Amazon Web Services (AWS) has been selected by the Natural History Museum of the United Kingdom as a technical partner for improving its capabilities in the field of biodiversity research.
According to a statement from the Museum, this partnership with the public cloud giant is a key step towards compiling, storing and analyzing an extensive range of environmental information gleaned throughout the UK in a single holding area. In doing so, Museum scientists can expand their understanding of nature in a changing environment.
Developing a Data Ecosystem
The partnership between the two entities is expected to result in a new data platform called the Data Ecosystem. The said platform will be housed within AWS’ public cloud and built upon its current technologies.
Envisioned to help widen scientific understanding of urban biodiversity in the UK, the Data Ecosystem is meant to determine its current total composition, how it relates to environmental conditions, and how it may respond to any initiatives related to direct conservation. In this case, scientists can make easier comparisons and analyses of various biodiversity data types, as well as environmental factors like soil chemistry, atmospheric conditions, and even noise pollution more accurately and immediately.
The joint ecosystem is also expected to accelerate the pace of the Museum’s work in biodiversity and create an onsite learning and activity center supporting its Urban Nature Project
Once completed, the Museum’s 350 scientists will be given access to the Data Ecosystem for their work. The opportunity will likewise be extended to researchers working for the Museum’s partner institutions throughout the country.
Over time, visual and environmental DNA-based observations of wildlife and botanical specimens, environmental information, and acoustic monitoring data gleaned through a high spatial resolution network installed within the garden galleries will be analyzed, curated, and merged through the Data Ecosystem. This will result in the provision of specific evidence of how habitat creation, restoration, and translocation have impacted wildlife in the UK’s urban centers.
The information gathered through the Data Ecosystem will be instrumental for the transformation of the Museum’s five-acre site into a biodiversity showcase: a set of living garden-galleries that will both assist scientists with ongoing research and also deepen public understanding of why it is vital to protect species and habitats in light of climate change. These gardens are set to open sometime next year.