Biological Data Standards Cluster

From Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP)

Biological sciences intersect with the Earth sciences in understanding processes that cross domains and provide a robust picture of our dynamic and changing planet. Biological data are heterogeneous and uniquely organized on a per project basis. As noted by an attendee of the IOOS-ESIP Biological Data Standards Workshop,

“The diversity of biological data, and (seeming) lack of overarching community standards makes working with biological data challenging.”

Several standards do exist for biological data, however these different data, metadata, and taxonomic standards are confusing for data managers and data users to navigate. The biological data community in the US could benefit from guidance, best practice documentation, training, and community building. Ultimately, the goal is to maximize data relevance and utility for understanding changes in biodiversity over time.

The Biological Data Standards Cluster will coordinate and, where possible, use outputs from existing clusters such as the Marine Data Cluster and the Cluster. The Biological Data Standards Cluster will also engage with the Biodiversity Information Standards (aka TDWG) community to ensure approaches adopted by the US community align with those of the global community and to foster increased interaction between the two communities.

Community-generated Themes:

  • Increase awareness & interest in standards
  • Create unity/shared vision around biological data standards implementation & provide guidance related to biological standards
  • Provide opportunities for knowledge sharing & coordination
  • Provide connectivity across ESIP


Currently the cluster is working on promoting the primer on biological data standards and developing companion materials to assist with using the primer for data managers.


  • See Slack Channel (if you need to sign up to the ESIP Slack universe use this link instead: LINK)

Get Involved

  • Email List: LINK
  • Monthly meetings (virtual): 1st Thursday of the Month at 2 pm ET/11 am PT
    • Zoom meeting: LINK Meeting ID: 873 9272 9191 Passcode: 708422                    

June 6, 2024

May 2, 2024

Mar 7, 2024

Feb 1, 2024

ESIP January Meeting - Working Session (Jan 25, 2024)

December 6, 2023

November 2, 2023

October 2023: canceled

September 7, 2023

August 3, 2023

June 1, 2023

May 4, 2023

April 6, 2023

February 2, 2023

December 1, 2022; November 3, 2022; August 1, 2022

July 7, 2022; May 5, 2022; April 14, 2022; February 3, 2022; November 4, 2021; October 7, 2021

September 2, 2021; August 5, 2021; June 24, 2021;

May 20, 2021; April 1, 2021; March 4, 2021;

February 4, 2021; December 3, 2020; November 5, 2020; September 23, 2020