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Use Case - DC1 Oceanographer

by clagoze last modified Nov 17, 2010 11:55 AM


  • Goal
    • Correlation of environmental and species data
    • Investigate the effect of climate change on marine food webs
  • Summary
    • Laura has been funded by NOAA to do a series of cruises in the Gulf of Mexico to investigate the effect of climate change on marine food webs.  She collects field data about the biology and chemistry of the water.  She would like to compare her field data with historical data to identify trends.  During her cruises, she collects data on temperature, salinity, irradiance and fluorescence using instruments on board.  Her research team collects water samples for later analysis in the laboratory (Nitrate, nitrite, phosphate, ammonium, silicate and plankton counts, molecular).  Some of these data are entered directly into a spreadsheet, but some are recorded onto printed data sheets.  Much of her data comes off of a machine and must be transformed to be useful.  Each instrument and analysis has its own limits of detection and precision.  Laura’s lab uses the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) metadata guidelines and the MERMAid tool for metadata management.  NOAA requires that she upload her data into the NODC, but she has never downloaded data from NODC because of poor usability.   She would like to be able to go to one place, download all phosphate measurements made in the Gulf of Mexico and receive that data in a file, formatted to her specifications.  Laura would gladly pay her data manager to upload her data into an additional repository as long as she could keep track of usage and gain citations.  One of the most time consuming aspects of her analysis is the plankton counts.  Using a microscope she must identify and quantify plankton species.  Plankton identification can be very tedious and there is a steep learning curve.  Right now she uses a collection of books to make her identifications, but many of her taxonomic categories are used only within her lab.  These data are recorded onto a data sheet and must be transformed to be useful.

  • Queries
    • list of organisms that correspond to a defined environmental feature -e.g.,  years with higher than average precipitation in the Mississippi River watershed.
  • Operations/Tasks
      • download all the PO4 data collected in the Gulf of Mexico in a format that can be uploaded into ODV for visualization with her data
      • upload  field data with results of chemical analyses, phytoplankton counts from data sheets and instrument feeds that all correspond to each other
      • aggregate data with different units - conversion factors are needed for calculation, sometimes extra data are needed
      • Find and aggregate historical data sets from Laura’s study site
  • Data sets and associated metadata
    • NODC
    • individual spreadsheets of observations
  • Metrics of completion/success
    •  keep her data private until her papers come out and after that she wants to know when another user downloads her data

    • ability to query across datasets even though not all data sets use the same taxonomic names for the same species .

  • Ontologies
    • FGDC


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