About the Committee
- Sean P. Maher (firstname.lastname@example.org)
History and Mission
This committee was established in 1972 as the Committee on Information Retrieval with the original charge to "examine the feasibility of developing a national data-retrieval system for Recent mammal Collections and, if possible, to develop funding for such a system (Gill and Wozencraft, 1994:160). The committee has been involved in developing standardized methods in documentation and information retrieval for computerization of mammal collections. In response to a charge to broaden the role of the committee beyond collection-based computerization, from the President of ASM, the committee has presented a workshop and subsequent publication on Geographic Information Systems. The committee has established a listserver called Mammal-L that has remained active and continues to grow since its inception in 1994. The committee has tackled the issue of the Ethics of Data Sharing and published "Guidelines..." in the Journal of Mammalogy as a direct result of that work. The committee keeps abreast of collection computerization issues by updating the Documentation Standards and by surveying and reporting on the progress of computerization throughout North America (in 1984 and 1989). In 1995, the Committee unveiled the ASM Home Page for approval by the Board of Directors. In 1998, the committee was renamed the Informatics Committee, identified AIBS as a potential host for the ASM and worked with AIBS to establish that website. In 2007, the committee was tasked with developing a new website for Society content independent of the Business Office, and the committee established a presence on social media accounts soon after. In 2023, the committee was renamed the Communications Committee to better reflect the current task.
This committee's responsibilities address issues of the continually changing technological age as they relate to mammalogy.
In recent years, committee activities have included the following publications:
Survey Report on Computerized Information Retrieval in Mammal Collections of North America (1989). - Paper copy only available for this publication by contacting Committee Chair, Matt Hopton or Sue McLaren.
GIS Applications in Mammalogy, edited by S. B. McLaren and J. K. Braun (1993). This publication is the outgrowth of a workshop conducted at the 1991 Mammal Meetings in Manhattan, Kansas. The project was funded through the National Science Foundation as a joint project of the Oklahoma Museum of Natural History and The Carnegie Museum of Natural History. - Paper copies are still available through both editors.