IAMSLIC/SAIL Representation to Data and Information Management meeting for Caribbean Large Marine Ecosystem

In early January I got an urgent request from Carla Robinson, our outgoing SAIL representative, to ask if I would be willing to be her stand-in for a presentation to the IOC (Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO [United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization] ) meeting in Playa del Carmen, Mexico January 29-31, 2013. This specialty meeting was concerning the Caribbean Large Marine Ecosystem/Regional Ecosystem Monitoring Program and its information and data management objectives. I agreed to do this with the backing of a Power Point program Carla had already put together.
When I looked more closely at the audience and the time slot allotted I decided I needed to add to the collection and hoped I had enough interesting information to fill a full hour’s presentation – to an audience that, as it turned out, included only myself as a librarian, but was composed of fishery and ecosystem data and information managers from 22 of the countries that are in the Caribbean marine ecosystem.
Since I was spreading IAMSLIC/SAIL propaganda and making offers of helping with this project, I thought you would like to know a little more about my presentation.
I started with a description of who we are, the institutional types we represent, and the geographic regions that make up IAMSLIC. Since the MOU between IOC and IAMSLIC had just been approved we can claim my presentation as an example of how we, as an IAMSLIC/SAIL organization, are sharing our knowledge and expertise with the wider marine science and IOC community.
The Aquatic Commons was front and center as an example of shared information. The Z39.50 catalog and Union List of Serials, and excerpted usage statistics, demonstrate a working project within Latin America.
I demonstrated my emerging data and mixed documents storage capability with the Texas Digital Library. This fledgling project deals with the Sargassum (seaweed) challenge of predicting when large rafts of sargassum will be covering the beaches of Galveston, and whether or not the management practices for dealing with it affects beach erosion.
With NSF and NIH mandates for public availability of scientific data, its management will certainly be of great interest to all of us. I hope this will be a topic of rich discussion and sharing of ideas for our upcoming professional conferences.
From conference presentations, the “3×3” management matrices for ecosystem management considers the transboundary problems of: Unsustainable exploitation of fish and other living resources; Habitat degradation and community modification; and Pollution. Those problems are considered for the three ecosystems: Reef Ecosystems (including mangroves & seagrasses); Pelagic Ecosystems; and Continental Shelf Ecosystems.
Bob Glazer of the Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute demonstrated the portal he has developed to support governance of the shared living marine resources of the Wider Caribbean with references to data and information on ecosystems and environment. You can see the beta version of this portal at: http://clmeims.gcfi.org/ In this world of high technology, his presentation (and all of the rest of us too) was being simulcast on Internet TV, and who should be listening in but our colleague Pauline Simpson in the Caymen Islands. Ever on top of information technology, she immediately emailed me with a request for information from the GCFI; could I get the metadata and documents Mr. Glazer was talking about, so they could also be made available on Aquatic Commons! Of course I was glad to help in that quest, and so was Mr. Glazer so I was soon emailing Pauline the metadata to make that happen. What a small world! And what a nice addition for Aquatic Commons.
As an example of big science, Doug Wilson demonstrated the GOOS (Global Ocean Observation System, from IOC/IODE) for the Caribbean. Frans von der Dunk joined us via Skype for a very interesting presentation on the legal issues concerning the many different nations surrounding the Caribbean, proposing a European Union kind of solution to working together for the common good. Marvin Fonseca from Costa Rica made a marvelous presentation on the success story of artisanal fishermen working together to solve their common problem and conflict between tourism and large shrimping organizations. Carlos Torres from the Mexican Oceanographic Data Center demonstrated the Ocean Biogeographic System which allows users to search marine species datasets from all of the world’s oceans. Check it out at www.iobis.org.
I am writing my summary without benefit of the official minutes of the meeting. I hope this is making sense to you; no expense to IAMSLIC or SAIL was involved, and the IOC/CLME-IMS-REMP (and permission of my home institution) made my attendance possible. I was very pleased to be included as a representative of IAMSLIC/SAIL at the table with the marine information and data managers. I hope more of my IAMSLIC/SAIL colleagues may be able to participate in the future.
For further reference, you can see my Power Point presentation at: http://repositories.tdl.org/tamug-ir/handle/1969.3/28451. The Aquatic Commons database is at: www.aquaticcommons.org; and the inputter’s manual is at: www.aquaticcommons.org/AquaticCommons_Quickstart.pdf.

Natalie Wiest
Texas A&M University at Galveston

Share to...Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedIn

Comments are closed.