SFERPM Data Management Policy

One measure of success of the overall South Florida Ecosystem Restoration Prediction and Modeling (SFERPM) program is in developing a data management program which facilitates data accessibility and sharing by scientific investigators, ensures data preservation, and develops networks that link distributed databases. A SFERPM Data Management Team (DMT) has recently been established and is in the early stages of designing a database to meet the above goals. Tentatively, the data management team will consist of the following individuals:

DawnMarie Welcher, Data Program Manager

(305) 361-4388

Jim Hendee, Systems Analyst/Design Coordinator

(305) 361-4396

Betty Huss, Database Support

(305) 361-4395

Monika Gurnée, Webmaster/Database Support

(305) 361-4543

Clarke Jeffris, Technical Support

(305) 361-4520

Michael M. Shoemaker, Electronics Technician

(305) 361-4527

To facilitate timely submission of data to the SFERPM DMT and meet Interagency data management policy requirements, the SFERPM Program Management Committee (PMC) has established the following procedures:

 In general, your data submissions should consist of the following four separate computer files:

  1. General Project Information File. This should include the project title, the principal investigator(s) complete mailing address, e-mail address, and phone number as well as a brief description of the methods and techniques used for data collection and processing. The description should include at a minimum a method readily recognized by those in the principal investigator's discipline but may also include journal references from the open literature. Enough information to permit the potential user to evaluate data quality and/or special problems that might be encountered must be included.
  2. Data Format Information File. Describe in full each data parameter (field) by name (ex: chlorophyll), units of measure, and field format and length (ex: character, numeric field). The field descriptions are essential to data translation processes and, again, they must completely define the units of measurement. Additionally, please include an estimate of the maximum and minimum values that could be encountered. Also, if you use a unit not generally accepted in the peer reviewed literature, please supply an appropriate conversion factor.


Structure for data file:


Number of Records:


Date of Preparation:



Field Name




Field Description






Collection Site


 Lat (degree)




Degrees latitude


 Lat (minute)




Minutes latitude


 Lat (N/S)




Latitude hemisphere


 Long (degree)




 Degrees longitude


 Long (minutes)




 Minutes longitude


 Long (E/W)




 Longitude hemisphere






 Organic Carbon in umol/l

Low and high values for organic carbon for this study are 0 and 1.0, respectively.

  1. Sample Data File. Submitted sample data should be in computer-compatible digital media whenever possible rather than as printed documents and must be in ASCII format. The preferred format is space/tab delimited data files.
  2. Ex:


    28 14.6 N 89 32.6 W 0.90


    28 14.6 N 89 32.6 W 0.85

  3. Instrument Calibration File (optional). Although it's not a requirement, we would greatly appreciate the information below regarding instrument calibration. This would not only facilitate transmittal and evaluation of data within NOAA's Environmental Research Laboratories (ERL) and to National Oceanographic Data Center (NODC) but provide helpful information to other investigators. The information may include, but is not limited to, the following:

a) instrument type (manufacturer and model number)
b) date of last calibration
c) organization calibrating instrument
d) instrument calibration schedule (choose one):
( ) at fixed intervals, ( ) before or after use, ( ) only after repair, ( ) only when new, ( )instrument is not calibrated

The principal investigator is responsible for quality control of his or her data before submission to the Data Program Manager. The DMT will do its best at additional quality control but only in terms of checking for transmission or transcription errors (not actual data).

While the primary role of the database is to support SFERPM funded investigators, at some point we are obliged to make the data public, first by submitting it to NODC and then by making it available on the world-wide web (WWW). Prior to submitting the research data to NODC (done by SFERPM), privileges for downloading data from the database will be restricted to SFERPM investigators through password protection. Regardless of the time period, publication or presentation of any data belonging to a participating investigator will require the explicit permission of the scientist who generated the data. Notifications to this effect will be made on the WWW site as well as in all written documentation about SFERPM data management. All principal investigators involved in the SFERPM program should make sure that their support personnel (including students) appreciate these restrictions as well. Moreover, the Data Program Manager will inform principal investigators before their data is posted to the WWW and give them a final opportunity to review the posting for inaccuracies or omissions.

Finally, in addition to the database, SFERPM is responsible for maintaining and updating the SFERPM web site. If you do not have a home page for your project (to which SFERPM can link), please provide a clean, updated copy of your project description to the Data Program Manager as soon as possible (and whenever changes or updates are necessary). At a minimum, your project description should consist of descriptive text including project objectives, methods, results obtained-to-date (including graphical summaries where possible), and future directions. The DMT will then convert this information to HTML format and upload it to the SFERPM web site. For those of you who currently maintain a web site/home page, please be sure to provide the Data Program Manager with the appropriate link. In addition, it is extremely important to include the following statement at the bottom of your home page: "Last Updated on _____ ."

Although there has been some interest expressed in producing a Geographical Information System (GIS), the SFERPM/DMT must first use existing resources to address baseline needs in this first year of the data management program. We are, however, exploring different options in this regard and would like to coordinate our efforts with meta data programs which are already in the early stages of implementation.

Last updatedon 06/09/00
By Monika Gurnée