Data Management in your National Parks Erik Stabenau, PhDOceanographer & Coastal Ocean Modeler Everglades, Biscayne, and Dry Tortugas National Parks Erik_Stabenau@nps.gov Office: 305.224.4209
National Park Service Mission “…conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wildlife therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations…” -National Park Service Organic Act, 1916
How Many National Parks Are There? National Preserves National Battlefields 85 Ocean and Great Lakes Parks with 11,000 miles of coasts and 2.5 million acres of water National Monuments National Recreation Areas National Trails National Memorials National Historic Parks 401
National Park Service Mission “…conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wildlife therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations…” -National Park Service Organic Act, 1916 • At its core, it’s a clear, well-focused, mission. • Features: • Unimpaired was interpreted as ‘unchanged’ (The Leopold Report) • Balances preservation and access • Recognizes significant of both natural and cultural resources
The Leopold Report’s Impact 2013 Leopold Revisited Key feature: “The overarching goal of NPS resource management should be to steward NPS resources for continuous change that is not yet fully understood, in order to preserve ecological integrity and cultural and historical authenticity, provide visitors with transformative experiences, and form the core of a national conservation land- and seascape” • Provide for change • Recognize connections across park boundaries 1963 Leopold Report Key feature: “A national park should present a vignette of primitive America…if the goal cannot be fully achieved it can be approached. A reasonable illusion of primitive America could be recreated, using the utmost in skill, judgment, and ecologic sensitivity.” • Snapshot, frozen in time • Illusion is acceptable, if needed
Resource management • Primarily a data-related effort • Balancing need of visitors, natural systems • Recognizing climate change • Recognizing connectivity • Benefiting from the expertise of non-NPS scientists and resource managers • Goal oriented • Support diversity and ecosystem function
Environmental data-related items in NPS FY14 Budget INTERNAL PROGRAMS Inventory and monitoring – NPS effort to systematically record environmental data, managed in divisions by discipline and/or region GIS support – improved GIS coverage for selected park units each year, data incorporated into centralized GIS data catalog Soundscapes, Water Resources, Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Program PROJECTS (examples) UC-Berkley spatial data development related to carbon storage Alaska – Interferometric synthetic aperature radar mapping data Park-wide – improved GIS coverage of park assets in centralized GIS catalogs • CLIMATE CHANGE • New climate change adaptation data and decision tools relating to: • predicting and anticipating wildland fire trends, • predicting the spread or introduction of invasive species, and • tracking changes in wildlife abundance and distribution; • Integrated vegetation surveys representing the entire lower 48 states; and • Creation of a web-based searchable database FEDERAL PARTNERS USGS, EPA, USACE, NOAA
Integrated Resource Management Applications (IRMA @ NPS) Data storage and retrieval with services for machine-to-machine query Portal to access multiple independent data tools Key feature: Data store with both web search and REST services
IRMA @ NPS REST services endpoint Supports HTTP ‘get’ requests and JSONP responses Limited set of options but expandingbased on user feedback
South Florida National Parks Biscayne Everglades 1974 Big Cypress Dry Tortugas 1968 1935 1934
Everglades Mission “…shall be permanently reserved as a wilderness, and [nothing] shall be undertaken which will interfere with the preservation intact of the unique flora and fauna and the essential primitive natural conditions now prevailing in this area…” -Everglades National Park Enabling Legislation, 1934
Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Program (CERP) Data Integration Efforts • Primarily document sharing services (submit, check-out, update, return) • Project based approach • Each project has definite start/end dates • Multi-year projects stored as separate datasets • Limited use of standards and those that are used are often modified as-needed
Comprehensive Evergaldes Restoration Program (CERP) Data Integration Efforts • USGS – primarily SOFIA (South Florida Information Access) database and products • Everglades Depth Estimation Network (EDEN) depth maps • SFWMD – internal database with web based query • Extensive use of DBKeys, breakpoint data, and aggregation for large data requests • Separate search routes for current vs. historic data • USACE – funding and contract based data requirements • Supporting others but has $ so influences data sharing and storage
S. Florida NPS Monitoring Network Everglades National Park Biscayne National Park Big Cypress National Preserve Dry Tortugas National Park (not shown) … and, we are not alone.
Partners involved in Everglades Restoration Initiatives in South Florida: NOAA USGS SFWMD (Water management) Miami-Dade County (Environmental Quality) Universities Non-profit organizations State FWC Federal FWS
Data Collection Platforms, Marsh • Primary emphasis on data to ‘get the water right’, meaning… • Quality, quantity, and timing of freshwater • Mostly 2 parameter stations: stage and rain • Sustainability
Data Collection Platform, Marine • Expansion of management effort • Recognition of management influence on coastal regions • Multiple parameters: • stage, rain, conductivity, temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen, chlorophyll A, turbidity, wind…. • Remote data transmission (GOES, RF, cellular) • Sustainability
GOES (timed): Marine Network RF (poled): Marsh Network Parse & Load To MySQL database With basic QA/QC Internal Browser Interface DataForEVER (NPS employees) External FTP Transfer to NOAA USGS SFWMD others NPS - Data Management at EVER • MySQL based system with web interface • GOES and RF data delivery systems with hourly/daily updates • Monthly site visits and rigorous validation • Excellent searching, stats, and 2D plotting capabilities • Web interface allows database design and management dependent on access rights • Data back-up and off-site archiving • Currently behind NPS firewall • One-way data sharing to ftp • Multiple custom data downloads • Always initiated by NPS system
Case: Evaluate agricultural drawdown impact on salinity in Biscayne National Park • Challenges: • Data required collected by different agencies and stored in different systems • Incomplete data – human observations not recorded or stored • Short timeline and requires analysis of current conditions • Assessment: • Manual search through web interface to determine database keys • Data grab and load to local database • Produce products • Human dimension, a primary driver of the operation in question, is ignored.
Case: Evaluate agricultural drawdown impact on salinity in Biscayne National Park • Working solution: • Still requires current data as input so manual data agglomeration • Model output is manually extracted and graphical products are built in ArcGIS • Fairly simple relationships (flow vs salinity) calculated manually • Slow, politically complex, process that requires extensive documentation and persistence.
Additional case studies • Predicting ecosystem response under several climate change scenarios • Managing access to Florida Bay to minimize seagrass damage • Assessing impact of water management actions on salinity in Florida Bay relative to paleo-records
National-level NPS data management systems • Integrated product has to provide functionality that meets or exceeds the local interim solution • Interface has to be familiar • System must be stable and fast • System must support machine-to-machine communication
Summary Individual NPS units have extensive data management needs. The variety across the park service has acted as a barrier to centralized solutions to park-level issues. New efforts, aimed at recognizing NPS units as part of corridors of connectivity, require improved data sharing. NPS response to climate change has brought data sharing and long term data management to the forefront. Anticipate changes in NPS data management systems within the next decade.
For further information: Erik_Stabenau@nps.gov Data Requests: EVER_Data_Request@nps.gov Presentation would not have been possible without the helpful input of many NPS employees, including: Kevin Whelan and members of the South Florida/ Caribbean Network offices of NPS.Jeff Seleck, NPS, CO Editor of Park Science. Thom Curdts, NPS, CO. Cliff McCreedy, NPS, WASO.