Harvard Forest Schoolyard program develops new online database and interactive maps

Network News Spring 2013, Vol. 26 No. 1
Site News

Data from Harvard Forest LTER’s Schoolyard Ecology program is now housed in a comprehensive online system developed by Information Manager Emery Boose with support from an LTER supplement.  The new system provides teachers and students a user-friendly form to submit their observations without the errors common in spreadsheet submission. The database also allows users to download and explore archived data from all Schoolyard field sites since 2004. With a few clicks, users can access detailed information for each school and even create online graphs from the project data.

Surf the database and graph some data.

The online system has also made Schoolyard data analysis more efficient from a programmatic perspective. Harvard Forest science staff can easily review data submissions for errors and duplicate records. Administrators can analyze trends in the numbers and locations of schools submitting data as one way of evaluating the program.

New interactive maps of Schoolyard field sites are also now available on the Harvard Forest website. The maps, created by Greta VanScoy and Pamela Snow, allow users to explore field sites via Google Maps or Google Earth. Each site is linked to the online Schoolyard database so site data can be graphed and explored.

Try out the maps.