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Eastern Geographic Science Center

Description of Current Projects

Chesapeake Bay Studies Data Management

Principal Investigator: Cassandra Ladino, U.S. Geological Survey, Eastern Geographic Science Center

The Science Issue and Relevance
Ecosystem-based management is the new model for managing environmentally important resources like the Chesapeake Bay Watershed (CBW). To accomplish ecosystem-based management, scientists need to be able to analyze long-term periods of data from multiple science themes to provide information to land managers on the health of their environmental resources. Database integration is an efficient way to analyze and maintain these large datasets, but development of a long-term database is highly dependent on well-defined Data Management practices. Additionally, as the new U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Informational Memorandum on scientific data management becomes policy at the end of fiscal year 2016, the USGS has placed increased emphasis on adopting Data Management best practices defined by the USGS Community for Data Integration and other working groups.

Methodology for Addressing the Issue
The USGS Eastern Geographic Science Center (EGSC) and the Endocrine Disrupting Compound (EDC) Effects on Fish and Wildlife in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Project are working together on data management and data integration implementation. The EDC Project is a CBW Study initiated in 2014 that includes scientists from nine USGS science centers and multiple mission areas. It includes integrative studies with both field and laboratory components focused on identification of relevant EDCs, how they enter the CBW, and how they affect aquatic organisms. EGSC is helping the EDC Project leverage the powerful capabilities of database technologies and Data Management best practices described by USGS policy and Community for Data Integration workgroups to enhance data synthesis and team member collaboration to answer complex ecosystem science questions. Project goals include:
  1. Define a data standard for each EDC science team. This standard will be used as the basis for design of an integrated database.
  2. Establish an efficient process for managing and incorporating each of the EDC science team's data into a database. This process will be documented in Data Management Plans.
  3. Enhance the use of EDC science team data in creating synthesis products. Synthesis products this year will include maps (dynamic and/or static) developed from data in an integrated database.

Future Steps
EGSC will continue to improve Data Management and database operations for the EDC Project and apply the approach to other USGS Chesapeake Bay studies projects having similar needs.

Key Words: Data Management, Data Integration, Endocrine Disrupting Compounds, Chesapeake Bay

Contact Information:
Cassandra Ladino

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