A Team Approach to Data Synthesis: The Playbook for Creating a Centralized, Dynamic, and Sustainable ANPP Database
Nicole E. Kaplan, Kristin L. Vanderbilt, Lee Zeman, Judy B. Cushing, Christine Laney, Juli Mallett, Ken Ramsey, Jincheng Gao, Judith Kruger, Carri LeRoy, Daniel Milchunas, Esteban Muldavin
Last modified: 2008-08-21
The Grasslands Data Integration (GDI) project has brought together ecologists, information managers and computer scientists to address the interdisciplinary challenges of integrating aboveground net primary productivity (ANPP) data from multiple LTER sites to facilitate analysis of this important ecosystem variable. Each LTER site uses a different experimental design for collecting the data and employs site-specific naming conventions for the plant species studied. Development of the relational database to house the integrated data product required that ecologists and computer and information specialists work closely together to resolve semantic issues and to ensure that the data accessible from the database would be at a standard resolution for all sites. The integrated database has been used to generate some preliminary analyses relating ANPP to meteorological data that clearly demonstrate the value of this tool for the scientific community. Future plans for the GDI include establishing an ANPP data warehouse, developing a user friendly browser, and automatically generating QAQC reports for newly ingested data. The GDI collaboration is an example of how professionals with inter-related work experience build a community of experts and a successful data product for the LTER (Baker and Millerand 2007).