Luquillo Experimental Forest SiteBytes 2011

2010 IM supplement, LUQ IMS and the NIS
In 2010, we requested resources to participate in several workshops and activities to continue building up LUQ´s new IMS framework. These included participating in the LTERMapS, DEIMS and Vocab workshops and hiring a graduate student for compiling all LUQ´s publications and assigning keywords to those publications which do include them (specially those of the beginning of LUQ LTER in the late 80´s and early 90´s).

The success of these events are a working progress. In regard to LTERMapS, this workshop gave LUQ IM the opportunity to coordinate for the first time a real collaboration with the Remote Sensing staff by joining efforts to get GIS data formally documented using EML. GIS data have been present in LUQ´s website for more than a decade now but without being documented. At present we are looking for resources that will assist us to translate the already documented layers to EML.

The DEIMS workshop was a smashing success. It marked the turning point for LUQ IM to achieving the completion of the new website-IMS that will constitute not only a web site and a information management system but a data management framework featuring a database that holds all the information in the system, the automatic-on-line generation of the data sets´s EML packages performed by the DRUPAL module constructed with the DEIMS group´s resources, forms for entry, web pages, blogs, personnel as well as metadata and data databases and a place to interact with LUQ´s scientific community as well as with the public in general.

The assignment of keywords to LUQ´s data sets started in the early 90´s with the development of LUQ´s metadata standards and the archiving of LUQ metadata in a RDBMS. The real effort lies now not on their assignment but of the re-assignment of keywords that belong to a controlled vocabulary. The ultimate goal of this effort is to make a searching engine out of the vocabulary of keywords. Two major breakthrough has been achieved in this area: participating in the development of the LTER Network´s controlled vocabulary and getting key members of the LUQ scientific community involved in the related tasks to achieve this goal. Todd Crowl participated in the Vocab group workshop with the scientists and William McDowell and Robert Waide joined Todd and I to form the LUQ Vocab group.

The scientists of the LUQ Vocab work-group have decided to adopt the LTER Controlled Vocabulary and have engaged themselves in the task of re-assigning keywords to all the current 130 LUQ data sets.

In general, the completion of all LUQ´s non-spatial data EML documentation with the DRUPAL module is the major goal achievement facilitated by the 2010 supplement money. The effort and expertise needed for producing the data sets´ EML packages are beyond our resources, hence its automation marks a new era in LUQ´s IMS. To complete this achievement, the spatial metadata must also be translated to EML, a precess that started thanks to the economic resources provided by this supplement. Finally, the assignment of keywords to LUQ´s publications will give the infrastructure LUQ IMS needs to join all the system´s information, thus completing the LUQ IMS´s data management framework.

LUQ hosts data sets external to LTER data collection:
There are two types of collaborations in this area: Publishing data sponsored by other programs outside the LTER and serving as consultant to other programs in the development of their IMS, including metadata standards and web publishing development processes.

The publication of other Sponsors´ data sets are done in two ways: publishing private scientific data sets and publishing data from programs other than LTER. Data sets from R. Myster, L. Woolbright, J. Sharpe and M. and B. Richardsons include the former and data set from the STREAMS Project at La Selva Biological Station, Costa Rica is included in the later.

In the past two years, LUQ´s information manager has been the IM consultant to the San Juan Ultra Program ( The Information Management system of this program has adopted and customized the LUQ LTER Policies and metadata standard. For LUQ, this has been a great exposure and introduction to the merging of ecological and social science data and knowledge.

Additional achievements:
The area of major achievement besides the development of the new LUQ website-IMS has been the continuing involvement of LUQ IM with LUQ IM has participated in all their scientific symposiums and internships for the last 4 years but this year we have planned a Metadata Hand-On workshop (that will be held on October 12, 2011) where all the vegetation data sets form all the 4 participant schools will be documented and uploaded to the website. This exercise will be the first event to start the synthesis of the LUQ Schoolyard data.