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Data Management. Channel Islands National Park. Purpose of I&M Data Management. To make resource information available: To monitor ecosystem health, diagnose abnormal conditions For planning, program evaluation, critical issue identification To support management decisions and actions

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Data Management

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Data Management

Channel Islands National Park

Purpose of I&M Data Management

To make resource information available:

  • To monitor ecosystem health, diagnose abnormal conditions

  • For planning, program evaluation, critical issue identification

  • To support management decisions and actions

  • To provide the scientific community an ecosystem-wide framework of population information

Vision – Goals

- Readily available, useful, secure, quality information to monitor/manage resources.

- Data Management focus driven by needs of users and for maximum usability of data

  • A DM System that is efficient, practical, simple, safe, easy to use, and flexible

  • Easily accessible data that can be queried in a variety of ways by all levels of users

  • A Data Management System that lends itself to data integration between programs

CINP Data Management History

  • Original Data Management procedures - individual flat dBase files

  • Creation of LAN Info Management System - maximize computer resources

  • Decision to change to integrated system; consultant recommendations

  • Focus - integration, data entry - error checking, automated reports, non custom

CINP Data Management History

  • Staff participation in decision process; goal to meet user needs

  • Access - powerful queries; security

  • Systat chosen for statistics

  • Creation of integrated, normalized , relational, central shared database structure - linked to individual program data

CINP Data Management History

  • Link data to GIS system

  • Training support to staff for new system and software

  • System ready for integrated analysis

  • Only negative is funding for high level programming needed to maintain some aspects of system

Data Management Steps

  • Inventory, evaluate and clean up historical datasets

  • Establish quality control for all new data and its management

  • Provide data security and accessibility

  • Create an integrated data management structure

  • Provide for needs of users; assist users in use of data system

  • Optimize computer resources associated with data management

CINP Data Management Plan

  • Goals - prioritize needs; plan of action

  • Protocols - definition of details of how to do data processes

  • Accomplishments - good to look back

  • Evolves and changes as learn & grow

  • Regular revisions - update process

Integrated Shared Programs Databases

Vegetation Data Relationships

Plant Sightings Data

Transect Data

Shared Vegetation

Species List

Shared RM

Data Entry Form

Automated Report


Kelp Forest Data Protocol Handbook

Dataset Catalog

Access Data in Arcview

Reports Guidelines/Content

Reports – Handout

Annual Reports, Trip Reports – Metadata

Comments and input welcome!


  • Biological Inventory and Monitoring program at Channel Islands National Park.

  • Information Management

  • Data Management Plan

  • Vegetation Example Database

  • NPS Dataset Catalog

  • ProtocolsAnnual Reports

    Data Management & GIS Reports


Lessons Learned

  • Conduct a thorough data inventory first; use the dataset catalog; clean the data; define data protocols.

  • Use a database, not a spreadsheet!

  • Be consistent with every program – use the same basic structure, fieldnames

  • Document everything – Metadata! Just accept that it is part of the deal.

  • Prioritize and maintain your weather database -it will probably be the data you need for integrated analysis

Lessons Learned (2)

  • Hire a meticulous, dedicated data manager with Access experience

  • Define data related duties – DM Plan plus - ie. GPS downloads and expertise

  • Use data dictionaries for GPS data

  • Conduct regular data meetings/training to discuss data collection, training needs, roles, documentation, (don’t expect most staff to read your DM Plan)

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