Luquillo Experimental Forest SiteBytes 2007

LTER Site: Luquillo LTER (LUQ)

Contributor: Eda C. Melendez-Colom (Aug 01, 2007)

Site Byte:

1. Annual Site Byte

In this last 12 months the LUQ Information Management (IM) was dedicated to three types of projects and tasks: the EML further development of LUQ metadata, improving the services given to the LUQ scientists and outreach type projects.

• Once the EML level 3 – 4 for all the LUQ databases were achieved, we started the path to achieve the attribute level (5). We received a second visit from Iñigo whose assistance has been crucial to this task. We realized that further QA/QC was needed on the attribute-related metadata items such that the EML metadata could be suitable for web services processes. We decided that although the process to achieve level 5 will be longer, we will assure the quality of these metadata before producing new level 5 EML packages. Nineteen percent of the metadata files has gone the necessary QA/QC to be EML level-5 ready and the transitory files to produce their EML packages have been delivered and EML-proved by Iñigo’s perl scripts for LUQ’s metadata.

This year, four new databases were published on our web site ( and four additional databases’ metadata whose data dissemination are still restricted, were published on the web site. All of the new complete published databases have gone the QA/QC processes.

• Special attention was given to assist the LUQ investigators in their synthesis-related tasks. A private Plone site was installed and sectios were made accessible to different science projects communities within the site; the Canopy Trimming Experiment, the Synthesis Book, and the Schoolyard projects’ groups were given special groups’ access and rights to share documents and information and to make collaboration easier. A section was established to give access to all the LUQ PIs to long-term databases and publications. The interesting thing about these last two sites was that it was an idea created and promoted by two of the LUQ PI’s.

• We further developed a perl script that handle online input forms. The script was modified to send the data to a readily-database-importable ASCII-file, to produce a screen that displays the just entered information to the user’s screen on the fly, and to add the URL of the updated ASSCII file to the email that the original script sends to the person that is defined as a recipient. With few modifications done to the script it can process any kind of input in the same way.

The first version of the script handles 4 different forms designed to get group, personal, and project information from groups visiting the El Verde Field Station ( ). The second modification of the script was designed to get LUQ LTER graduate students’ personal and thesis project information ( ).


2. Planned IM Projects

• Further develop LUQ metadata database by:
o Finish exporting LUQ metadata to an EML level 5 with attribute data that will make the LUQ's metadata ready to be processed by present and future web services.
o Re-structuring the metadata database to accommodate the new uses given to the metadata such that the process of producing EML packages or any other kind of metadata products can be automatized (that is, re-structure LUQ metadata database to a more modular structure).
• Change the LUQ LTER site to a more dynamic, databased web site that will facilitate the installation of effective searching mechanisms for the users.
• Create scripts that will automate the input of metadata information online. Two kinds are to be produced:
o Script(s) that process one set of forms that get the direct metadata input of the user and stores it in an online database (preferably MYSQL)
o Other scripts that accept the LUQ LTER MS Word metadata standards ( ) process it and get the metadata information into the online metadata database (preferably MYSQL).