Today I gave an invited presentation to the IRL Council Board of Directors which manages the Indian River Lagoon National Estuary Program. The main focus of my talk was to report on Indian River Lagoon Observatory’s Connecting Users to IRL Data Initiative . Good timing, as I had just picked up the first batch of printed copies yesterday! So my talk became the official release of that report.
The Connecting Users to IRL Data initiative examined how IRL scientific data are collected, translated and shared with users and how to improve those processes. We convened a workshop on December 7-8, 2015, at Harbor Branch, with primary financial support from the Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute Foundation, Inc., and River Branch Foundation. Participants represented federal, state and local agencies, academia, non-profit entities, elected officials and the business sector, and included estuarine scientists, urban planners, weather forecasters, resource managers and educators.
The initiative also included a pre-workshop online survey to help define how we collect, use, translate and share data for the Indian River Lagoon. More than 95 data collectors and/or users completed the survey, revealing what data are available and what new pathways (e.g., social media, web publishing, file sharing and storage) will allow more effective data sharing and dissemination to end users. The survey results and future outcomes of this initiative are availablehere.
This workshop was the first organized effort to answer, where is IRL data housed? What types of data are collected? How are we using the data? And can we do a better job at collecting, organizing, translating and sharing the data? We need to answer these questions. If we do, then we may be able to understand how we can all work better together to share the knowledge and make changes in how we manage the Lagoon in the future.
Here are the consensus recommendations of the workshop:
The whole report is availablehere.
We will be moving forward on converting these recommendations, working with many others in the IRL community. Next steps include:
Stay tune for progress on this initiative!