Baltimore Ecosystem SiteBytes 2012

We have been updating our website to a significant degree to reflect the changes in our program. As of our latest renewal our research questions have expanded, and therefore we have to reflect that on our public www page.

To this end, we are using Blogspot more and more since it is so easy to work with. The BES news, announcements, employment opportunities, and Director's Corner are all now facilitated with Blogspot.

My main endeavor at this time is enriching our metadata to be PASTA compliant. In order to do so I need to include file attribute information in our metadata. I am expanding the structure of our database to include tables of attribute types and descriptors. I hope to be able to identify attribute descriptions that are common to many files and be able to pull the related information based on an identifier. This should make it possible to use a single attribute description set for all similar datasets. Stream chemistry, for example, in BES, is represented by several datasets that share identical attributes – they are comma delimited lists of dates and analysis results. Enriching our metadata in this way is necessary for reasons other than PASTA compliance as well, as it allows for better synthesis with other datasets.

We received supplemental funding to expand our stream chemistry database and as part of that process we will be adopting a means to track the trips to the field with regard to equipment used, personnel, calibration and other such data. Knowing this information could be useful in the future for QC/QA purposes.

We now have a searchable online database of our publications including links, where available. This was facilitated by creating a custom export template in Endnote and writing a script to display the results.

I will add to and edit this SiteByte as the deadline approaches. See you soon!