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:
- 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.
- 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) (2020). Keywords from the LTER Controlled Vocabulary are included in all FCE metadata to improve data discovery across the LTER Network.
- 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.
- 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.
The FCE Information Management group consists of Information Manager Kristin Vanderbilt, PhD, and Project Manager Mike Rugge, MS. Mike has provided web and programming support to the project since its inception in May 2000. Kristin joined the LTER IM group in 2016 after serving as information manager for the Sevilleta LTER since 2000.
FCE LTER databases and project information are housed on a suite of virtual servers maintained by the Florida International University’s Division of Information Technology: two PostgreSQL database servers (production & development), two web servers (production & development) and an FCE SFTP server. Between the servers and a NAS device, FCE has a total storage capacity of 3.253 Terabytes. Dynamic content for the FCE website, for publications, photos, and datasets, is stored in the PostgreSQL database.
The PostgreSQL, FCE Web and FCE SFTP 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.
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 readme and Github repository for more information.
Download Excel2EML for Windows (12.8 MB, tested on Windows 10)