Sevilleta uses DEIMS to build new website

Network News Spring 2012, Vol. 25 No. 1
Site News

Sevilleta LTER has implemented a new website ( based on the Drupal Environmental Information Management System (DEIMS), an in-house tool built through the collaboration of information managers from Luquillo, Sevilleta, North Temperate Lakes, Virginia Coastal, Plum Island, and Arctic LTER sites with help from the LTER Network Office’s (LNO) Inigo San Gil and Marshall White.

DEIMS offers a web-based Ecological Metadata Language (EML) editor, a much sought-after addition to the LTER Information Management toolkit, and stores the metadata in a MySQL relational database. The LTER Controlled Vocabulary, a list of keywords that LTER sites are encouraged to apply to their datasets, was easily incorporated into DEIM and used to tag SEV metadata, demonstrating that the DEIMS framework can be readily extended. A script written by San Gil generates EML from DEIMS for ingestion in to the Network Information System (NIS). Having all Sevilleta metadata stored in a relational database from which EML can be created is a major step forward for the Sevilleta Information Management System.

DEIMS grew out of a grass-roots effort to generate tools that can be used at more than one site, and from the desire to develop a user-friendly EML editor. Drupal, the content management system on which DEIMS is based, was selected for use because it makes it very simple to link information within the website. For instance, an entity, such as a ‘person’, can be linked to all other entities in the system, such as ‘datasets’ and ‘publications’, with which that entity is associated without any programming needed. Drupal thus provides a “no dead ends” web experience for users (which means that the website content is so interconnected that users can keep finding related information wherever they go), a desirable feature for visitors to any website.

DEIMS is gaining popularity in the LTER and International LTER (ILTER) communities. Other LTER sites now using DEIMS include Niwot, Jornada, and McMurdo. ILTER networks implementing DEIMS include the Taiwan Ecological Research Network (TERN) and LTER Europe.