|Title||Tools for managing ecological data|
|Publication Type||Book Chapter|
|Year of Publication||1996|
|Authors||Porter, JH, Nottrott, RW, Baker, K|
|Book Title||Global networks for environmental information: Proceedings of Eco-Informa 96. 1996 November 4-7; Buena Vista, FL.|
|Publisher||Environmental Research Institute of Michigan (ERIM)|
|City||Ann Arbor, MI|
The Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) Program is set of 18 ecological research sites and a Network Office funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation. From the inception of the program in 1980, the LTER program has included a strong emphasis on data and information management as a crucial component of long-term research. Each LTER site operates its own data and information management system and the LTERnet Network Support System facilitates network-wide electronic communication, data and information exchange between sites. At each LTER site there is a broad range of data collected using both high and low technology techniques. The diversity of LTER sites (varying from arctic tundra to tropical rain forest), research questions and data collected (varying in size from <1 KB to >300 MB) demands a philosophy and structure which promotes flexibility and development of innovative solutions. Although some software tools and approaches are site-specific, a subset of tools, ideas and solutions evolve and propagate across sites depending upon their robustness, generality and cost. This presentation will focus on software tools which have become widely used within the LTER network. These include network information servers, geographical information systems, database and statistical packages and the myriad of smaller tools which link them together to work as an integrated whole. We will also discuss tools and approaches that we expect to become emergent standards in the future.