Data Management

We developed a long-term data management plan for California's MPA monitoring that leverages deep expertise and capacity in the State.


Long-term stewardship and management of MPA monitoring data depends upon durable storage, detailed description, and powerful discovery and dissemination tools. Over the course of the baseline monitoring programs in California, and in collaboration with our state partners, we have adopted a minimalist approach to data stewardship and management. We based this strategy on the fact that experience and learning would illuminate where and how to invest – strategically and efficiently – in long-term data management capacities.


As we transition from baseline to the long-term monitoring of California’s MPAs, a number of data management factors are likely to change.

We need to plan for:

  • New and diverse data types and sources
  • Requirements for database integration aiding in synthetic analyses
  • A complex suite of data accessibility and dissemination requirements

With a deepened experience managing different types and formats of data analysis to report monitoring results, we can describe the forms of integrated databases that support such analyses and develop a comprehensive set of tools to meet user’s needs. Technology and data driven efforts — from data catalogues and portals, to distributed data networks with remote and cloud storage, to integrated databases with linked web visualizations — have multiplied in California and across the country providing a rich environment to learn from.


The data management planning process will produce a roadmap describing the steps necessary to implement a long-term management plan for MPA monitoring data products. Ocean Science Trust is advancing this work to accompany the Central Coast long-term monitoring plan. We are leading a review of data management planning processes and data portal implementations. Through targeted engagement with monitoring and data management experts we are incorporating the best thinking into this new plan. Engaged organizations include, but are not limited to, PISCO, CENCOOS, MBARI, TNC, NCEAS, MBNMS, DataONE, CSUMB, CADFW, ODFW, and BOEM.

The plan will address the data management needs based on the data lifecycle used as best practices by monitoring partners:



To assist with roadmap development we have also convened an advisory team that brings together the best thinking from state, regional, and national levels. The team includes members with expertise in scientific monitoring, data and metadata management, information systems and storage, data informatics and semantics, and web portals for data distribution. The advisory team will work with Ocean Science Trust staff to create a plan that is grounded in the best practices, and incorporates new technologies allowing for greater data interoperability and collaborate analysis.


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