The NCEAS logo is derived from a beautiful strange attractor produced by the
equations of MIT meteorologist Edward Lorenz. That this elegant representation of nature can arise from clever computation is a source of inspiration for NCEAS.
The Lorenz Attractor  is an Icon of Chaos Theory
Credit: Wikipedia Commons
The butterfly itself is also an apt symbol for NCEAS, since the Center is located along a stretch of the California coast that hosts the most renowned Monarch butterfly overwintering site in the western United States.
Fittingly, two NCEAS ecoinformatics products have been named in honor of members of this remarkable insect order:
Monarch, an early workflow prototyping experiment, and
Morpho , metadata and data management software, named for a genus of neotropical butterflies