Approaches to Information Management for Schoolyard LTER data

Poster Disciplines/Format:
Final Report (Required, .pdf format only) : 
Steven McGee
Kari O'Connell

The Schoolyard LTER program supports a wide range of education outreach activities to K12 schools. One way that many sites have adopted is supporting students from local schools in the collection of long-term data near their schools. A recurring problem for sites that support school-level, long-term data collection is the storage and maintenance of the student level data. In many ways, the difficulties that the Schoolyard program has mirror the information management issues that the LTER program has faced throughout its history. It is compounded significantly in school settings by the lack of basic scientific inquiry skills, lack of information management skills, and the turnover rate of science teachers and administrators at many of the schools supported by the Schoolyard program. In this working group, we will bring together education specialists and information management specialists at sites that support long-term data collection at local schools. We will examine three information management systems currently in place at LTER sites and a fourth system under development by the National Geographic Society. Elena Sparrow will present on their use of GLOBE protocols and the GLOBE database. Monica Elser and Jorge Ortiz will present on the Ecoplexity database. Pam Snow will present on a system in place at Harvard Forest. Each of these systems includes a specified set of protocols. The extent to which a given site uses the existing protocols influences the extent to which a site can use an existing information management system. The National Geographic Society is developing the Field Scope system that allows each site to define protocols to be included. It will be useful for sites that use protocols that are not supported by the existing IM systems.

During the first hour of the working group, each site in attendance will be given time to share how they support long-term data collection in local schools. Next, there will be demonstrations of the 4 systems. During the second hour of the working group, we will split into smaller teams by system so that sites interested in a particular system can learn more about whether a particular system would work at their site. Each site that is interested in adopting a program will develop a plan.

Session Info

Working Group Session 1

Mon, 09/14/2009 - 1:30pm - 3:30pm
East Side Rainbow Fireside
Working Group Materials
Related materiels: 
Official Participants
Additional Participants: 
Cheryl Williams -
Anne Haywood -
Ray Tschillard -
Jennifer Witers -