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Information Management Policies, Guidelines, and Standards

Introduction

Information management policies, guidelines, and standards of the Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Program (EMAP) are briefly described below. The EMAP documents referred to can be found on the EMAP home page under EMAP Components/Information Management.

Many data sets used by EMAP researchers will be collected and managed by groups other than EPA as the Committee on Environment and Natural Resources (CENR) Exit EPA inter-agency monitoring program develops. Managing these data requires a change from a database run by EPA to a model where there is, in addition to distributed databases, truly distributed ownership and responsibility. Common standards, data directories, and data descriptions allow data of interest to be located, downloaded, and understood. Interoperability among database collections will help fulfill CENR objectives (CENR in prep.; 1994; FGDC 1994; NOAA 1996; Barton 1996). Many of these guidelines and standards evolved from the global change program (GCRP 1995a, 1995b).

Increasing degrees of EMAP data management practices are applied to a data set, based on increasing degrees of EMAP responsibility (U.S. EPA 1996a). The Data Directory keeps track of all data sets of interest. This is an Oracle database with a searchable listing of information about a data set to allow a user to determine if the data are of interest. Some of these data sets are in the possession of EMAP and are accessible on the EMAP Website . Some data sets are managed and documented by other organizations. The Data Catalog contains metadata about data sets in the possession of EMAP so that a user can understand enough about the methods, assumptions, and quality to use the data wisely.

Data Sharing

EPA policy requires that data collected with EPA funds be managed by EPA standards and be accessible to others. EMAP-funded data will be made available through the EMAP data management system, either by a direct transfer or by an arrangement whereby the data collector manages the data and makes them accessible to the EMAP World Wide Web site. A hold-back period before public release, to allow principal investigators time to publish results, can be used when requested.

EMAP World Wide Web

EMAP data are made available to the public through the EMAP home page on the EPA public access World Wide Web server (http://www.epa.gov/emap/). Guidelines for making data available on this site are given in Strebel and Frithsen (1995a), as updated (U.S. EPA 1997).

EMAP Data Directory

The EMAP Data Directory lists data sets identified to be of interest to EMAP researchers. Not all of these are in the possession of EMAP. The Directory was originally based on NASA Directory Interchange Format, or DIF (NASA 1991), and has been updated to comply with FGDC standards (FGDC 1994). EMAP guidelines are given in Frithsen and Strebel (1995) and Frithsen (1996b), as updated by U.S. EPA (1996c).

EMAP Data Catalog

The EMAP Data Catalog provides information about the data, such as methods used and quality. Guidelines for preparing catalog metadata are given in Strebel and Frithsen (1995b) and Frithsen (1996a), as updated by U.S. EPA (1996b). No data sets are distributed without the accompanying metadata.

Further Information

Connect to the EMAP home page or contact one of the following for further information. Email is preferred.

Stephen Hale
U. S. Environmental Protection Agency
27 Tarzwell Drive
Narragansett, RI 02882
Email: hale.stephen@epamail.epa.gov
Voice: 401-782-3048
FAX: 401-782-3030
Melissa Hughes
OAO Corporation
27 Tarzwell Drive
Narragansett, RI 02882
Email: hughes.melissa@epamail.epa.gov
Voice: 401-782-3184
FAX: 401-782-3030

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References

Barton, Gerald. 1996. NOAA Environmental Services Data Directory. Earth System Monitor, December 1996. 6-8.

CENR (in prep.). Integrating the nation's environmental monitoring and research networks and programs: a proposed framework. Working draft, July 8, 1996. Environment Monitoring Team, Committee on Environment and Natural Resources, National Science and Technology Council, Washington, D.C.

CENR. 1994. The U.S. Global Change Data and Information System Implementation Plan. A report by the Committee on Environment and Natural Resources, National Science and Technology Council, Washington, D.C.

FGDC. 1994. Content standards for digital geospatial metadata, June 8, 1994 . Federal Geographic Data Committee, Washington, DC.

Frithsen, J. B. 1996a. Suggested modifications to the EMAP data set directory and catalog for implementation in US EPA Region 10. Draft, June 10, 1996. Report prepared for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, National Center for Environmental Assessment, Washington, DC., by Versar, Inc., Columbia, MD.

Frithsen, J. B. 1996b. Directory Keywords: Restricted vs. unrestricted vocabulary. Draft, May 21, 1996. Report prepared for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, National Center for Environmental Assessment, Washington, DC., by Versar, Inc., Columbia, MD.

Frithsen, J. B., and D. E. Strebel. 1995. Summary documentation for EMAP data: Guidelines for the information management directory. 30 April 1995. Report prepared for U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Program (EMAP), Washington, DC. Prepared by Versar, Inc., Columbia, MD.

GCRP. 1995a. GCDIS Implementation 1995. Vol. I-Interagency Implementation. U.S. Global Change Research Program. Committee on Environment and Natural Resources, National Science and Technology Council, Washington, D.C.

GCRP. 1995b. GCDIS Implementation 1995. Vol. II-Agency Implementation. U.S. Global Change Research Program. Committee on Environment and Natural Resources, National Science and Technology Council, Washington, D.C. NASA. 1991. Directory Interchange Format Manual; Version 4.0.

NASA, National Space Science Data Center, Greenbelt, MD. December 1991.

NOAA. 1996. Metadata resources fact sheet. NOAA Coastal Services Center, Charleston, SC.

Strebel, D. E., and J. B. Frithsen, 1995a. Guidelines for distributing EMAP data and information via the Internet. April 30, 1995. Prepared for U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Program (EMAP), Washington, DC. Prepared by Versar, Inc., Columbia, MD.

Strebel, D. E., and J. B. Frithsen, 1995b. Scientific documentation for EMAP data: Guidelines for the information management catalog. Draft: April 30, 1995. Prepared for U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Modeling, Monitoring Systems and Quality Assurance, Washington, DC. Prepared by Versar, Inc., Columbia, MD.

U. S. EPA. 1996a. EMAP information management plan. Draft, Oct 30, 1996.

U. S. EPA, NHEERL, Narragansett, RI. U. S. EPA. 1996b. Addendum to: Guidelines for the information management directory. U. S. EPA, NHEERL, Atlantic Ecology Division, Narragansett, RI.

U. S. EPA. 1996c. Addendum to: Guidelines for the information management catalog. U. S. EPA, NHEERL, Atlantic Ecology Division, Narragansett, RI.

U. S. EPA. 1997. Update to: Guidelines for distributing EMAP data and information via the Internet. U. S. EPA, NHEERL, Atlantic Ecology Division, Narragansett, RI.

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