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Exploring Data with BISON

Author(s): Erica Krimmel

Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County

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A module to explore aggregated observation and collection information, through BISON, or Biodiversity Information Serving Our Nation (, a tool for visualizing GBIF data.


A series of exercises to help students become acquainted with the capabilities of GBIF and BISON.

Students completing this exercise will be able to do the following:

  1. Recognize the importance of herbaria in plant biology research. 
  2. Evaluate the quality of information and data obtained from a variety of sources.
  3. Discuss the value of big data for investigating large spatial- or temporal-scale phenomena. 
  4. Evaluate the importance of citizen scientists to big data.



This material was developed to as part of a project titled: Connecting Students to Citizen Science and Curated Collections. Additional materials are available at

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