McMurdo Dry Valleys SiteBytes 2007

LTER Site: McMurdo Dry Valleys (MCM)

Contributor: Chris Gardner (Aug 10, 2007)

Site Byte:

First of all, I apologize for the lateness - I thought I had submitted this several weeks ago, but I guess I wrote it and forgot!

1. Annual Site Byte

Information Management at MCM over the past year has focused on improving our GIS capability, increasing data redundancy, better tracking analytical samples in the field, and preparing for our site review in January, 2008 in Antarctica.

Many GIS layers in our database were cleaned up and properly attributed, and protocols were developed for handling spatial layers. Several new spatial layers were created, including a DEM and bathymetric lake layers. Finally, an interactive online map using ESRI's ArcGIS Server technology was implemented on This map is JSP based, and pulls layers directly from our Oracle database. The map also serves as a data portal - clicking on certain features returns actual data and metadata.

An older Sun workstation was also acquired for free. This machine is now running Oracle 10g and automatically replicates any changes in the main database every 7 days using materialized views. Rsync open source replication software was also installed on this machine, and it replicates key directories from the main server.

Chain of Custody (COC) forms for analytical chemical samples were redesigned for the 2006-2007 Antarctic field season. These forms are now inserted into the database and viewable both by users of Analytical Services in the field, and by team members running the samples. A page in the restricted section of our website gives users new flexibility for tracking samples and assuring data continuity from the field to the database. The COC database can be used to compare actual samples and sample names received to data submitted after the field season. This will solve many problems with missing data and incorrect sample names


2. Planned IM Projects

Our main task is now to prepare for our site review in January, 2008. Will will be updating data and protocols and ensuring that we meet the review criteria for LTER Information Management Systems. Another goal is to continue to make the database more useful by offering complex web-based queries and joins on data. Finally, the online map will be expanded and GIS capabilities will be increased. We will also be creating EML for our spatial layers.