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Ecological Society of America Workshop on 'Scalable information systems: from laboratories to NEONs'

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Spring 2001

Location: Madison Wisconsin
Dates: Aug 5, 2001
Organizers: William Michener and Art McKee

W. Michener, LTER Network Office

Register early! (attendance is limited to 100; go to and come join the fun at the Year 2001 Ecological Society of America Annual Meeting in Madison, Wisconsin. The ESA meeting will be held at the Monona Terrace Convention Center, August 5 thru 10, 2001. As part of this meeting, a one-day workshop addressing computing, communications, data and information management at field stations will be held on Sunday August 5th. The workshop is being sponsored by the Long Term Studies Section of ESA, the Organization of Biological Field Stations, the San Diego Supercomputer Center, and the LTER Network Office.

The workshop has been organized by William Michener of the LTER Network Office and Art McKee of the H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest. Workshop speakers and titles include:

  1. James Brunt (University of New Mexico) – Computing environments, communications and networking
  2. Mark Schildauer (University of California – Santa Barbara) – Metadata
  3. Dick Olson (Oak Ridge National Laboratory) – Archives and regional databases
  4. John Porter (University of Virginia) – Database approaches
  5. William Michener (University of New Mexico) – QA/QCCherri Pancake (Oregon State University) -- Web interfaces and data & information portalsMatt Jones (University of California – Santa Barbara) -- Tools for data integration, analysis and synthesisWarren Cohen (Oregon State University) – Approaches for scaling from the site to broader scales
  6. Robert Peet (UNC-Chapel Hill) – Taxonomic and museum databases

Interest in data- and information-related technologies has intensified in response to proposed plans for building a National Ecological Observatory Network. Despite interest in relevant technologies, most ecologists have not been able to keep pace with the rapid advances in computing, communications, and information management and analysis. This workshop is specifically designed to make ecologists aware of new and appropriate information technologies as they consider upgrading individual laboratories or expanding field station capabilities to those needed for NEON.

Each speaker will present a broad overview of their topic in a 30-45 minute period. Specific material covered by each speaker will include basic to advanced approaches that can meet needs ranging from those of individual scientists to reasonably well-equipped field stations that are contemplating expansion to a more sophisticated observatory. For each topic, a range of possible solutions, as well as costs, personnel requirements, and other factors will be discussed. Reference materials will be provided to all participants and approximately one-fourth of the workshop agenda will be set aside for discussion and question/answer sessions.

Monona Terrace Convention Center

Monona Terrace Convention Center (foreground) in Madison, Wisconsin (from ESA web site).