The fifth annual Knowledge Management workshop was hosted by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) St. Petersburg Science Center in St. Petersburg, FL, from March 8 to 10. Knowledge Management is a newly established project within the USGS Coastal and Marine Geology Program (CMGP) that combines the former Knowledge Bank and Data Management projects.
More than 40 participants attended the meeting, which was held in the neighboring Fish and Wildlife Research Institute (FWRI) on the University of South Florida campus. In addition to USGS participants from the three CMGP centers (in St. Petersburg, FL, Woods Hole, MA, and Santa Cruz and Menlo Park, CA), this year's group included guests from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University (LDEO), and the USGS Geospatial Information Office (GIO). The agenda, a list of attendees, and photographs can be viewed at URL http://woodshole.er.usgs.gov/workshops/kmw05/.
This year, the former Knowledge Bank team had a new product to show: USGS Monterey Bay Science, a geographically based prototype for the Coastal and Marine Knowledge Bank, a work-in-progress that facilitates access to coastal and marine data, information, and knowledge compiled from both USGS and non-USGS sources. The prototype USGS Monterey Bay Science Web site represents the CMGP initiative to present interdisciplinary scientific information (see Sound Waves article USGS Monterey Bay Science: A Knowledge Bank Prototype). Rex Sanders (CMGP, Santa Cruz, CA) demonstrated the Monterey Bay node twice: once at the meeting and a second time for employees at the USGS St. Petersburg office. Initial feedback from primarily outside users has been positive, with most users encouraging further development of the Monterey Bay Web site.
The plenary presentations included a description of the National Assessment Program by Hilary Stockdon (CMGP, St. Petersburg), as well as presentations of other organizations' databases by Bill Haxby (LDEO) and Bruce Tripp (WHOI). The Knowledge Management team has been tasked with developing a nationwide product on the topic of Coastal Change Hazards. This task is part of a move toward organizing information by topic, although the earlier practice of organizing information by geographic region will be retained in particular cases. Hilary described CMGP Coastal Change studies, their goals, and how they relate to the National Assessment of Coastal Change Hazards. After Hilary's presentation, Karen Morgan and Kristy Guy (CMGP, St. Petersburg) sat in on a session on how best to integrate Knowledge Management planning with the current National Assessment priorities.
Tom Gunther (GIO, Reston, VA) and Sky Bristol (GIO, Denver, CO) represented the USGS Geospatial Information Office at the meeting, where they provided a USGS-wide perspective, noting that the work being done in the Knowledge Management project of the Coastal and Marine Geology Program has value for all USGS science programs and projects. Topics addressed by the Knowledge Management projectincluding digital libraries, scientific data-archival tools, data rescue, bibliographical tools, data-management plans, and photo serversare all topics that must also be addressed by the entire USGS. The GIO representatives expressed their appreciation for the opportunity to participate in the conference and their eagerness to work with CMGP on knowledge-management issues generally and on specific near-term goals, such as planning and cosponsoring a USGS-wide knowledge-management workshop and working with a Central Region project to apply knowledge-management tools in a portal environment. Since the meeting, CMGP and GIO staffs have written a memorandum of cooperation and have been included in the early planning stages of a USGS-wide digital-library meeting.
On the data-management side, Jim Flocks, Shawn Dadisman, and Karynna Calderon (CMGP, St. Petersburg) demonstrated the combined efforts of USGS and academic collaborators on managing geologic data sets from the Louisiana coastal zone. A wide range of data types (such as sediment-sample analyses, geophysical profiles, and raster-image base maps) is integrated with spatial data to provide processing and visualization capabilities using standard geographic-information-system (GIS) and Internet browsing tools. The integrated geodatabase also serves as a digital archive of almost any type of data and can be quickly and easily expanded.
Fran Lightsom (CMGP, Woods Hole) continued the data-management discussions by making a strong argument for a photoserver to be included in the next round of portal tools. Rex Sanders completed the formal presentations with a proposal for a "Self-service Online Digital Archive" (SODA). The proposal generated a lot of discussion, and the first tentative steps in developing such an archive have been taken in Woods Hole.
After two days of rainy weather, atypical of Florida, the skies cleared on the meeting's last day for a field trip to Fort Desoto Park, led by Gregg Brooks and Bekka Larsen of Eckerd College. The dynamic coastal changes observed in the park put a real-world face on many of the abstract issues discussed during the meeting. Gregg described the positive effects of a new bridge that has replaced part of a causeway leading to the park, thus improving circulation in the park's waterways. A photograph and an article about the bridge are posted on the Web at URL http://www.baysoundings.com/wint05/bridge.html.
in this issue:
Knowledge Management for Coastal and Marine Geology