In May 2021, Arctos was awarded a three-year grant from the National Science Foundation’s “Sustained Availability of Biological Infrastructure” (SABI) program. The award was made to three partner institutions (Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, Museum of Southwestern Biology, Texas Advanced Computing Center) for critical technical and infrastructure work that will establish a sustainable framework for Arctos. Simultaneously, the Arctos community will establish a legal non-profit entity to administer its operations. So it’s been a busy first year of the grant for us! I will summarize some of the community impact this award has provided for us.
The technical work has been highly rewarding especially since it has attracted new collections to the Arctos community, and allowed us to address a number of fundamental issues.
Most importantly, we hired Data Manager/ Community Coordinator Teresa Mayfield-Meyer, who appears to be able to be in 5 places at once! Longtime Arctos members know Teresa well and new Arctos members now have a mentor to help with onboarding and data migration.
As part of our focus on sustainability, we have formed a task force to explore and investigate the best business model for the Arctos Consortium, most likely forming a non-profit organization. Stay tuned for a bright future for Arctos!