Biodiversity Informatics

Biodiversity informatics is the application of information technology & the internet to the collection and dissemination of data on flora and fauna through geographic space and time. The Herbarium's flagship product in this area is Nature Atlas (, which is a free, Web-based biodiversity Geographic Information System for desktops, laptops, smartphones & tablets. It was launched in 2008 for instructors & students in field-oriented biology courses. It's been expanded to give anyone (amateur or professional) the tools to map observations & photos of organisms, manage museum and herbarium inventories, generate & print herbarium & entomological specimen labels, generate interactive biotic inventory atlases, generate presentation-quality distribution maps, manage BioBlitz inventories, & explore biodiversity. Anyone, anytime, is welcome. One doesn't need to be part of any class or project to log on & add or search records. Furthermore, NatureAtlas is unique in its educational mission to serve as a venue for the mentoring & training of computer science & biology students in application development & testing in the burgeoning field of biodiversity informatics. Contact Dr. Hardy if you are interested starting a custom portal for your project or in getting involved in its development.

Selected Informatics Applications

MVSC Specimen Atlas Atlas of Ethnobiological Objects
Christmas Tree Guide



Selected Publications on This Topic

  • Hardy CR, NW Hardy. 2018. Adapting traditional field activities in natural history education to an emerging paradigm in biodiversity informatics. American Biology Teacher 80: 501-519.
  • Faden RB, CR Hardy. 2017. Commelinaceae, the dayflower and spiderwort family. In New Manual to the Vascular Plants of the Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada. New York Botanical Garden Press, New York. []
  • Hardy NW, CR Hardy. 2016. exposing undergraduate computer science students to opportunities and applications in biodiversity informatics. 2016 World Congress on Engineering 1: 209-211 (ISBN: 978-988-19253-0-5).