Ecological information management for LTER graduate students and researchers
The course will cover aspects of the entire data life cycle. Best practices will be introduced including metadata content, data cleaning, database design, management of large data volumes and quality control. Best choices of technologies for various tasks will be discussed and supplemented with hands on exercises in using workflow engines, spreadsheets vs. databases, various data streaming device setups and web publishing technologies. Using existing standards for metadata, taxonomic information, attributes and units will be demonstrated and different community standards as well as implications of a standardized approach will be discussed. Ecologists will leave this workshop with a solid understanding of metadata, the tools to create them, and data catalogs for registering and publishing them along with their data and how to prepare their data for long term preservation. They will have a good overview of existing technologies and know which technology is best suited for which tasks and have practiced using new approaches to data manipulation and analysis. This knowledge will enable them to enhance their research by efficiently finding and evaluating online data resources. They will be able to publish their own, important, value added datasets and get credit for their work. Learning about and practicing the use of workflow technology can make their data processing more efficient while the generated documentation will become part of the metadata accompanying a publishable data set. Especially the overview of current sensor technologies is expected to have a major impact on how research may be conducted without the need to buy into expensive and proprietary commercial systems. A second workshop was held in 2012
1) We developed an outline for the material on our IM website (http://im.lternet.edu/resources/training_material)
2) 19 PowerPoint presentations are under active development and in draft stage.