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Earth Systems Data Collaborative

A joint effort between UNH and NOAA focused on developing visualization and data integration tools to unite environmental data providers with information consumers within the Gulf of Maine region.

Current Projects

gom data
climate data
ports harbor

Collaborative Mission and Goals:

  • To develop an IT framework to integrate information from ecosystem modeling and surveillance systems deployed by NOAA and other federal agencies across the region.
  • To promote interoperability among data types in compliance with Open Geospatial Consortium standards. (
  • To engage data consumers in the process of designing and implementing web-based interfaces for assessment of environmental indicators used by managers and decision makers.
  • To enable integration of information across ecosystem boundaries and consider interactions among atmospheric, land, coastal and ocean based processes.

Collaborative Structure:

Elements of the Data Collaborative's structure include Geospatial Data for the Northeast region's environmental systems, underlain by a state-of-the-art IT infrastructure that supports the use of multiple data visualization and display applications. Users access information and carry out analyses through custom designed web tools known as data portals. This structure allows multiple end-users to obtain information based on their needs, from environmental managers to citizen monitoring groups to scientific researchers.

Web tools are plugged together under Application Themes for use by specific Working Groups. Multiple Data Portals and can be developed within each Application Theme for use by researchers, managers or as Education and Outreach tools. An Advisory Board of regional experts guides the direction of the Collaborative's progress

collaborative design

Application Themes:

Our initial work focuses on 5 Application Themes or focus areas. Application Themes are broad so as to allow for multiple projects within each Theme. See Projects for details on specific portals under development.

  1. Emergency Response Management Support. Tools for enhanced real-time data access for emergency response situations, focused on harbors and other waterways. Could include toxic spills, civil emergency, or other environmental disasters
  2. Regional Climate Analysis. Analysis of current and future climate requires access to historical data put into relevant context. Establishing easy access to both station data and gridded data is critical. Use of climate model forecasts for the decades ahead (i.e. IPCC scenarios) will also be analyzed to indicate decadal-scale potential shifts in climate.
  3. Gulf of Maine Ecosystem Assessment. Streamline access of environmental and fisheries data to managers and fishermen including those on large pelagics and anadromous sport fish. Include means for use of environmental data in fisheries assessment, including GoMOOS and COOA buoy data, and perform end-to-end test of operational data streams.
  4. Watershed Pollution Impact Assessment. Access of water quality data for use on three levels:
    • i) for state and federal officials to improve access to critical information required for water quality assessments, e.g. TMDL reporting;
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    • ii) for town and state officials and local citizens to obtain historical and operational real-time data on weather, water flow, air, and water quality for monitoring purposes and;
    • iii) through a virtual watershed (e-Shed adaptation of the portal for use as a middle- and high-school educational tool.
  5. Northeast Regional Ecosystem Assessment. A repository for regional scale geo-spatial environmental datasets, data interrogation and on-map display of important regional indicators. Could include modeled productivity data for both land and ocean ecosystems to be used for tracking carbon sources and sequestration potential, among other parameters. Data types could include remote sensing data, tower time series, and GIS-based information.

Working Groups:

The Collaborative has a number of ongoing working group collaborations that are focused on building Data Portals. For more information, check the projects page.

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