Dr. Cynthia Sims Parr is a Technical Information Specialist in the Knowledge Services Division at the National Agricultural Library of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Since arriving at USDA in September 2014 she has led the Ag Data Commons research data repository project. She is managing development of the web clearinghouse for the Interagency Working Group on Scientific Collections and will contribute to big data initiatives in agriculture.
Previously she served as the Chief Scientist and Director for Species Pages for the Encyclopedia of Life (EOL), based at the National Museum of Natural History of the Smithsonian Institution. She currently serves as the Chair for the Biodiversity Information Standards organization (Taxonomic Database Working Group, TDWG). She has conducted research in evolutionary ecology, ornithology, behavior, molecular systematics, community ecology, information visualization, semantic web, and social networks. She is an evangelist for open data and citizen science. Ultimately she aims to make it easier to do science that can improve our planetary and societal stewardship.
She enjoys photography, reading, Scrabble™, birding, and mentoring young people in science and technology (including two who share half her genes). Someday she will get back to creative writing.