[tdwg-content] NESCent Phyloinformatics VoCamp
ncellinese at flmnh.ufl.edu
Wed Sep 9 18:04:20 CEST 2009
NESCent Phyloinformatics VoCamp
OPEN CALL FOR PARTICIPATION
Integrating diverse biological data with the historical process of
is a grand challenge for 21st century biology. The interoperability of
from diverse fields (e.g., genetics, ecology, biodiversity, biomedicine)
requires a technology infrastructure based on formalized, shared
vocabularies. Developing such vocabularies is a community project. In
order to build controlled vocabularies and ontologies, the National
Evolutionary Synthesis Center (NESCent: http://nescent.org) is
We invite scientists from diverse sub-disciplines to apply for this
as explained below. The application deadline is September 18, 2009. More
information about motivation, plans, and preliminary ideas is available
online at http://bit.ly/VoCamp_Proposal. Feel free to disseminate this
notice to colleagues who may be interested.*
A VoCamp (http://vocamp.org) is an intense, hands-on, working meeting
face-to-face interactions between a diverse group of people focused on
vocabulary and ontology design, development and application. The
Phyloinformatics VoCamp will include ontology and vocabulary
relevant efforts, experts on knowledge representation and reasoning, and
users and developers of integrative applications that use these
This event will partially overlap with the Biodiversity Information
Standards (TDWG: http://tdwg.org) Annual Conference in Montpellier,
November 9-13, 2009. The VoCamp is an activity of the TDWG Interest
on Phylogenetics Standards (http://wiki.tdwg.org/Phylogenetics) and is
partly supported by TDWG and the Université Montpellier.
GOALS AND ACTIVITIES
The objective of the event is to connect previously disparate ontology
development efforts, stakeholder communities, and interoperability
initiatives with shared objectives. Aside from sharing knowledge,
and best practices, our goal is to build-out existing ontology
a hands-on manner in terms of ontological rigor, semantic richness, and
modularity that supports effective reuse.
We also plan to have programming expertise and activities present at the
event, such as for necessary large-scale transformations, and
proof-of-concept applications that directly apply the ontologies being
On a long-term basis, we anticipate that the event, if successful,
rise to similarly structured follow-up events organized by the
stakeholder communities, such as TDWG, SONet
(http://sonet.ecoinformatics.org), and OBO (http://www.obofoundry.org).
The VoCamp will be 4 days in duration during November 7-11, 2009 and is
co-located with the TDWG annual conference
(http://www.tdwg.org/conference2009) in Montpellier, France. The
days (Nov 7-8) will be dedicated entirely to VoCamp and the remainder
event (Nov 10-11) will overlap with TDWG 'workshops days'. Participants
will have the opportunity, and are encouraged, to interact with TDWG
participants and attend conference sessions outside of the VoCamp.
The specific vocabulary development targets will be selected by the
participants partly in advance through a dedicated area on a wiki, a
list, and one or more conference calls, and partly on-site through an
Space activity. The exact agenda for the event will be developed
but will be largely devoted to ontology and vocabulary development
the event itself, participants will self-organize into small subgroups
focused on particular targets. The VoCamp will conclude with a wrap-up
session, and a report presented to the TDWG conference audience.
We also anticipate that several "boot camps" will be needed to ensure a
productive event for all participants, for example on ontology design
engineering, reasoning, and infrastructure for collaborative
We welcome comments and suggestions for issues in ontology development
are not explicitly addressed here or in our proposal but that could be
addressed at the event. Please email the organizers at vocamp1 at nescent.org
with any suggestions.
HOW TO APPLY
The application consists of your cv and your responses to 6 questions
your experience, skills, objectives, support, and commitment to open
software development. To apply, please fill out the online form at
http://bit.ly/VoCamp_Form by September 18, and submit your CV to the
organizers at vocamp1 at nescent.org. NESCent will provide funds in
expenses, including travel, accommodation, registration, and meals.
the final amount of funds available and the support requested by the
participants, sponsorship may need to be capped.
Logistical and travel details will be communicated to accepted and
We specifically encourage applications from members of under-
groups, specifically women and minorities, and from graduate students
post-docs. If you have questions or are unsure whether to apply, please
contact an organizer or write to vocamp1 at nescent.org .
Please understand that funding and space for this event are limited.
We also need to balance a critical mass of expertise in specific areas
broad participation. Therefore, not all qualified applicants can be
The Organizing Committee
Arlin Stoltzfus, Chair (University of Maryland Biotechnology
Nico Cellinese (University of Florida)
Karen Cranston (Field Museum of Natural History)
Hilmar Lapp (NESCent)
Sheldon McKay (Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, iPlant Collaborative)
Enrico Pontelli (New Mexico State University)
* This announcement is being sent to the following lists: evoldir, TDWG,
SSB, nexml, phylows, CDAO, SONet, GBIF, Ecolog, TAXACOM.
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