Planning team: Jen Carlino (USGS), Henry Franzoni (CRITFC), Van Hare (PSMFC), Susannah Iltis (UW - Columbia Basin Research, DART), Cathy Kellon (Ecotrust), Binh Quan (CBFWA), Chris Van Holmes (UW - Columbia Basin Research, DART), Peter Westhagen (UW - Columbia Basin Research, DART), Sean Quigley (USGS), Jen Bayer (USGS), Shane StClair (Axiom Consulting & Design). Analisa Gunnell (Ecotrust), Dean Walton (U of O), Jim Strittholt (Conservation Biology Institute), Tom Carlson (USGS), Lief Horwitz (USGS)
The intent of this meeting was to gather technical experts, existing and planned portal administrators, and others who may have feedback on the many considerations for web portal development and use by aquatic monitoring data practitioners and managers. The Internet has increasingly become an effective tool for the collection, assimilation, discovery, sharing, and delivery of data and information in the environmental and ecological sciences and we wanted to focus on information sharing.
The workshop was intended to address the following topics and questions:
- What is the intended or existing audience of web portals developed for or by the Pacific Northwest's environmental, ecological, and biological monitoring communities?
- What level of funding, staff, technology, and agreements are required to ensure efficient adoption and use of web portals, including stewardship of data and information?
- What processes (work and data flow) are in place to ensure value-added results from a portal's implementation?
- Can existing or planned web portals be feasibly extrapolated or extended to a broader geographical or topical multi-audience application? Can the goals of portals that are in the planning phase be achieved by refining or adopting stewardship of a thematic or geographic 'channel' within a pre-existing broad content portal to achieve an economy of scale and place data/information within a broader context?
- Can the subject headings or "channels" employed by a portal be agreed upon across topical domains (e.g. between terrestrial habitat monitoring and aquatic habitat monitoring, etc.)?
- How can you improve your portal?
Speakers and presenters at the workshop consisted of project managers and/or technical staff responsible for existing, planned, and/or proposed web portals that are closely related to the ecological, aquatic, environmental sciences in the Pacific Northwest, and at national and local levels of geographic and political extent. In addition, we gathered information about portals before the workshop (link to survey).
Some expected outcomes from the workshop are:
- Inventory of existing, planned, and proposed web portal applications and better familiarization with
- Identification of the potential audience and users of portals including the needs of administrators, stewards, technical experts, and high-level decision makers (i.e. how to market such a product)
- Identification of high priority information elements that may be fed by web portals
- Assessment of the value-added and cost/benefit aspects of web portal implementation and use, including the feasibility of broader application
- Establish and support a community of experts who manage and maintain web-based information resources
One idea for an immediate task we could take to help each other is to informally review each other's portals. Participants agreed to review three portals from the list gathered from the pre-workshop survey and provide feedback to the portal administrator. PNAMP has set up a page on its Wiki site to capture the feedback. Please visit the Wiki site for more information and for a list of portals to review.