Stan Blum

  • Research Information Manager
  • Center for Applied Biodiversity Informatics
  • PhD

I am a zoologist by training, but since 1990 I have been working full-time in biodiversity informatics – the application of information technologies to biodiversity science.  Academy scientists generate enormous amounts of information as they collect, describe, document, and compare organisms. That information comes in a variety of forms, including text, photographs, DNA sequences, taxonomic names, classifications, distributions maps, and ultimately publications.  Our goals in biodiversity informatics are to ensure that information is captured effectively when it is created, and flows efficiently through analysis, into appropriate outputs.

The two most important themes in my work are designing data management systems that support information integration across workgroups and data types within organizations, and developing standards and architectures that support information integration across organizations. I have been an active participant in two international organizations dedicated to biodiversity informatics, the Taxonomic Databases Working Group (TDWG) and the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF).


Garcia-Molina, Hector; Dept. of Computer Sciences, Stanford University

Guo, Quinhua, Sierra Nevada Research Institute, University of California, Merced

Hobern, Donald; Atlas of Living Australia, CSIRO, Canberra, Australia

Holzman, Barbara, Dept. of Geography, California State University, San Francisco

Pyle, Richard; Bishop Museum, Honolulu

Paepke, Andreas, Dept. of Computer Sciences, Stanford University

Reichle, Steffen, The Nature Conservancy

Wieczorek, John; University of California, Berkeley

B.A., 1978, Biology University of California, Santa Cruz

Ph.D., 1988, Zoology University of Hawaii

Post Doc., 1986-89  Vertebrate Paleontology, American Museum of Natural History

Post Doc., 1990, Vertebrate Zoology (Fish Division), Smithsonian Institution



1998-Pres  Research Information Manager, California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco.

1998          Associate Research Professor of Environmental Informatics, Natural History Museum, University of Kansas

1996-7       Research Scientist, Bishop Museum, Honolulu, Hawaii. 

1995          Biological Collections Information Specialist, Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, University of California, Berkeley. 

1991-3       Data Administrator, Collections Program, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution.  Washington, D.C.



Synergistic Activities

1)   Leadership in international standards development through the Taxonomic Databases Working Group (TDWG): Chair, Executive Committee, 2002-2004; Treasurer 2005-2009; Convener, Subgroup on Standards Process; Co-Convener, Subgroup on Access to Biological Collections Data, 2001-2006; Annual meeting organizing committee 2002-2009.

2)   National Evolutionary Synthesis Center (NESCent) Science Advisory Board. 2007-09

3)   Service to the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF): Member, Subcommittee on Data Access and Database Interoperability 2001-2002; Chair, Subcommittee on Data Access and Database Interoperability 2003-2007; Member, Science Committee, 2003-2007

4)   Invited presentations outside core discipline of biodiversity informatics:  Museum Computer Network (primarily art and cultural focus) on Image management systems (2006); and Museum Computer Network on Interoperability and Community Building (2007).


Thesis Advisor

James W. Archie, California State University, Long Beach (formerly University of Hawaii, Manoa)


Postdoctoral Sponsors:

John G. Maisey, Department of Vertebrate Paleontology, American Museum of Natural History, NY, NY

G. David Johnson, Fish Division, Dept. of Vert. Zoology, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC


Graduate Advisees and Thesis Committees (2)

Elizabeth J. Proctor; now Pacific Gas & Electric, San Francisco, CA

Miguel Fernandez, now University of California, Merced, CA


Publications in Biodiversity Informatics

Fernandez, M.A., S.D.Blum, S. Reichle, Q. Guo, B Holtzman, H.H.Hamilton. 2009.
Locality Uncertainty and the Differential Performance of Four Common Niche-Based Modeling Techniques.  Biodiversity Informatics. Vol 6:36-52.

Beaman, R., Wieczorek, J., and Blum, S. 2004.
Determining Space from Place for Natural History Collections In a Distributed Digital Library Environment.  D-LIB Magazine, 10:5

Blum, S. 2002.
Integrating Bio-Collection Databases: Metadata in Natural History Museums. pp. 113-117. in Cataloging the Web: Metadata, AACR, and MARC 21. Edited by Jones, W., J. R. Ahronheim, and J. Crawford.

Blum, S. 2000. 
An Overview of Biodiversity Informatics.

Blum, S. D. (Ed.).  1998. 
Proceedings of a Workshop on the Compilation, Maintenance, and Dissemination of Taxonomic Authority Files. (published electronically: ).

Association of Systematics Collections Committee on Computerization and Networking.  1993. 
An Information Model for Biological Collections; Report of the Biological Collections Data Standards Workshop, August 18-24, 1992. 



  • Stan Blum
  • Research Information Manager
  • California Academy of Sciences
  • 55 Music Concourse Drive
  • San Francisco, CA 94118
  • 415-379-5189 (direct)