Annual Progress Report - Download as DOC by tyndale


									        Searchable Park Access to Research Catchments

                      Annual Progress Report

                  Andrea Grygo, Peter Vaux, Sarah Nelson
Senator George J. Mitchell Center for Environmental and Watershed Research
                        University of Maine, Orono

                                June 2005
Project Period: February 1, 2004 to December 31, 2005.

Principal investigators:
       Peter Vaux, Research Scientist, Senator George J. Mitchell Center for
              Environmental and Watershed Research University of Maine, Orono,
              Maine (
       Sarah Nelson, Assistant Scientist, Senator George J. Mitchell Center
       Andrea Grygo, Research Assistant, Senator George J. Mitchell Center

Federal and University collaborators:
      J.S. Kahl, Center for the Environment, Plymouth State University, Plymouth, NH
      D. Manski, National Park Service, Acadia National Park, Bar Harbor, ME
      K. Tonnessen, Rocky Mountains CESU, University of Montana, Missoula, MT
      T. Blett, Air Resources Division, National Park Service, Denver, CO
      B. Jackson, Water Resources Division, National Park Service, Ft. Collins CO
      M. Flora, Water Resources Division, National Park Service, Denver, CO
      L.E. Rustad, USDA Forest Service, Durham, NH

NPS: Bob Breen, David Manski, Kathy Tonnessen, Tamara Blett, Bill Gawley, Emily
       Seger, Jim McKenna, B. Jackson, M. Flora, L. Rustad.
PSU: Steve Kahl.
UMaine: Peter Vaux, Sarah Nelson, Andrea Grygo.

Overview of Project

SPARC overview
SPARC was established as a tool for information exchange among National Parks.
Through this information sharing, SPARC is intended to promote the formation of an
interactive consortium of watershed research sites and thereby facilitate national-scale
interpretations of environmental science for management and policy. The need for long-
term data collection includes the need to interpret the data in the context of the regional
and national stressors on park resources. When set in a regional or national context, these
needs can then be addressed via coordinated policies or legislation.

Purposes of SPARC network
1. Facilitate collaboration and regional/national cooperation among Parks;
2. Provide guidance for uniform methods and site design;
3. Develop national assessments on status and trends identified through research;
4. Promote awareness about related research on a related scale.

Focus of UMaine Pilot Project

Past and present research in Acadia National Park will be compiled for access through the
SPARC web page ( (Figure 1; Appendix A). SPARC will have a
dual focus:
1) in-depth treatment of research catchments—the paired, gauged, Hadlock and Cadillac
watersheds at Acadia National Park;
2) Overview of on-going and past research, natural resource summaries, and
bibliographic resources encompassing all of Acadia NP.
From the SPARC homepage, a link to the Acadia page will provide users with the options
of focusing on the research catchments or the entire Park.

                                                                   Focus areas of UMaine pilot project
                                                  SPARC homepage

      Park A   Park B    Park C     Park C
                                                                   Acadia             Search
    Future work – target Parks: Shenandoah,
  Great Smoky Mountains, Big Bend, Isle Royale,
    Rocky Mountain, Glacier, Olympic, Denali,
         Canyonlands, and Sequoia Kings

    Figure 1. Overall layout of SPARC website. This pilot project will focus on Acadia NP.

Park Characterization
Information for all of Acadia NP will be accessed through Park Characterization pages
for air quality, fire regime, geologic activity, nonnative species, pests, scenic vistas, water
quality, and weather (Figures 2 and 3). These categories were identified by the NPS;
each Park will have a Natural Resource profile for each category. An individual
characterization page will have:
         1) a link to the Park Natural Resource profile (these have been completed for
         2) a link to the SPARC bibliographic database (largely based on the Resource
         Management Bibliography), and
         3) links to other web-based data information for Acadia. These would include
         hard-links (pre-queried) to PEARL, a natural-resources data repository for Maine
         (view current development site at:; links to other online
         databases for NPS data (NatureBib, I&M, and STORET (EPA)), and
         characterization-specific links, such as the National Atmospheric Deposition
         Network Program/Mercury Deposition Network McFarland Hill collection site on
         the Air Quality and Weather Characterization pages.

Figure 2. Overview of SPARC website, featuring Acadia NP.

Figure 3. Details of SPARC components focusing on Park Characterization and Research
Catchments at Acadia NP.

Research Catchments
The research catchments component of SPARC will focus on a smaller section of the
Park, providing an in-depth summary of research in these watersheds. The research
catchments page will include a bulletin board that provides easy access to (a) overviews
of ongoing research programs, (b) status reports and scheduling of current field activities,
(c) photographs, and (d) annual research updates and reports (Figure 3). Each research
catchment will also have its own web page from which site users will be able to view the
list of research projects, and access available research data as well as targeted search
returns from the SPARC database (see below).

SPARC database
The SPARC database is compiled in Microsoft Access (Appendix B). The database
consists of two primary components: Studies and Bibliography. The Studies component
is a series of tables containing metadata for research programs conducted in the park.
Records in the Studies table will be linked to related records in a Sites table that contains
spatial information for the suite of sampling sites pertinent to each program. The second
component of the SPARC database is a bibliography of reports, articles and other
publications pertinent to the park. Where possible, bibliographic records will be linked to
entries in the Studies table. The Acadia Research Management Bibliography has been
exported from ProCite to Access to serve as the backbone of the SPARC database. By
linking bibliographic records to research program metadata and site-specific spatial
information, the overall utility of the bibliographic database will be enhanced. The
SPARC interface will also provide a user-friendly search feature, providing easy on-line
retrieval of information stored in the database.

Project timeline and deliverables
The primary delivery for this project is a web site that will provide metadata and
information for Acadia NP natural resources research (Figure 4). The pilot uses Acadia
NP as the focal park to develop a web template. SPARC can be later expanded to include
other parks.

              ITEM                                2004                   2005
                                    Q1          Q2         Q3     Q4      Q1           Q2    Q3          Q4
 Evaluate other watershed web
 sites & databases
 Draft Design of SPARC web site,
 Create beta SPARC web

 Presentation at GWS 2005*

 Database development

 Web design & links to
 characterization information
 Serve Access database on Web

 Bibliography of research reports
 & publications
 Final project report

                                           Planned                       In progress                   Complete
Figure 4: SPARC timeline and status.
         * Grygo, A., P. Vaux, S.J. Nelson, K. Tonnessen, D. Manski. Sharing the wealth: Information
         exchange among research watersheds. The George Wright Society Biennial Conference on Parks,
         Protected Areas, and Cultural Sites, March 14-28, 2005 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.


Appendix A. SPARC homepage,

Appendix B. Access database design

Appendix C. SPARC meeting notes 12 May 2005

Location Acadia National Park Headquarters, Bar Harbor, Maine

UMaine: A. Grygo, S. Nelson, P. Vaux
NPS: B. Breen, B. Gawley, D. Manski, J. McKenna, E. Seger

This meeting was arranged to discuss the direction and status of the SPARC project. A
background on SPARC given at the George Wright Society 2005 bi-annual meeting was
presented. The current status of the SPARC website and site design issues were
discussed. A conceptual diagram of the website is located on page 3.

Discussion items
General discussion
     SPARC will have a dual focus: (1) In-depth treatment of paired (gauged)
       watersheds – Hadlock and Cadillac watersheds, in the case of Acadia; (2)
       Parkwide overview of on-going and past research programs, natural resource
       summaries, and bibliographic resources.
     SPARC will serve to help resource managers better understand the scientific
       nature of their Park.
     SPARC is viewed as an information clearing-house for Parks. In addition to
       providing access to data and metadata, SPARC will contain presentations,
       posters, and images associated with research studies, thereby assisting Parks in
       information management.
     Natural resource profiles (currently being written for all Parks and completed for
       Acadia) will be linked to from SPARC on the characterization pages and open in a
       new window.
     A valuable component of SPARC would be a status report section containing
       current research plans, field activities, photos, and annual updates. This section
       would provide valuable information for research managers, interpreters, and
       other researchers. Status reports, currently required as part of a research
       permits, would be used to help ensure that this section is current.
     The final report on SPARC should contain estimates (time, money, computer
       resources) to implement SPARC within in NPS.
     SPARC should be conceptually developed with Acadia as the focus Park.
     For all available datasets, SPARC will provide metadata and spatial information.
       Where feasible, access to data will occur (for Acadia) via direct links to the
       appropriate datasets in PEARL, a natural resources data repository for Maine (see
       development site at For extensive datasets that do not
       appear in full on the PEARL website, SPARC users will be directed to the
       metadata which will indicate contact names and addresses of the principle
     For unpublished research (largely on-going studies), a site list and if available,
       preliminary data will be available.
     Annually a short summary with a few key graphs, and/or a watershed
       characterization PowerPoint would be requested (and later required) for

        investigators performing permitted research. This approach would give
        investigators an opportunity to distribute early findings from their research (and
        builds on the original idea of SPARC providing enhanced collaboration).

Implementation of other data resources
NatureBib (NPS)
    ―NatureBib contains bibliographic references to natural resource information
       written by and about the National Parks. NatureBib is unique because it contains
       references to both published and unpublished materials in one of 11 workforms
       (books, book chapters, journal articles, maps, published and unpublished
       reports, letters, datasets, conference proceedings, dissertations and other). The
       references are linked to parks.‖ (
    Currently NatureBib is only accessible to Park employees, though a public
       interface is expected within the next year.
    The functionality of NatureBib is limited in its search cababilities.

    STORET (short for STOrage and RETrieval) is a repository for water quality,
     biological, and physical data and is used by state environmental agencies, EPA
     and other federal agencies, universities, private citizens, and many others
    It was noted that many Parks use STORET for permanent data storage and
     retrieval. Likely, hard links to STORET can be used in a similar manner as hard
     links to PEARL—connecting the user directly to a dataset rather than a webpage
     where they would conduct a search.

I & M (NPS Inventory & Monitoring)
     Each I&M network might have a distribution of databases and data, however this
       is not Park-wide.
     Further, each network has individual vitals signs identified to the specific
       resources of that network.
     Data obtained through I&M is likely to be housed in STORET

SPARC   components (P. Vaux summary)
   1.   Basic summaries and syntheses
   2.   Bibliographic database
   3.   Logistics
   4.   Access to actual datasets (for ACAD this would be a hard link to PEARL)

Bill provided Andrea with an Access version of the old ProCite Resource Management
bibliography for ACAD, a newer version will be provided shortly.

A summary/draft will be sent to other Parks.

Andrea, Kathy, and David will have a conference call to discuss the new approach.

Andrea will complete a status report for Tamara Blett by June 3.

Diagram of SPARC website layout, each box represents a page of the website. Lighter
boxes and bulleted items are descriptions of page contents.


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