Welcome to FAQ:

Short, simple explanations of frequently asked questions about using BADC’s resources.

General Questions

Account and Project Information

Data Sharing

Associated Costs

Data Management


General Questions

1. What is the Avian Knowledge Network (AKN)?

The Avian Knowledge Network (AKN) is a partnership of people, institutions, and government agencies that use the best available science to support common bird and habitat conservation goals.

2. What is an AKN node?

A node is a regional or thematic partnership within the AKN. It is a group of people and institutions with a common and specific set of conservation goals set around a geographic region or a theme (e.g., shorebirds, flyways, etc). The Borderlands Avian Data Center (BADC) is a regional node of the AKN with a set of unique conservation goals for the southwestern U.S. and northern Mexico.

3. Who coordinates the Borderlands Avian Data Center?

See our Who We Are page for complete details.

4. What does the Borderlands Avian Data Center actually do?

The Borderlands Avian Data Center (BADC) is a partnership of people and organizations working to improve bird and habitat conservation in the southwestern U.S. and northern Mexico. The goal of BADC is to bring together researchers and managers to coordinate bird monitoring efforts. It provides a platform for data organization as well as sharing and coordination of standardized monitoring efforts.

5. How can my organization get involved?

Contact the Node Coordinator from your region to find out more about how BADC can support your monitoring and conservation planning efforts.

6. How can I participate in an existing bird monitoring project?

Visit the Projects tab in the navigation menu. If there is a project of interest to you, contact the lead person listed on that page to see if there are volunteer opportunities.

Account & Project Information

7. Do I have to have an account to look at data/visualizations?

Many tools and visualizations are freely available and do not require login credentials. Visit the Explore Data tab in the navigation menu to view the open access Decision Support Tools available. Depending on the permissions set by the data owner, some access, visualizations, and specific analyses will require an account with BADC and permission from the data owners.

8. How do I create an account in BADC?

(Stay tuned for our tutorial)

To become a registered user for an existing project:

  • Request the appropriate Project Code for the project you want to join by contacting the Project Leader, or working with your regional Node Coordinator.
  • Fill out the online application form.
  • Respond to the automated email you will receive from our system to verify your email and request (this should happen within one day; if you do not receive an automated email, make sure to check your spam folder).
  • Wait to receive your new login credentials (generally within one week).

9. Is there an expiration date or renewal period to keep my account active with BADC?

No. Once created, your account does not expire.

10. What data can I store in BADC?

BADC has the capacity to describe and provide management tools for scientifically collected long-term bird monitoring data (i.e., rigorous accounting of survey effort following a standardized methodology). Currently, only projects using point count, area search, line transect, or secretive marshbird protocol structures can be easily incorporated into BADC without significant costs. To see if your protocol structure is currently available, click here. If your protocol structure is not listed but similar, contact your Node Coordinator for help.

11. How do I join a project in BADC?

View the Projects tab in the navigation menu to see the current list of active projects on BADC. Contact the Project Leader to request more information and access to join the project. You can also search the Data Catalog to search additional projects in the AKN. Work with your Node Coordinator to find the Project Code to use when you either create a new BADC account or have the project added to your current account.

12. Whom should I contact to create a new project? 

Contact the Node Coordinator that oversees your geography. If there is no Node Coordinator for your geography, contact the Sonoran Joint Venture.

13. Can I store my project data in BADC?

Possibly! Start by contacting the Node Coordinator responsible for your geography. They may be able to connect you with others with similar goals and interests and you can create a project. If all you need is an online data repository, there are many options freely available to you, including eBird or Google Sheets. If you need to describe the data, and especially if you are interested in allowing others to download and use your long-term data, BADC may be the right choice.

14. What will happen to my data and analysis if BADC closes?

First, we recommend that you do not rely solely on BADC for maintain your data. Please keep backup copies. Although the BADC partnership theoretically could dissolve, we do not foresee this happening. As part of a node of the AKN, all data submitted through BADC become part of the AKN. As such, they are available to you through any of the other nodes (except for the thematic nodes). It would require the complete closure of the AKN for your data to be affected. In the highly unlikely event that this were to happen, the AKN and BADC would send you the latest copy of your data beforehand.

Data Sharing

15. How are data shared securely in BADC? 

Review BADC’s Data Sharing Policy for complete details. The following is a summary of the five levels of data access.

  • Level 1 — Data Owners request that their data are not exposed to the public in any way. BADC and the AKN act only as an external repository.
  • Level 2 — Data can be used in certain publicly-available, predefined visualizations (i.e. maps and graphs – not for publication) by the AKN, BADC, or a partner AKN node, but direct access to the primary data is restricted to only the Data Owner.
  • Level 3 — Data can be used in certain publicly-available, predefined visualizations (i.e. maps and graphs), and the complete data set is available for download directly via the Internet with prior written consent from the Data Owner. The Data Owner sets the terms for cooperation, such as acknowledgement or co-authorship in publications.
  • Level 4 — Data can be used in publicly-available, predefined visualizations (i.e. maps and graphs), or are available for download with prior written consent from the Data Owner. The Data Owner must be acknowledged in any publications or analyses where the data were used.
  • Level 5 — Data can be used in publicly-available, predefined visualizations (i.e. maps and graphs), and are available to existing bioinformatic efforts. The Data Owner must be acknowledged in any publications or analyses where the data are used.

16. Do I lose intellectual property rights when I hand over my datasets to BADC or their partners?

You do not “hand over” your data to the node. In BADC and the AKN, the data remain entirely under your control. You decide who can access your data and for what purposes. Review the BADC data access levels here and here.

17. Can I remove/modify data from BADC whenever I consider it necessary?


18. How are data generally shared or accessible across each of the AKN nodes?

Nodes (like BADC) are simply access points to the AKN. They all share the same infrastructure for accessing the data behind-the-scenes. You can access your data from any geographic node portal. (This is not the case for thematic node portals because they filter data to matches their theme. If your data do not match the theme, such as Pacific Shorebirds Survey or Sierra Nevada Monitoring sites, they will not show up in these thematic node portals even if the geography overlaps).

Associated Costs

19. What is the cost of hosting my data and using the tools for my data in BADC?

There is no cost to use the open access Decision Support Tools (see Explore Data tab), add new data to an existing project, or use the tools available to Project Leaders and Analysts. There is currently no cost to create a new project with an existing protocol structure, although this may change in the future. Modifications to a current protocol structure or creation of a project with a new protocol structure can be made at an additional cost, determined by the level of work. BADC and the AKN are partner-driven, and we encourage partners to work with Node Coordinators to build costs associated with overall maintenance of BADC and the development of new and innovative tools into new proposals. For more details about costs, contact your Node Coordinator.

20. What is the cost for creating a new project or protocol?

Creating a project that requires modifications to a current protocol or creation of a project with a new protocol will have additional costs determined by the level of work. The first step is to work with your Node Coordinator to determine your needs. Next, you will work with a team at Point Blue Conservation Science to develop the project and protocol.

21. Is there a maintenance fee for storing data in BADC?

See Question 19.

Data Management

22. How do I enter data?

(Stay tuned for our tutorial)

23. How do I access data available in BADC?

Use the Data Catalog tool to search for datasets across BADC. Keep in mind that data owners always maintain control over their data, so you will need to contact them to request access. If you don’t find what you are looking for, contact the Node Coordinator for your region for assistance.

24. How are data in BADC managed?

(Stay tuned for our tutorial)

25. Are my BBS and/or eBird data part of BADC? And how are BBS and eBird data used in BADC?

BBS is not part of BADC, though we use BBS data for analyses and visualizations. BADC does not provide direct access to BBS data. You should always manage BBS data through the BBS website. eBird is part of BADC. We import eBird data for analyses and visualizations, but you must use the eBird data portal to manage your eBird data.

26. I have a question that isn’t answered here. Whom should I ask?

Contact your regional Node Coordinator for program related questions. If you need technical assistance, please contact the Point Blue Conservation Science help desk.