Dimensions of Biodiversity Workshop Report, March 2011
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A report to the National Science Foundation from a NESCent Working Group convened to discuss the Dimensions of Biodiversity program. The workshop was organized by Kent Holsinger, Elizabeth Kellogg, and Melinda Smith and held on September 17-18, 2010 at NESCent.
For the workshop, the starting problem given to the group was: Assume that unlimited funds are available for biodiversity research BUT a) the last grant will be given 9 years from now (so the last dollar will be spent at the end of 15 years) and b) available manpower (grad students, post-docs, technicians, faculty) will not increase. In other words, time and number of scientitsts are fixed. Money is not. Answer the question: When work funded by the NSF Dimensions of Biodiversity program is completed in 10-15 years, what will we have learned that we could not have learned otherwise? What are the key gaps in understanding that could be filled or key questions that can be answered or enabled with the Dimensions program that could not be answered by the core programs?