Indian River Lagoon Observatory

Connecting Users to IRL Data Workshop

Under the umbrella of the Indian River Lagoon Observatory, and with a grant from the Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute Foundation and the River Branch Foundation, in December 2015, we organized and hosted a regional workshop, Connecting Users to IRL Data. This effort was led by a Steering Committee comprised of:

  • Dennis Hanisak (Co-Chair), Research Director & Director of IRLO, FAU Harbor Branch
  • Amy Adams (Co-Chair), President, Cape Canaveral Scientific, Inc.
  • Megan Davis (Special Advisor), Interim Executive Director, FAU Harbor Branch
  • Duane De Freese, Executive Director, Indian River Lagoon Council and Indian River Lagoon National Estuarine Program
  • Grace Johns, Project Manager, 2008 IRL Economic Valuation, Hazen & Sawyer
  • Kathleen O'Keife, Research Administrator, Florida Fish & Wildlife Commission’s Fish & Wildlife Research Institute
  • Mitchell Roffer, President, Roffer's Ocean Fishing Forecasting Service, Inc.
  • Vembu Subramanian, Manager, Southeast Coastal Ocean Observing Regional Association
  • Gary Zarillo, Professor, Florida Institute of Technology

The Committee developed an agenda, invited speakers and other participants representing federal, state and local agencies, academia, non-profit entities, elected officials, and the business sector, and developed panel questions and a workshop agenda.

Each session of the data workshop was organized with an overview presentation on the topic followed by panelist talks that engaged discussions with workshop participants.
80 scientists, policymakers, developers, and other stakeholders shared their thoughts on IRL data and how to do a better job of getting it into the hands of those who need it.

Prior to the workshop, the Steering Committee developed and distributed a region-wide survey focusing on IRL water quality, benthic, and biological data, to 450 collectors and users of IRL data representing federal, state, and local agencies as well as academia, non-profit organizations, and private sector businesses. More than 95 people completed the survey revealing what data are available and what new pathways will allow more effective data sharing and dissemination to end users.

At the workshop, 80 invited participants from the IRL region and the state, shared their expertise about when, how, what, where, and which IRL data are collected, translated, and shared. The workshop included three panel sessions: 1) Data collectors and its users; 2) IRL data: What do end users want? and 3) The benefits of sharing data: a new approach. Each session was organized with an overview presentation on the topic followed by panelist talks that engaged discussions with workshop participants.

Together the survey and workshop will help IRLO further develop the necessary collaborations throughout the IRL and achieve its vision to acquire and disseminate new data and knowledge on components of the IRL critical to its ecological function and its sustainable management.

The workshop agenda is availablehere.

The summary of the data survey is availablehere.

The final report with consensus recommendations for moving forward is availablehere.