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Information Management

  • Overview

    The mission of Florida Coastal Everglades (FCE) Information Management is to facilitate research at the LTER site and in the broader scientific community by ensuring that high-quality LTER data and metadata are accessible for current and future generations of scientists. This mission is accomplished through the following activities:

    1. Regular data submissions: Data collected by both students and senior scientists under the auspices of the FCE LTER program are submitted to the FCE LTER information manager (IM) in a timely manner. The FCE IM and FCE PI collaborate to track dataset updates to ensure that data are made publicly accessible within two years of data collection, consistent with the LTER Network Data Access Policy. Data are only embargoed when they were collected by a grad student who still needs to publish them, or when data were not collected using LTER funds.
    2. Adherence to LTER Best Practices and Standards: The LTER Network has established best practices for metadata generation with which the FCE LTER complies. Ecological Metadata Language (EML) is the metadata standard adopted by the LTER Network, and FCE metadata have been encoded in EML in accordance with EDI's Best Practices for Dataset Metadata in Ecological Metadata Language (EML) (2022). Keywords from the LTER Controlled Vocabulary are included in all FCE metadata to improve data discovery across the LTER Network.
    3. Contributions of data to the LTER Network cross-site database: FCE LTER data and metadata are archived in the Environmental Data Initiative’s data repository, where most LTER data can be found. Data and metadata undergo rigorous congruence checks before they can be archived, ensuring that published data are of high quality. DataONE harvests metadata from the EDI repository so that FCE metadata are also exposed for discovery through the DataONE search interface.
    4. Facilitation of discovery of Everglades data on the FCE website: The FCE website is a central portal to FCE LTER data, related data of use to FCE researchers, and other information about FCE LTER Research and the Everglades. The website was redesigned in 2019 to reflect recommendations in the Guidelines for LTER Web Site Design and Content document of 2018. A query tool that takes advantage of the API and REST web services offered by EDI has been implemented on the FCE website to enable discovery of FCE data in the EDI Data Repository. FCE metadata content from the EDI repository is displayed on the FCE website in comprehensive data summary pages. In addition to facilitating discovery of FCE LTER data, the website contains links to many agency databases that house Everglades-relevant data.
  • Staff

    The FCE Information Management group consists of Information Manager Gabe Kamener, and Project Manager Mike Rugge, MS. Mike has provided web and programming support to the project since its inception in May 2000. Gabe joined the LTER IM group as FCE's Information Manager in 2022.

  • Infrastructure

    The FCE IM team manages 7 virtual Linux servers, a Sharepoint platform, a GitHub organization, and 3 computer workstations. The virtual servers and Sharepoint platform are maintained by Florida International University's (FIU) Division of Information Technology. The virtual servers provide production, development, and disaster-recovery environments and host PostgreSQL database servers, web servers, and an FTP server. The FCE website consists of static pages hosted on the Cascade CMS and dynamic pages hosted on the FCE virtual web server. Florida International University manages updates to the Cascade CMS, and the FCE IM and Project Manager have access to create and edit FCE web pages in Cascade. Dynamic and static web pages share a common Foundation framework to maintain a common look and feel throughout the website.

    FCE’s PostgreSQL database is used to manage FCE publications, presentations, research site information, personnel and project information for display on the FCE website. FCE’s GitHub organization provides a centralized location to store and track project-related code and documentation.

    The FCE Web virtual server (including all FCE data files) is backed up daily to SharePoint. The PostgreSQL, FCE Web and FCE FTP virtual servers housed locally at FIU are backed up to identical virtual servers residing at the Northwest Florida Regional Data Center (NWRDC) located roughly 400 miles away on the campus of Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida. This 'off-site' disaster recovery plan will allow the FCE website to be fully protected throughout disaster events such as hardware failures and hurricanes.

  • Tools

    The Excel2EML tool converts Excel metadata template files to EML-compliant XML files. The Excel metadata template and conversion program are based on EML 2.2.0 and the Best Practices for Metadata in Ecological Metadata Language released in 2020. You may use, modify and distribute this tool under the GNU General Public License. Please see the Github repository for more information.

    Download Excel2EML for Windows (12.8 MB, tested on Windows 10)