For the information of CPBR and ANBG staff and volunteers
1. Herbarium and Services
1.1 Student Botanical Internship Program - Report for 1999
This is an abridged version of the report for the 1999 Internship Program. Copies of the full report are available from Brendan Lepschi.
2. Research Groups
3. Information Technology and Data Management
3.1 WWW Site
The URL for the Centre can be found at: http://www.anbg.gov/cpbr
Please check regularly for new items of interest re Centre staff and activities.
3.2 Plant Names Project
Funds from the US National Science Foundation have allowed the recruitment of a programmer to work in Canberra on the Plant Names Project. This position as been advertised as either a six month full time or a one year part time appointment. The programmer will be working with the APNI database and data to convert the information into formats compatible with the PNP data structure, Index Kewensis and the Harvard Gray Card Database and on mechanisms to exchange, compare and correct data.
NSF funds have also been provided to employ a PNP data editor part way through the term of the programmer. The editor will be attacking data problems that can not be handled by programming or other automated means. They will be working closely with Centre staff working on the Australian Plant Names Index.
3.3 Australian Plant Names Index (APNI)
Routine work on APNI quietened down during the Intern Program while staff were otherwise occupied, but is picking up again. Terena Lally continued updating the Legumes on funds provided by ABRS. Using funds scrounged from the ANBG IBIS budget, Laurie Adams has been contracted until the end of the financial year to tidy up higher level names and other inconsistencies with the plant name data, which included both APNI records and names from the ANHSIR database.
The combined database has been rebuilt to accept the data from the old databases. Loading scripts are being rewritten to improve reloading, setting flags and so on to achieve maximum HISPID. Existing data is being parsed to strip out as much duplication as possible. The legacy CBG and CANB data will be loaded next week and the process of inspection and checking will start.
Using the Oracle data discovery tools and exporting data to Map Info, Pennie Hohnen has mastered map output from the combined database.
3.5 Networks and Hardware
The EA/ANBG outsourcing exercise grinds along with demonstrations of the network configuration, etc. Potential bidders are preparing submissions to take over the running of the ANBG desktop computing.
A new(ish) high(ish) resolution laser printer has been identified for the third floor of the Centre, following the purchase of new hardware in the ANBG. This will enable specimen label printing on all floors of the Centre.
The proposal to upgrade all the ANBG desktop computers in the Centre to Windows NT with new email and updated office automation software has not died, but no-one is saying when it will happen. Guesstimates are of the order of 6-8 weeks, but do not hold your breath.
With the move of the rest of Environment Australia to new buildings, EA network connections and email despatch and delivery has been a bit flaky, to say the least. If you are conducting important business with EA by email, follow up any messages you think you send to make sure they get to where you think they are going.
The Centre Executive has been considering the structure and content of the Centre web site in some detail. Staff from each program will be asked to look at the information that is on the web and ensure that it is up to date and the coverage and detail is appropriate. A protocol is being developed to get new or replacement material onto the server.
The web address is still http://www.anbg.gov.au/cpbr/ but a proposal has been submitted to register the centre with its own domain name.
4. Education and Communication
4.1 Communications Committee
After a long gestation period the Communications Committee for the CPBR is finally up and running with meetings held in February and March. The committee comprises Curt Brubaker, Christine Cansfield-Smith, Pam Diver, Murray Fagg, Paula Fitzgerald, and Jo Palmer, with Suzie taking minutes.
Matters discussed include a general promotional leaflet for the Centre, the launch of the Rainforest Key, templates for powerpoint and OHP presentations, and new information flyers with a format that distinguishes the CPBR from other CSIRO PI information sheets.
We are aiming to develop a Communication Strategy for the Centre with realistic goals for the next twelve months. This will be circulated to all staff when finalised.
5. General Centre Matters
5.1 Strategic Planning Progress
The Strategic Plan is now heading into the consultation stage. Initial meetings with the Centre's Executive Committee have been aimed at highlighting future directions for the Centre and at addressing existing issues. These ongoing meetings have proven very beneficial and should result in some concrete future objectives for the Centre to aim towards.
Staff consultation is expected to commence after Easter. At this stage, Program Leaders will be responsible for putting together lists of staff who will participate in the meeting process. These meetings will be in the form of small group discussions comprised of specific program areas, and will discuss program strategic directions, as well as any existing or perceived issues which face the programs or the Centre. More information on these sessions will be available shortly.
As always, if anyone has any questions, thoughts or comments, please don't hesitate to contact me by phone: 6246 5263 or email: Lucy.Blackburn@deh.gov.au.
5.2 10 Year Celebration
Joan Graham and Pennie Hohnen invited Centre Staff to join them for a sausage sizzle to celebrate their first 10 years at the Herbarium.
A great time was had by all.
6. Other News
6.1 Tim Richmond Retires
After many years of service, Tim Richmond has decided to retire on April 6 from his position as Assistant Secretary, Parks Australia South.
Tim has been in the Environment portfolio for many years, having joined the then ANPWS in 1978 and subsequently working in ANCA and EA. During that time Tim has played a significant role in establishing the Commonwealth's policies, particularly in relation to the national park and wildlife issues.
During the past four years while Tim has been Director of the ANBG and in his Parks Australia South portfolio, we have had a cooperative working relationship working towards the future of the Centre.
I am sure you will want to join me in wishing Tim well in his retirement.
We have been informed that John Hicks will act as Assistant Secretary, Parks Australia South from April 6, and until the current round of SES recruitment is completed.
6.2 Chief Science Adviser's Seminar
As part of a strategy to raise the profile of the Centre in Environment Australia, I was invited to present a seminar about CPBR in the EA Chief Science Adviser's Seminar Series. This took place March 16. I made a powerpoint presentation (which all ran without a hitch) covering most aspects of the Centre's activities and functions. To exemplify our delivery of research results and linkage between research and on the ground applications I elaborated on some specific projects - our interactive keys (EUCLID, Rain forest), fire & biodiversity, role of conservation genetics in small population management, bitou bush as an example of weed control and revegetation management strategy.
6.4 Movement at ANBG
The transfer of some Environment Australia staff to the Old Admin Building has enabled the Photograph Collection to move to a new location.
While still in the Ellis Rowan building the collection has been moved to the northern end of this building (closer to CSIRO!). The room is bigger and, being air conditioned, provides far more suitable housing for the collection.
It is hoped that eventually this move will allow greater public access to the Photograph Collection. In the meantime anyone who would care to come and visit will be made most welcome.
6.5 Flora of Australia
Flora of Australia vol. 1 Introduction (2nd edn) was published on 2nd March 1999, and is available from CSIRO Publishing or the ANBG Shop. Only a hard cover version is available, RRP $79.95.
7. Diary of Events/Activities
21 Apr-1 Jun
12 Jun - 12 Jul
Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research
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