catalog. The reusability of information is a very important consideration for WDIN when we are implementing changes to current projects or developing something totally new.
  • For those of you who are unfamiliar with RSS feeds. RSS stands for Real Simple Syndication. These feeds create a stream of information which can be used in a number of different ways. The most common is a personal feed reader, like Bloglines. A reader is just little application that creates a place where people can aggregate all kinds of different feeds hosted by their favorite web sites. Here on the left are all the feeds I am subscribed to, over 160 feeds. When I click on one, such as Science Daily, the right side is populated with all the new content that was added to that Science Daily site, which I can then quickly skim for items that interest me. Of course the advantage is in a short amount of time you can quickly browse through many sites to learn what is new on them.
  • But before going on to talk in detail about our cataloging tool, I wanted to illustrate my point about the importance of building systems and formatting information for reuse and to show the versatility of this Web 2.0 technology. This slide shows how many different WDIN and Non-WDIN applications are supported by our RSS feeds. The fact is I could not make all of them fit, but you get the idea. Information generated by our RSS feeds populates all these different applications. I also want to call attention to the two external uses. The USGS has published our RSS feeds to their website and HealthMap has added our GeoRSS feed to its interactive map (I will be going into more detail about this project later).
  • So how does the cataloging tool get content up onto our website? I am going to walk you through the process and highlight some features that I think you might find interesting or helpful as you build your own tools. The catalog is based on the NBII cataloging tool. We just customized it a bit. Here we have one of the dashboard views of the catalog. With this toolkit, I can upload images or documents to the website. I also have some stats reports that I can review to track what resources people frequently use or which aren’t used at all. I can also download stats on what people are searching on. I love this application because it allows me to make additions or changes to the site without have to ask for technical support.
  • The first step is finding appropriate content for the website. We look for any materials that are related to wildlife health and disease. Many different resources are used as I have mentioned before. I am also proud to say we have a collection development policy that we can refer to help keep our collection focused and meet the needs of the WDIN users.
  • The 2nd step we enter metadata about the resource into a web-based form. The data we capture is based on Dublin core standards and includes information about the author, the title, the resource type and so on. In addition to assigning controlled vocabulary to a resource I also assign what we call placement keywords, this tells the database which page and which section I want a particular item to show up on and I can even have the item located in more then one place website.An additional advantage of this system is all that metadata is preserved and available to recycle and reuse for further projects. For example at some point we would like to take all the cataloged resource with a geographical element and map them. So from a map, someone could click on Wisconsin and see all the resources we have cataloged that related to Wisconsin.
  • The third step is for me the content manager to review the records, make any necessary changes, stamp with approval and it become an active record that . . .
  • will show up on the site. And we export our records to NBII’s records catalog.
  • Over these next few slides I will highlight some of the functions of our cataloging tool that helps us make sure that records are cataloged with consistency. For data entry fields that need to be populated using authority records we have a function that suggests a term as the cataloger types. It helps to avoid spelling mistakes and re-enforce consistency. As seen in this screen shot as cataloger begins to type in the publisher’s name, National Wildlife Health Center, it begins to suggest terms. If the name is not found it can be added as new and reviewed by me.
  • To the cataloging process we have added what we call “filter fields” to guide catalogers though a workflow, asking them the same questions about each resource, what disease is discussed, what is the technical level of the content, and so on. These filter fields also add additional access points to a record which will later become part of the guided search enabling users to limit or expand their searches.
  • Our catalog tool is password protected. Another security feature is permission roles. As new catalogers come on board, I can control what they have assess to through the permission roles that I assign to them. For example if they are assigned the role of apprentice, they can create new records but they can not edit or delete them.
  • In this next section, I will highlight the suite of publically available tools that WDIN has develop - the majority of which are based on Web 2.0 applications. WDIN has adopted a number of innovative, open source web-tools and social networking products to help its users to more effectively find, consume and manage information. An added benefit of these tools is they also helped to increase the visibility of WDIN by drawing the attention of new users and potentially new partners. My cartoon here is just to encourage you as you move forward on your own projects to be thinking creativity about how your users want to use the data and information you’ve collected and then develop tools that meet their information needs. The Internet has become more sophisticated and fluid. People want more control over how they retrieve and use information. Often they prefer that information be push to them in format that is compatible for integration or mashups. They want it to be portable so it can be used in their own personal applications, such as email, homepages, blogs, feed readers, social bookmarks or data systems. For example, have you ever visited a site and they offer some great information but its not useable in its current form because it is stuck in a pdf or static table. The only way to get to it is by cutting and pasting into something else or scraping it off their page. These Web 2.0 applications begin to address some of these problems by freeing-up the information and allowing people not only to access them but combine them with other sources of information.
  • I will start by showing our RSS webpage that list all the RSS feeds we offer. Subscribers can use these feeds in their own web applications, such as feed readers, blogs, websites and maps.
  • Using the publishing application blogger.com, WDIN created the Wildlife Disease News Digest. Almost daily, the staff combs through open Internet sources and pulls together a summary of wildlife disease news reports and relevant journal citations.
  • Here I have combined the traffic stats from the Digest website and the number of subscribers to the Digest feed. You’ll notice these stats support the idea that people prefer to get information pushed to them rather then having to return to a site regularly for updates/changes We have a global reach of over 130 countries. The majority of users come from the government domain. The next set of users are the public with educational organizations closely behind.
  • Just wanted to highlight how reusable and portable our RSS feeds are. We can pull in feeds from our site. While people are reading about current wildlife disease issues, they can quickly scan to see what is new on the WDIN website. The benefit, as illustrated by this graph, the Digest drives traffic to the WDIN website. The number of referral from 2007 to 2008 increase 10 fold. I think these stats illustrate the advantages to existing outside the scientific universe. Here by entering the blogsphere we have significant increase our traffic back to our website. These feeds are freely available, so anyone is welcome to use them on their own site, blog or homepage, or any other platform. It is all about getting the information out there where it can be used.
  • Media stories from the Wildlife Disease News Digest that cover a disease outbreak or spread in a specific location are placed on the map by using our cataloging tool to catalog the stories, which includes metadata such as title, publisher and date, and assigning geocodes.
  • Here is a bigger image of the map. Using the filters on the right, users can limit the number of stories that show up on the map. For example users can limit the kinds of stories by disease name, species, or date. For the mapmakers, we also make the KML files available for the Google Earth web application. And this map layer is available as a GEOrss feed too.
  • The map also provides links back to the WDIN site. If a user clicks on a disease term, our guide search page opens in another window listing all the resources we have on that disease. From there they can limit the number of returns by using the search’s filter fields.
  • Yes, WDIN has a widget. With little effort, we repackaged 4 RSS feeds into a tabular widget using the Universal Widget API from Netvibes. Anyone can add this widget to their iGoogle page or to any of the other compatible platforms. They can integrate our widget along with other wildlife disease related content from different sources into one place with a user friendly interface. Here I pulled in Wildlife Photo of the Day (National Geographic), new titles from the Emerging Infectious Diseases Journal and some additional feeds from WDIN, new meetings added to our activities calendar and recently added avian influenza content.
  • This is our searchable Events Calendar. Users can browse month by month or they can search for a specific meeting. If they click on the title they are taken directly to the meeting website.
  • We publish a newsletter entitled, WDIN highlights, almost monthly. It is another way to let our users know what WDIN has been up to. We write about meetings we’ve attend, projects we are exploring, explain new developments and describe what is new on the site. The number of times an issue has been downloaded has almost double from 2007 to 2008. So it is nice to know that people are interested in what we are doing.
  • Because we constructed with our GeoRSS feed using accepted standards and make it freely available, others can pick it up and integrate it with other data elements, which is exactly what the people at HealthMap did and IBM Mashup Center Wiki. HealthMap, an initiative of Harvard-MIT and the Children's Hospital Informatics Program in Boston. It brings together disparate news sources on disease events to provide coverage of human, domestic animal and wildlife disease. IBM Mashup Center Wiki, an educational online training site, used the Feed to demonstrate how to create a disease outbreak mash-up map The CDC, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, project is in the works. WDIN is working with them to modify our Wildlife Disease Digest feed so that it can stream wildlife disease news reports into its public health information network, BioPHusion.
  • We did not make into the New York Times or get interviewed on the Good Morning America, but WDIN was written about in over 75 publications, most came out after a joint press release about the Wildlife Disease Map.
  • So on to our information management systems and tools.
  • One of the early application we build is a data management system for SEANET, the Seabird Ecological Assessment Network. And it is still going strong. It was a collaborative endeavour with the Northeastern Information Node and Tufts School of Veterinary Medicine. SEANET is a citizen science program in which volunteers walk a section of coastline and count dead birds. This data can be used to analyze trends and establish mortality baselines. For example if over 50 sea gulls are found dead on a beach in the spring does this fall into the seasonal norms or is this something scientists should be concerned about?
  • We worked together on this system to move SEANET from being a paper-based system to becoming a searchable, relational database. Users are still using paper to record observations in the field, but when they return they can enter their information into web-enabled forms instead of having someone transcribe the information into an Excel spreadsheet. By having the data in a database it is searchable and it can be queried more easily. Also by moving away from Access or Excel to a web-based system they information is no long an isolated silo but rather can be integrated with data from other organizations. You can also generate reports. And you can make really cool maps.
  • Instead of being limited to paper maps, the data can be pull and sort through software to make really impressive and informative maps. GIS mapping functions provide researchers with a powerful analytical tool for viewing the data.
  • In 2006, HEDDS the Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Early Detection Data system, was established as the national database for avian influenza sampling information collected from wild birds. At the request of the White House Policy Coordinating Committee for Pandemic Influenza Preparedness, the U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Interior, along with other partners, developed an early detection plan for HPAI in the United States. The plan called for a the development of a national database to be used by all agencies, organizations and policy makers. WDIN created and now maintains this system. It has a public side. These screen shots show the public face of HEDDS. Visitors can see sampling effort by state either on a map or a report. (Total number by state or total number by surveillance plan, for example how samples were collected on live bird that were captured and release or number of samples collected from hunter killed birds). They also can read the avian influenza surveillance news.
  • Behind the public interface there is a password protected research tool. Field biologists upload data from their sampling efforts. Within the system, researchers can do a number of things with the data, search it, browse it, edit it, and generating report and maps. It is updated weekly. Both the public and researchers can sign up to receive updates on the total of sample collected weekly and the accumulative grand total since the sampling began.
  • This is just a breakdown of who is using HEDDS. The public appears to be the largest percentage of people using the system.
  • WISDOM, the Wildlife Information System for Disease Observation and Monitoring, is a large, comprehensive data system that WDIN has been working on with the UW Madison – Division of Information Technology. Once completed we will move HEDDS, the AI data system, SEANET, along with our other smaller systems into WISDOM. It will not be a centralized database. We hope to make it freely available to other organizations to use as a local data management system, although if others choose to run their own system, then WISDOM can be a data warehouse where partners can exchange data. They can upload data they are able share for integration and analysis with other partner contributed data. At the front end, users can import field data collected from different applications (excel, pda).At the back end, the system can generate many kinds of reports and maps to be used on the web or limited to a users desktop.
  • The partners seen here are working on a grant from the Dept of Defense, Global Emerging Infectious Surveillance and Response Program or GEIS. The grant was given to create Avian Influenza terminology for the WISDOM system. WDIN, Wildlife Conservation Society and Tufts university all have avian influenza data, so this will be good exercise to learn how disease information from different sources will integrate into the WISDOM system.
  • While working on the GEIS project we have found that populating WISDOM with standardized language is not going to be easy. For example, what unifying term accurately describes young wildlife? WDIN has become involved with these organizations to tap into their expertise on how to address this challenge.
  • Another challenge we run into is getting people, from bureaucrats to researchers, to share or exchange information and data. It requires a cultural shift in how information and the vehicles that carry it are perceived. This article in WIRED discusses this challenge and desire of the executive branch's Web strategists to push government agencies to create website tools that allow people to get and use data & information rather than having a static website as a container for documents and images. To get over this hurdle, WDIN hopes by building useful applications and populate them with even smallest data sets that people will begin to see the advantage to information exchange. They will have something tangible and hopefully see what integrated information can look like and begin to consider how it can apply to their own local projects.
  • This last section covers some of the current and future projects WDIN is working on.
  • NBII is interested in developing a web service. WDIN and other nodes have come up with design requirement for developing a web service that would work off of NBII’s record catalog. This is an exciting development because once complete this very flexible application can be used by non-technical nbii staffers and partners to created targeted queries from the catalog, which than will allow them to control the result output format. In this image the output examples are search results, map and RSS but there are many other possibilities.
  • One idea we would like to create a function on WDIN that would enable our users to build their own RSS feeds to extract specific content they are interested in, in an format they prefer (such as text or map layer). For example, other nbii nodes have expressed interest in pulling wildlife disease news from the Digest but limiting the reports to just their region or specific species.
  • As you can see from this screenshot the news on the map is pretty US centric. We would like to expand the coverage. At the 2008 European Wildlife Disease Association meeting, we found people who were interested in translating and contributing news stories from outside the US. But we are also looking for other folks who are willing to forward news on to us. Soon we’ll have a short online form that people can use to submit stories. As I mentioned we want WDIN to be a community rather than an information warehouse, which means to us that WDIN belongs to its members. And we welcome their contributions whether it be submitting news stories, sharing interesting resources, or giving their input on WDIN’s products or its future direction . As you saw our staffing is few, so the more people who are willing to share information they have or find, the more robust WDIN will become.
  • Another project that we are exploring is taking the National Wildlife Health Center’s wildlife disease investigation results, which they already make public, and move from this static table that sits their website into a fluid data stream, such as a GeoRSS feed. This layer could be combined with other layers in a mapping application similar to the Disease News Map. <number>
  • We at WDIN are trying to do our part to support the one world initiative by working to make wildlife health information available all. Email for a copy of the presentation or notes Any Questions? There is a growing theme in the health sciences, one world-one health-one environment. This concepts goes back to what I said about the connections between human, domestic animal and human health and our environment, if one part fails we are all in trouble.
  • Wildlife diseases

    1. 1. NBII Wildlife Disease Information Node: Building Tools for Connecting and Integrating Wildlife Disease Information Cris Marsh, MLS Wildlife Disease Information Node (WDIN) National Biological Information Infrastructure World Health Data Center for Biodiversity and Human Health Training Feb 26, 2009 Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies University of Wisconsin - Madison USGS National Wildlife Health Center
    2. 2. Who Am I? I didn’t start out as a librarian B.S. in Zoology
    3. 3. Who Am I? I didn’t start out as a librarian Zookeeper
    4. 4. Who Am I? I didn’t start out as a librarian Pet Store Clerk
    5. 5. Who Am I? I didn’t start out as a librarian Veterinary Technician
    6. 6. Who Am I? A librarian for WDIN! Got my MLS! Started working for WDIN in 2004
    7. 7. The Rest of the Crew Laura Wynholds Librarian Student Program Assist Info Management Vicki Szewczyk Barbara Nash, MS Finances Ed. Communications & Tech Admin Manager Outreach Specialist Informatics Putting data and Josh Dein, VMD, MS information to work Megan Hines Wildlife Veterinarian to create knowledge GIS Programmer Project Manager Technical Manager Science Info Expertise Technology
    8. 8. Outline What will be covered 1. Describe what WDIN is and who we serve 2. Provide overview of WDIN’s web site 3. Review WDIN’s cataloging tool 4. Share WDIN’s vision 5. Highlight open source tools/services for current awareness and community building 6. Describe our wildlife disease surveillance data systems The New Yorker 7. Share WDIN’s future plans
    9. 9. Wildlife Disease Information Node WDIN – A member of NBII Wildlife Disease Information Node http://wildlifedisease.nbii.gov
    10. 10. WDIN Partners Working with great people and organizations
    11. 11. Reaching Outside the Wildl. Disease Specialist Realm Medical professionals Potential transmission of zoonotic disease Illustrates potential transmission of Lyme disease to humans
    12. 12. Reaching Outside the Wildl. Disease Specialist Realm Domestic animal veterinarians Threat to domestic animal health
    13. 13. Reaching Outside the Wildl. Disease Specialist Realm Policymakers Economic impact on commerce ► Avian Influenza = $10 Billion ► Foot-and-Mouth = $6 -14 Billion ► Wildlife Revenue = $129 Billion
    14. 14. Reaching Outside the Wildl. Disease Specialist Realm Wildlife Conservationists Threat to wildlife populations
    15. 15. The Wildlife Health Community The wildlife health community represents a multi-disciplinary group whose concerns about wildlife disease may differ but share the same desire to control and prevent wildlife disease
    16. 16. More on WDIN and Who we Serve More On WDIN And Who We Serve The New Yorker
    17. 17. Integrating Wildlife Disease Data and Information WDIN exploring ways to build the bridge Wildlife Disease Wildlife Disease Info Website Database  Collect & organize  Capture data information  Monitor and survey  Integrate information wildlife diseases resources on wildlife health  Provide tools for analysis and reporting  Provide tools for current awareness
    18. 18. NBII Objectives Used to guide WDIN • Store data and information • Work as a tool for knowledge discovery and management • Become a pipeline for information exchange among partners and outside parties
    19. 19. Who is Our Audience? Anyone living on this planet
    20. 20. WDIN Web Site A gateway to wildlife disease information
    21. 21. Web site features Information organized for specific diseases Each disease topic is broken down into sections by type of format
    22. 22. Web Site Features Bibliographic metadata making browsing easier Keywords link to search engine
    23. 23. Web Site Features Guided Search – Giving users more control Guided Search Screen
    24. 24. WDIN Vision To be an online community, not just a website http://wildlifedisease.nbii.gov Making it easier to integrate, control, reuse, update and port information
    25. 25. WDIN Website - Database driven website Web resource Home grown CMS tool New content on WDIN site Enter data once, reuse and port anywhere
    26. 26. RSS – Real Simple Syndication Consolidating information from many locations Bloglines is an example of a feed reader
    27. 27. Reusing Information Builds WDIN’s own RSS list Populates Disease News Map Is available to others to share, such as USGS’s RSS List Pulls WDIN News into Digest Feeds a homepage widget Provides a mapping stream for other non-WDIN maps, such as HealthMap
    28. 28. WDIN Cataloging Tool A content management system that a librarian can run
    29. 29. Step One Locate Content Catalogers search for resources…
    30. 30. Step Two Catalogue the resource Input Screen
    31. 31. Step Three Content manager reviews records
    32. 32. WDIN Website Cataloging for consistency Auto-fill suggestion for names, titles and keywords
    33. 33. WDIN Website Cataloging for consistency Filter fields tag resources with specific keywords
    34. 34. Permission Roles Assigning user roles
    35. 35. Tools Created for Staying Current on Wildlife Disease Issues and for Community Building The New Yorker
    36. 36. RSS Feeds WDIN offers many WDIN RSS Feeds
    37. 37. Wildlife Disease News Digest WDIN is blogging http://wdin.blogspot.com
    38. 38. Wildlife Disease News Digest Digest Web Site • Appx. 75 – 125 2008 stats on website and RSS feed visits/ day • Global reach 130 countries Subscribers Global reach of the Digest • Over 380 RSS subscribers • Over 490 eAlert subscribers Who's Subscribing 12% 5% .gov 33% .com 6% .edu .net 18% .org 26% other
    39. 39. Wildlife Disease News Digest A reuse of WDIN RSS Feeds Number of Referrals from Digest to WDIN 80000 60000 40000 2007 2008 20000 0 No. of Referrals
    40. 40. Global Wildlife Disease News Map Mapping wildlife disease news Stories from the Digest with a geographic location for a disease event are added to our Global Disease Map
    41. 41. Global Wildlife Disease Map Stats on the map http://wildlifedisease.nbii.gov/wdinNewsDigestMap.jsp Average visits in 2008 = 3,900/ month
    42. 42. Global Wildlife Disease Map Linking the Map back to WDIN Click on the term and the WDIN search menu opens listing all the resources on that disease
    43. 43. WDIN Widget Small package, lots of information Compatible with numerous platforms: iGoogle, Windows Vista, Apple Dashboard, Live.com, iPhone, Opera, blogs, MySpace, etc.
    44. 44. Wildlife disease related meetings and events all in one place
    45. 45. WDIN Highlights Online bulletin spotlighting WDIN features and functions Download Totals 7000 6000 5000 4000 2007 3000 2008 2000 1000 0 Download Totals
    46. 46. Building With Standards Allows others to use WDIN’s open source apps
    47. 47. Making the News WDIN is getting some attention In 2008, WDIN was spotlighted in over 75 publications and news outlets
    48. 48. Information Management Systems and Tools for Wildlife Disease Surveillance Data The New Yorker
    49. 49. Seabird Ecological Assessment Network Moving from paper to web-based • Citizen Science Volunteer Program • Collecting morbidity and mortality data of beached birds for a baseline
    50. 50. Seabird Ecological Assessment Network Moving from paper to web-based Loads of paper - difficult to search Simple, searchable web-enabled forms
    51. 51. Seabird Ecological Assessment Network Moving from paper to web-based Paper maps are limiting Web-based maps – many viewing options
    52. 52. HEDDS – Avian Influenza Early Detection Data System Supported by USDA, FWS and many others HEDDS 2008 Stats • Over 235 subscribers (RSS and eAlerts) • Avg. visits per week 3,696 • Over 95 data contributors
    53. 53. HEDDS – A Research Tool
    54. 54. HEDDS Who is using the system? Who Is Using HEDDS? 3% 4% .com 4% 4% .net 36% unresolved 12% .gov .org non U.S. 16% .edu 21% other
    55. 55. WISDOM – Wildlife Health Information System Storing data and providing analytic tools Administrator Interface Field Data Web Browser RDC Wildlife Disease Database Data Import Reporting Excel Sampling events Sheets Specimens Validation Individuals/groups Stock Reports Observations Other Sets of observations: health assessments Database Editing Supporting locations, people, other vocabularies Connector Client Reporting Tools
    56. 56. WISDOM Terminology Partners collaborating on avian influenza terminology AI Data provider 1 Excel file AI Data provider 2 WISDOM RDC output Data Warehouse AI Data provider 3 Other Avian influenza reports
    57. 57. Wildlife Disease Terminology It isn't easy chick cub Wildlife Disease fawn Informatics pup Working Group calf
    58. 58. Information Exchange A challenge “. . . we're going to have to change how government thinks about the Internet before we can do the things we want to do.“ Obama Aide
    59. 59. Looking To The Future What fun, interesting projects are on the horizon? The New Yorker
    60. 60. Develop A Web Service Web Service data Software queries Application NBII Catalog DB Creates a machine-to- machine interaction for data querying Search engines Communicates with many kinds of applications Mapping applications RSS Feeds
    61. 61. Future RSS Application Build your own RSS feed Add function so users can build their own RSS feed
    62. 62. Wildlife Disease News Map Expand coverage and functions
    63. 63. Unlocking Opportunistic Wildlife Surveillance Data Turning static tables into a fluid data stream
    64. 64. One World – One Health – One Environment Thank you for your attention! Cris Marsh cmarsh@usgs.gov or 608.270.2459