It was an exciting summer for informatics in the LTER Network and here are few highlights.

Network News Fall 2004, Vol. 17 No. 2

The LTER Network Office (LNO) has entered into a cooperative agreement with the United States Geological Survey’s National Biological Information Infrastructure (NBII) to work jointly on a NBII/LTER metadata standards initiative. This effort will initially focus on completing the mapping of the Federal Geographic Data Committee’s Biological Data Profile (BDP) to Ecological Metadata Language (EML). LNO will hire a new technical person to help users understand and implement these important standards.

The EML Harvester was released October 1 along with the next version of metacat (a database for storing EML documents). Duane Costa, a LNO Programmer/Analyst, designed and developed the EML harvester as a mechanism for automated one-stop gathering and updating of metadata from each site in the network to a central metadata catalog. So far six sites have metadata harvested into the LTER data catalog.

LNO has upgraded our internal request tracking (RT) system to be more responsive to network user requests as called for in the LNO strategic plan. The new system, based on open-source software, was configured by LNO data manager Michelle Murillo to match the approved tracking plan. There are now two new addresses for all email requests to LNO: for technical issues, and for administrative and logistical issues. The requestor will not observe directly the workings of the system, but will receive a minimum of three notices providing feedback information while the request is processed—upon receipt of the request, upon its assignment to an appropriate handler, and upon its completion.

The Intranet Informatics Projects page now provides links to database and interface work in progress. This effort, organized by LNO Senior Web Developer Marshall White in response to an action item in the Portland Information Managers (IM) meeting agenda, provides an opportunity to observe and comment on projects in progress ( One of those projects, the site characteristics database, went live on September 1 when data from the database was used to populate the new site web page format ( implemented by LNO web designer, Jeanine McGann.  In addition to giving sites the ability to control information about their sites on the network web site, the database also enables cataloging of an expandable variety of research location types and themes.  [screen shot of new page]

James Brunt
Associate Director for Information Management, LNO