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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Information Technology Applications to Water Resources Research

Authors
item Steiner, Jean
item Goodrich, David
item Hardegree, Stuart
item Burkart, Michael
item Strickland, Timothy
item Weltz, Mark

Submitted to: National Watershed Conference National Watershed Coalition
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: March 1, 2003
Publication Date: July 8, 2003
Citation: STEINER, J.L., GOODRICH, D., HARDEGREE, S., BURKART, M.R., STRICKLAND, T.C., WELTZ, M.A. INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY APPLICATIONS TO WATER RESOURCES RESEARCH. PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL WATERSHED CONFERENCE. 2003. p. 285-290.

Interpretive Summary: Recent scientific assessments have identified critical knowledge gaps relating to water supply, quality, and cycling processes. One critical gap identified was the lack of adequate data to evaluate climate and hydrologic processes and variability needed to improve management responses to such variability. The USDA, Agricultural Research Service operates long-term experimental watersheds in diverse regions of the US. These watersheds provide under-utilized opportunities to evaluate interactions of land use change, management practices, and climate variability in national assessments. A pilot project is underway to increase visibility, accessibility and utility of ARS Watershed Network data for enhanced research programs and to support a wide array of customers, partners, and stakeholders. Approaches include: 1) evaluate successful data management models in other ecological and natural resources research networks, 2) develop formats and standards for metadata and data files, using an interactive, consensus approach (researchers, end-users, informatics and data base management specialists) and 3) develop an operational structure for a common platform or linkages for the network. The overall goal is to provide improved access to the watershed data for internal and external researchers, while retaining local control of and responsibility for the data. New data management systems for the network of watersheds are expected to reduce delays and costs of developing new research thrusts and partnerships and increase data access uniformly across the entire period of data collection and across different types of data. Users would obtain high quality and timely data, consistent across watersheds, leading to increased customer satisfaction and support. All of this could extend the application of ARS watershed research to ecologic and socioeconomic, as well as agricultural and water resources problem-solving.

Technical Abstract: Recent scientific assessments have identified critical knowledge gaps relating to water supply, quality, and cycling processes. One critical gap identified was the lack of adequate data to evaluate climate and hydrologic processes and variability needed to improve management responses to such variability. The USDA, Agricultural Research Service operates long-term experimental watersheds in diverse regions of the US. These watersheds provide under-utilized opportunities to evaluate interactions of land use change, management practices, and climate variability in national assessments. A pilot project is underway to increase visibility, accessibility and utility of ARS Watershed Network data for enhanced research programs and to support a wide array of customers, partners, and stakeholders. Approaches include: 1) evaluate successful data management models in other ecological and natural resources research networks, 2) develop formats and standards for metadata and data files, using an interactive, consensus approach (researchers, end-users, informatics and data base management specialists) and 3) develop an operational structure for a common platform or linkages for the network. The overall goal is to provide improved access to the watershed data for internal and external researchers, while retaining local control of and responsibility for the data. New data management systems for the network of watersheds are expected to reduce delays and costs of developing new research thrusts and partnerships and increase data access uniformly across the entire period of data collection and across different types of data. Users would obtain high quality and timely data, consistent across watersheds, leading to increased customer satisfaction and support. All of this could extend the application of ARS watershed research to ecologic and socioeconomic, as well as agricultural and water resources problem-solving.

Last Modified: 8/22/2014