Data Collaboration for Large-Scale Regional Surveys in Southern California
Last modified: 2008-08-21
Southern California has some of the most visited beaches and recreational waters in the world and a major challenge is ensuring environmental and human health in these areas. Monitoring of conditions often involves independent agencies studying only a small area relative to the Southern California region as a whole. In 1994 a pilot project was initiated to conduct a regional survey of the Southern California Bight (from Point Conception, CA to the U.S./Mexico border) to assess environmental conditions on a large scale. A major challenge in this survey and those that followed in 1998 and 2003 were the large number of participants, who typically use different methods for data collection and storage. The information management system used in these three studies stressed collaboration and teamwork among all of the participating agencies and programs. This paper provides a summary of the collaborative process and success of these surveys from an information management perspective.