Training and e-Learning

GBIF empowers its global network and strengthens its community of practice through training activities that enable members to mobilize and use biodiversity information effectively

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BID African regional meeting and nodes training, 3 Sept 2019, Yaounde, Cameroon. Photo by Mélianie Raymond | GBIF, licensed under CC BY 4.0.

The GBIF Secretariat works closely with its volunteer community of trainers and mentors to develop and maintain several online training courses. These courses are conducted either as on-site workshops or through an e-Learning platform hosted by GBIF Spain.

Participants who successfully complete these courses receive digital badges, sometimes signifying either basic or advanced levels of achievement.

At present, the GBIF general curriculum includes three courses:

Establishing a GBIF Participant Node

This course supports students with the first stages of establishing a GBIF Participant node. Topics include:

  • the GBIF network and community structure
  • making the case for Participation in GBIF
  • roles and functions of GBIF Participant nodes
  • governance models
  • strategic and implementation plans for nodes

View course >

Biodiversity Data Mobilization

This course enables students to plan and implement biodiversity data mobilization efforts effectively using accepted community standards. Its aim is to increase the volume, richness and quality of the data published through the GBIF network. Topics include:

  • Project planning
  • Data capture
  • Data management
  • Data publishing

Participants who successfully complete the course are offered a basic-level or an advanced-level digital badge.

Data Use for Decision Making

This course offers students a hands-on demonstration of the steps required to process, analyse and mainstream biodiversity data into policy. Topics include:

  • Critically assessment of datasets’ data quality
  • Mapping species distributions (e.g. using ecological niche modelling)
  • Assessing the conservation status of species using IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria
  • Mainstreaming data into prevailing policy landscapes through identifying policy entry points
  • Stakeholder analysis
  • Communication planning

Documentation and learning resources

The GBIF community has a long history of producing technical and other documentation on a range of topics relating to biodiversity informatics and open biodiversity data.

The GBIF Secretariat is now clarifying its role in coordinating the development of such documentation while engaging its community to collaborate with subject-matter experts commissioned to create and update under the guidance of an editorial panel.

This goal of this approach is to provide uniform, reliable, reusable, versioned, and easily updatable materials that instill community trust in the available documentation and foster its use.

The key features of this system will include:

  • Standardized, digital-first documentation maintained through GitHub
  • Routine updates, versioning and translations
  • Community input and peer-review

The first title produced within this new system—originally conceived by long-time community members John Wieczorek, Paula Zermoglio and David Bloom of VertNet—is an updated English-language edition of Establishing an Effective GBIF Participant Node: Concepts and general considerations. GBIF’s network of volunteer translators will update the Spanish, French and Portuguese translations in early 2020.

The first new titles expected to become available for peer-review and publication (also in early 2020) are:

  • Guía de Uso Básico de OpenRefine para la limpieza de datos sobre biodiversidad, by Paula F. Zermoglio and John R. Wieczorek
  • Current Best Practices for Generalizing Sensitive Species Occurrence Data, by Arthur D. Chapman
  • Georeferencing Best Practices, by Arthur D. Chapman and John R. Wieczorek