Using web-based technology to deliver scientific knowledge: the Southern Forest Encyclopedia Network
Forest science, like any science, is a continuous process of discovering new knowledge, reevaluating existing knowledge, and revising our theories and management practices in light of these changes. The forest science community has not yet found the solution to the problem of getting continuously changing science efficiently and effectively into the hands of those who need it in their daily work, the forest practitioners. The Forest Encyclopedia Network or FEN (www.forestencyclopedia.net) represents a new approach to the synthesis and delivery of forest science knowledge. The USDA Forest Service Southern Research Station, the Southern Regional Extension Forestry system, the USDA Forest Service State and Private Cooperative Forestry Program and the Southern Forestry university community are all engaged in building and testing this new science delivery concept. The network currently has four encyclopedias in various stages of completion: The Encyclopedia of Southern Appalachian Forest Ecosystems, The Encyclopedia of Southern Fire Science, The Encyclopedia of South-Wide Forest Science, and The Encyclopedia of Southern Bioenergy. This paper will describe the history, current status, and future plans for the FEN project. Keywords: Knowledge management, World Wide Web, hypertext encyclopedia.