Just a brief update on the progress of the project here at Aberystwyth. We now have Lucile Lemaire visiting from France with her experience in vegetation surveying and she is hard at work recording data from randomly selected areas of the Dyfi Biosphere. This is time consuming work and made especially difficult as she is using public transport, bicycle and foot to access the survey areas. These areas are often a long way from the nearest path and could involve long walks over very rough and or wet boggy ground.
There will be some 6 weeks of this survey work to be done and it will result in some very detailed information about the range of habitat types found in the Dyfi area. Crucially it will also allow Prof Richard Lucas to test the validity of his methodology for classifying habitat types with Remote Sensing techniques. Briefly put; if Lucile’s vegetation descriptions match up with Richard’s predicted ones then he has shown the value of his system to classify habitats from data gathed by satellites or aerial surveys.
I have been developing a Data Management Plan for the IGIBS data over the past couple of days and witnessing the work that has gone into creating some of these data at first hand highlights the importance of securing the integrety and access to data that is expensive in time and effort to collect. There have been around two hundred datasets identifyied for the Dyfi Bioshere, so far, so just multiplying the 6 weeks Lucile will spend collecting data from a few hundred 10×10 m squre plots by 200 gives a very rough estimation of the work that these data represents.
The benefit of data managennt planning and the associated metadata creation and logging will mean that these data, possibly representing about 24 years of work, will be more discoverable, more widley used and more cerafully preserved. If just one researcher discovers data that they no longer need to collect a second time then the work involved will have been time well spent. The Digital Curation Centers’s online tool for creating data managment plans can be found here