SIS 495/2011:Topics

From OpenWetWare
Jump to navigationJump to search
University of Tennessee School of Information Sciences 495/2011


Home        Topics        People        Materials        Schedule        Help       

Nature of Science and Research

  • Researcher: Miriam
  • Discuss scientific inquiry and the scientific process; philosophical basis of
  • Discuss the general process and nature of scientific data.
  • Environmental Psychology Reference
  • Environmental scientists
  • Historical overview of Environmental Science (in North America) Reference

Nature of Information Science & Core Information Science Concepts

  • Researcher: Lisa
  • Define the core information science concepts for the class
  • Information behavior - seeking, collecting, etc.

Scientists and Information

  • Researcher: Todd
  • relationship of scientific process and research to information and information science
  • emergence of the data intensive research paradigm
  • DataOne scientists baseline assessment
  • merging blend of natural science and information science professionals (e.g. need to manage, archive, find data, etc.)
  • Biodiversity information needs

Data collection and the data lifecycle

  • Generation and diversity of environmental information
    • where does it come from? (observation of the natural world) How is it created? Role of the observer.
  • Types of data- soil, water, air, species counts, etc
  • Ways data can be collected (automated data collection, manual collection...citizens vs. scientists, advocates vs. objective observers)
  • Data reporting units (mg/kg, ppm, ug/l...)
  • Organizing environmental data
  • Managing environmental data
  • Interpreting environmental data
  • Raw data vs. summarized data vs. interpreted data vs. modeled data
  • QA/QC
  • Data Quality Objectives
  • finding environmental information / where is environmental information found?
    • major government databases
    • census data
  • NSF Grant Guidelines on Data Management
  • Information policies

The Environmental Data/Information Lifecycle

A possible organizing scheme for some of these topics may be the Geospatial Data Lifecycle proposed by the Federal Geographic Data Committee. There are seven stages:


What is environmental information?


  • Where is the data? Who owns it? Who provides it?
  • Data ownership, legal questions, copyright
  • Managing or dealing with metadata


  • Purchase
  • share or exchange data
  • modify legacy data
  • create new data.
  • Exchanging and collaborating (information, data)
  • Selecting reliable science data


  • Where will the data/information be published? How do we disseminate the data?
  • Discuss pros and cons of open source and open data sharing


Concerns about funding, personnel, infrastructure needs.


User studies and evaluations. Have we met our goals?


How do we keep data for the long term after it is no longer being actively used?


  • Researcher: Priyanki
  • Preparing data sets to model environmental processes
  • How environmental data/observations go from environmental data object to metadata
  • Environmental metadata

Technology and Tools or Tool Finding Issues

  • Information Systems and the Environment Reference
  • Database design & use for science/environmental data
  • Spreadsheets for modeling and problem solving
  • Environmental information management systems

Environmental Decision Making

  • Map data life cycle model to environmental decision making model and highlight role of data at different points of decisions
  • Environmental decision-making
    • who makes environmental decisions
    • role of the public in environmental decision making and interpretation of environmental information
  • Tragedy of the Commons Reference
  • Sampling bias
  • interpretive bias
  • Evaluation of environmental data

Science Communication

  • Communicating environmental data
  • Presenting environmental data
  • politics of communicating and presenting environmental data/politicizing of environmental data
  • citizen scientists
  • information as power
  • rhetoric
  • stakeholders and public participation


  • Cool displays, youtube videos, etc.
  • Environmental modeling- types of environmental models
  • GIS

Disasters and Catastrophes

  • Environmental causes
  • Environmental results
    • Katrina, Pakistan floods, Indonesian tsunami, etc.
  • role of environmental information in dealing with environmental disasters.
    • how does access to environmental information help, are there negatives to access, who has access and how, to what?
  • Dealing with risk. Risk management, risk communication

Sharing and collaborating around EI

  • Networks (sharing research)

Brainstorming Topics

  • PARCC parameters and their relevance to data
  • Environmental information in science education
    • need for, role of, lack of, examples of (Phenology and schools)