We are volunteers who are working together because we believe that our combined effort is more than the sum of our individual contributions. We invite you to join us.
Foundations of the Open Science Network in Ethnobiology
OSN is a dynamic "open science" network which promotes ethnobotanical education through the use of web-based technologies and the continual exchange of educational techniques, materials, and experiences across institutional and international borders. The project was funded by the National Science Foundation and is a Research Coordination Networks in Biological Sciences (RCN) Undergraduate Biology Education (UBE) award.
OSN uses an "open-philosophy" approach which supports a perpetual network generating science curriculum through team efforts of universities, science institutions, educators and students (including non-traditional), using an open-group evaluation model similar to open-source software. Unlike a static repository of information, the system's technological capabilities will be flexible enough to house the collective knowledge of both expert and user and evolve as the knowledge and needs change.
Core Members of the OSN Network
Pat Harrison, PI (Botanical Research Institute of Texas)
Will McClatchey, Co-PI (Botanical Research Institute of Texas)
Keri Barfield, Project Manager (Botanical Research Institute of Texas)
Sunshine Brosi, Co-PI (Frostburg State University)
Kim Bridges (retired University of Hawai`i at Manoa)
Karen Hall (Clemson University)
Gail Wagner (University of South Carolina)
Laura Sheils (University of Hawai`i at Hilo)
Sonia Vougioukalou (Canterbury Christ Church University)
Cassandra Quave (University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences)
Rainer Bussmann (William L. Brown Center, Missouri Botanical Garden)
Karen Walker (William L. Brown Center, Missouri Botanical Garden)
Ashley Morris (Middle Tennessee State University)
Ryan Huish (Hollins University)
Link: NSF Proposal
The NSF project provides a focus for the OSN efforts and supports our ability to share. The NSF proposal text is posted here so that everyone can see how we first conceptualized this project.
Like all good projects, the OSN effort has evolved. Some things have worked while other things have not worked. We have adjusted some of our mechanisms for collaboration and feel that we are more efficient and can deliver a better product to the ethnobotanical community.
Link: OSN Wordle
A workshop was held May 30, 2009 and all the participants were divided into small groups. Each group was tasked with writing a mission statement for the project. As expected, the resulting mission statements varied greatly. When we tried to reconcile all of these statements into a single one, we faced a nearly-impossible task. It was suggested that we should combine the text with a "wordle." The result (shown on the link) seems to capture the spirit of the project.
OSN participants are passionate about teaching. They are also embedded in a discipline in which ethical behavior is extremely important.
We also believe in helping each other. This is an intrinsic part of our discipline. As researchers, we ask other people for information. We are obliged to return the favor by trying to do something for those people who have helped us. It is only natural that we carry our research philosophy into our teaching activities.
Early in the development of this project we created a philosophical statement that provides general guidance regarding curriculum matters.
Link: OSN By-Laws
OSN participants have created a governance document to help guide the Network in future endeavors. We are in the final year of funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and have determined that this special Network needs to continue to exist. The document listed above as the OSN By-Laws will provide a basis for how OSN will move continue to move forward and develop.
Scheduled Participant Activities
As individuals, we attend a number of national, regional and international conferences and meetings. These events provide us an opportunity to spread the word about the Open Science Network in Ethnobiology.
We welcome contributions to our list of conferences and meetings. And we encourage anyone interested in the OSN to participate in these activities.
The "core" participants in the OSN network have periodic "phone" conferences on the fourth Thursday of each month at 3:00 pm EST. These conferences are conducted through Skype.
This link contains further links typically found in dropbox to working documents. This serves as a prototype to show a new way to work in teams.
Key Communication Links
OSN Office - General Information
The OSN activities are being coordinated from the Botanical Research Institute of Texas (BRIT). Matters concerning the overall OSN effort and policy should be directed to the project PI.
Technical matters, such as broken links, should be directed to the following collaborators.
Link: Submitting Links to OSN
We can receive links to be included in this site in many ways.
The primary contacts for receiving new links include the following collaborators.
This site is much more than a set of links. The site provides many pathways which can be followed for information. And, when possible, we have reviews of the materials to which we link.
The organization of the materials and assembly of the reviews is the responsibility of the following collaborators.
Web Link: Participants
A large number of people have participated in the OSN network. Some have contributed to the annual OSN workshop. Others have contributed links to their materials. Many have participated in periodic conference calls.
Please feel free to contact anyone on this list - for any reason - if you are interested in the Open Science Network for Ethnobiology.
We have been taking small steps into the realm of social media and metworks. We are likely to use these popular tools more often as we develop the content of this website.
Web Link: Facebook
We have a Facebook presence.
Web Link: Wiser Earth
Many of the OSN participants have invested considerable effort in the Wiser Earth site. We feel that it is an excellent location where people outside the OSN project can find out about us.
Web Link: YouTube
We have created a YouTube page that allows us to post any interesting videos regarding OSN and Ethnobiology.
Sharing is the basis of the OSN. Sharing goes beyond simply passing a piece of paper, such as a course syllabus, to another person.
What we are trying to do is to create a community. We'll share paper, of course. But we'll also provide support by doing peer reviews, developing joint (inter-institutional) courses, and collaborate as though we are colleagues at the same institution.
The use of the Internet makes this practical. To make it work, we need to set realistic objectives, share equitably in the workload, and all feel that we are receiving benefits from our mutual effort.
Part of the "social glue" is our annual workshop. We hold this at the annual meeting of the largest of our academic organizations, the Society for Economic Botany. We allocate funds for travel to colleagues (including students) who might otherwise not be able to participate.
Link: How to Contact OSN