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Information technology developments within the national biological information infrastructure

January 1, 2000

Looking out an office window or exploring a community park, one can easily see the tremendous challenges that biological information presents the computer science community. Biological information varies in format and content depending whether or not it is information pertaining to a particular species (i.e. Brown Tree Snake), or a specific ecosystem, which often includes multiple species, land use characteristics, and geospatially referenced information. The complexity and uniqueness of each individual species or ecosystem do not easily lend themselves to today's computer science tools and applications. To address the challenges that the biological enterprise presents the National Biological Information Infrastructure (NBII) ( was established in 1993. The NBII is designed to address these issues on a National scale within the United States, and through international partnerships abroad. This paper discusses current computer science efforts within the National Biological Information Infrastructure Program and future computer science research endeavors that are needed to address the ever-growing issues related to our Nation's biological concerns.

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