On-Line Database for Bay Issues
Five environmental, government and public interest groups have begun to construct an on-line public access database called the Chesapeake BIOS (Bioregional Information On-Line Service) to make information about the Chesapeake Bay and the related Susquehanna and Potomac River basins available through the Internet computer network.
The Chesapeake BIOS is designed to promote cooperative efforts between environmental organizations, community groups and local officials. The database will provide an on-line environmental database with reviews and updates on the region's physical and biological resources; current information on regional environmental activities and organizations; and free access to government environmental repositories, including EPA's on-line library and the U.S. Geological Survey's on-line database.
BIOS sponsoring groups include the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, the Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District, the Northern Virginia Environmental Network, the Potomac Watershed Network and the George Mason University Global Change Computing Facility.
The Chesapeake BIOS is housed on a special "gopher" in the Biology Department at George Mason University. For those unfamiliar with Internet terminology, a "gopher" is a place where Internet users from anywhere in the world can stop off and browse through information made available by a local sponsoring computer system, in this case George Mason University.
The Chesapeake BIOS is a database under construction. The organizers are looking for publications, fact sheets and other information they can make available about the Bay region, including the Susquehanna and Potomac River basins. They are also inviting organizations and individuals to contribute their suggestions, information, time or financial resources to building the BIOS gopher. Dan Sklarew, a computing specialist for life sciences in the Biology Department, is coordinating the Chesapeake BIOS project. To become involved in BIOS, or to find out how to use it, contact Sklarew via Internet at email@example.com or at (703) 993-1043 (voice), (703) 9931046 (fax) or by writing: Department of Biology, George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia 22030-4444.