Microsoft Awards $1.25 Million Software Grant to NatureServe
Gift bolsters technology in service of conservation and science
- NatureServe has partnered with Microsoft to help improve the environment where we live through software and technology innovations.
- Gift is the largest in-kind contribution in the Arlington-based nonprofit’s history
- Improvements across technology platforms will leverage NatureServe’s capital investments in IT systems
Today NatureServe announced the donation of software valued at $1.25 million from Microsoft Corporation. The grant will help NatureServe protect the wild plants, animals, and ecosystems across the Americas.
For nearly 40 years, the NatureServe network has tracked the location and status of species and their habitats using a data-management system called Biotics. The Biotics data are then used by private industry, government agencies and nonprofit organizations to plan for the effective conservation of the species and ecosystems at greatest risk. The award from Microsoft will advance an initiative to migrate this system from desktop-based applications to a cloud-based platform. This transition will greatly improve data-processing efficiency, dramatically reduce network-wide costs, and reinforce Biotics’ status as the central platform for resolving conservation challenges that cross state, provincial, and national borders.
The Microsoft software grant will also help NatureServe create a more robust, highly available, and fault-tolerant IT infrastructure. It also will support the organization’s other biodiversity information tools, which include publicly available online databases, specialized data sharing tools, and a mobile observation system developed with support from the National Science Foundation.
The contribution promises to influence day-to-day activities within NatureServe as well. Increased support for virtualization, and updated productivity and communications tools will enable the organization to refocus limited IT resources toward mission-critical systems. NatureServe’s international network of more than 80 affiliated data centers will benefit from expanding the tools and capabilities available through its collaborative SharePoint portal.
“Land managers and decision-makers across the public and private sectors rely on NatureServe’s work to enhance the conservation of the natural resources under their stewardship. This grant from Microsoft will help us build and sustain a new information management paradigm that supports and influences millions of land- and water-use decisions across the Western hemisphere each year.”
—Mary Klein, president and CEO, NatureServe
”Microsoft’s software grant provides core data center services that allow NatureServe to maximize our investments in a state-of-the-art server environment and focus on delivering enterprise-level software solutions for managing and sharing the unique biodiversity information resources collectively maintained by NatureServe and our international network.”
—Lori Scott, chief information officer, NatureServe
“Microsoft is pleased to support NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs with a software grant to support the organization’s goal of being the leading source for information about rare and endangered species and threatened ecosystems.”
—Donna Woodall, community affairs manager, Microsoft Corporation
NatureServe is a nonprofit conservation organization dedicated to providing the scientific basis for effective conservation action and a member of the IUCN Red List Partnership. Through its network of 81 natural heritage programs and conservation data centers in the United States, Canada, and Latin America, NatureServe provides a unique body of detailed scientific information and conservation biodiversity expertise about the plants, animals, and ecosystems of the Americas. Learn more at www.natureserve.org.