Data Management Workshops for USGS: Let the Culture Change Begin

Science Center Objects

USGS data are one of the most valuable assets of the organization, and it is critical that we ensure our scientists and staff produce and manage data in such a way that at the completion of a project, the data continues to be accessible in useable formats, documented so it can be understood, and preserved properly for future uses. The goals of this project included: produce three online trai...

USGS data are one of the most valuable assets of the organization, and it is critical that we ensure our scientists and staff produce and manage data in such a way that at the completion of a project, the data continues to be accessible in useable formats, documented so it can be understood, and preserved properly for future uses.

 

The goals of this project included:

  • produce three online training modules that relay the importance of data management, best practices for planning, and guidance for preparing science data to share;
  • target audiences of researchers, data managers, and the public;
  • format the modules to consist of automated PowerPoint slides, voice-over narration, and video segments featuring scientists talking about lessons learned in the practice of data management.

This project was changed considerably from the original proposal due to a change in Federal government sequestration and travel restraints. The original proposal was to conduct in-person workshops in each of the three USGS regions for invited USGS scientists and data managers. It included development of the training materials in addition to hands-on activities to be used in a workshop environment. The solution to the sequestration and travel restrictions was to create a more broadly accessible learning environment through online data management modules.

 

This project contributes to the CDI Science Support Framework in multiple areas including Data Management, Knowledge Management, and the Scientific Data Lifecycle. It addresses key elements in data management principles, supports knowledge sharing, and promotes the USGS Science Data Lifecycle. 



Benefits: 

  • The modules support USGS policies and Fundamental Science Practices, and provide highlights to key points from the Data Management website. Policies tell scientists and managers what needs to be done, but not how to do it; the Data Management modules provide one resource for understanding how to implement data management at USGS. Coupled with the website, the modules reinforce the principles and allow for alternative ways of learning.
  • By posting these three modules to the Data Management Website, several important benefits were seen: it helped promote a better understanding of data management, it assisted in helping scientists and data managers learn the fundamentals of managing data, and the slides are available at any time.
  • The modules leveraged existing and newly created resources on the Data Management Website and other existing (non-USGS) Data Management Training materials to communicate good data management practices. 

Special thanks to:

Jeffrey Morisette, DOI North Central Climate Science Center

Janice Gordon, USGS Core Science Analytics and Synthesis

TJ Lane, USGS Office of Organizational and Employee Development

National Indian Programs Training Center

 





Note: this description is from the FY13 Annual Report