A Sea of Oceanography Data
Oceanography is by definition cross-disciplinary — researchers who study whales and dolphins also must understand their habitat, for example — so oceanographers are generally awash in data. The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution is trying to make it easier to get that data from ship to shore and make it shareable and usable.
WHOI and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute's Tetherless World Constellation project are developing an Ocean Informatics strategy, which includes building new ways to document and store data. A small working group has been interviewing scientists about what they need, with the goal of building a new data storage infrastructure, as well as determining how data collection can become better streamlined.
"Individual scientists benefit from large-scale science collaborations in ways that were not originally envisioned," as the working group puts it. The group is tasked with determining how to increase " the ability for a single data set to be used by multiple researchers in different disciplines and sub-disciplines." A full report is anticipated by the end of the year.