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Following the Data

Author(s): Anna Monfils1, Debra Linton1, Molly Phillips2, Libby Ellwood3

1. Central Michigan University 2. iDigBio, Florida Museum of Natural History, University of Florida 3. iDigBio

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The video and exercise provides insight into how researchers are using digital data resources to investigate biodiversity in prairie fen wetlands.

Licensed under CC Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International according to these terms

Version 1.0 - published on 04 May 2020 doi:10.25334/Q4WF18 - cite this


The Prairie Fen Research Collaborative, working with the Biodiversity Literacy in Undergraduate Education Initiative (BLUE), and Science-Live, produced a film that highlights research and science in action. This 15-minute film showcases the process of science and the importance of data and data management.  You will see how researchers from Central Michigan University and the Michigan Natural Features Inventory collaborate with conservation scientists from The Nature Conservancy and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. This project is an example of how collaborative science and open data, can further our understanding of biodiversity, inform conservation efforts, and contribute to adaptive, research informed, management strategies.

Students watching this video and completing this module will be able to do the following:

  • Explain how researchers use data and evidence-based reasoning to create knowledge and understanding. 
  • Describe how new evidence and data, build on prior research and lead to the revision of scientific knowledge. 
  • Explain how biologists can answer research questions using different types of databases and large open data sets 
  • Explain how a change in one component of a system can impact other components 
  • Recognize gaps in our current understanding of a biological system and identify what specific information is missing. 

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