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Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Farewell from Technical Director William Ulate

The dawn of a new year is an exciting time - a time to look forward to new possibilities and embark on new initiatives. Sometimes, however, it can also be tinged with sadness as these new beginnings may require us to say goodbye as well. For us at BHL, 2016 will also mean saying goodbye to William Ulate as our Technical Director. We have been honored to have him as our Technical Director since 2012 and will miss him in this role. 

William also wanted to take an opportunity to share his thoughts and well-wishes for everyone at BHL in this post:

As some of you may know, I will no longer be the BHL Technical Director after 2015, so I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone in our BHL family for your valuable and kind support during these last three years as Technical Director and two years before that as Global Coordinator.

At the Center for Biodiversity Informatics
with Founding BHL Technical Director
Chris Freeland, back in 2012.
Particularly, I would like to thank my colleagues at the BHL Technical Team, our former Technical Director, Chris Freeland, the Executive Committee and the TAG members, past and present, for their guidance and trust since 2012.  I also have to recognize the invaluable support from all the folks from the IT Department at Missouri Botanical Garden (MBG).  My gratitude goes also to our Director, Martin Kalfatovic, the Secretariat at Smithsonian and the BHL Staff for all the time we spent working together in numerous meetings and calls... and outside of them too.

But most of all, I would like to wish you all in BHL the best for the upcoming years.  I am positive that the future plans and challenges we have been talking about will make for very interesting technical developments.  I look back proudly to our past achievements from these last 5 years and, as often happens, wish we could've done more. However, I believe changes are opportunities and judging from my experience, I am sure BHL will succeed on its endeavor thanks to the continuous work and involvement of each one of you.

At Missouri, USA
For me, this is not a reason to be sad but rather hopeful, because I know the best for BHL is yet to come and, besides, I'm not going too far next year either.  I will still be around since we have received a no-cost extension from the IMLS for the Digging into Data Challenge to finish the Mining Biodiversity project.  And I will remain employed at the Center for Biodiversity Informatics of the Missouri Botanical Garden with the World Flora Online project, so you may still be hearing from me from time to time...

Finally, I just want to say that it has been an honor and a privilege to work by your side. I've made a lot of friends worldwide and learned a lot from you all.  For that and many reasons more, my sincerest "¡Gracias!"   As a Latin American, I believe BHL is evidently one of the most successful projects for biodiversity information repatriation, so I would love to see its continuous development for many years to come...  Keep the good work!

¡Hasta pronto!

William Ulate.
Somewhere in Costa Rica

Thank you, William, for all of your wonderful years of service, and we look forward to still seeing you on various other biodiversity projects in the future!

Best Wishes, The BHL Family