Preface: NSF's Directorate for Geosciences is terminating its support for the current DLESE operations in 2006. This step is being taken within the context of re-evaluating NSF GEO's overall program for geoscience education and in response to the DLESE Visiting Committee report. Consequently, all of the Core Service PIs have been asked to submit a change in scope of work and revised budget.
Many activities originally proposed for the DLESE Project Office (DPO), such as the leadership role in gathering community input and developing a formal project management system are no longer necessary. However, there are three core areas where the DPO can uniquely contribute to securing the legacy of DLESE for future projects. These activities include (1) coordinating the final year activities of the Core Services and working to ensure the products and outcomes of DLESE are well documented and widely disseminated; (2) implementing the resource review process outlined in the recommendations from the Quality Review of 2004; and (3) working with COSEE and ESIP partners to incorporate DLESE resources into the educational mission of these groups.
Core Service PIs have requested that we coordinate work efforts in this final year to ensure the work proceeds in a logical and integrated manner. This is a consistent with the current role of the Executive Director and DPO. In this coordination role, we will work with the other Core Service PIs to document the project and to disseminate all documentation widely. The DPO will work to ensure that products useful to the broad geoscience community are made available, as appropriate. Of particular interest in the community is that the metadata used by DLESE be available for others to use. Discussions with the metadata contributors will be needed to they understand the benefits of continuing to make the metadata available. The PIs will forego the bi-monthly teleconferences for a more streamlined coordinating effort.
The Quality Review in 2004 resulted in a number of recommendations that are critical to carry out so that the legacy of DLESE, its resources and metadata, are in the best form possible for use by the community. With the Steering Committee approval of the quality recommendations in January 2005, the DPO has been working on two key elements of the plan: review of the educational resources in DLESE, and mechanisms for awarding a citation reference for reviewed resources, consistent with a peer-reviewed publication. The Steering Committee charged the DLESE Program Office and Executive Director with reviewing all educational resources in DLESE for scientific accuracy and currency, with the intent of conducting pedagogical and metadata reviews once a full scale review process and editor was hired. Over the past four months, the DPO has been working with a sub-set of the Core Service PIs to develop the review criteria for scientific currency and accuracy, create a review tool, and to test the tool and criteria with a focus group. We just completed this process and are integrating the comments from the focus group in the review tool. Given the new direction in DLESE, we will expand the review process to include review criteria for pedagogical effectiveness and begin review of educational resources in early October. As resources are reviewed, we will also verify and update metadata as needed. In preparation for the review, we are working with e-guana, a non-profit company that has developed review systems for several other digital libraries. They will provide the core applications needed to manage the review process and conduct reviews.
DLESE has two key partners that the DPO has engaged in the past six months, the Centers for Ocean Science Educational Excellence (COSEE) and the Federation of Earth Science Information Providers (ESIP). The COSEE group is interested in developing a concept map of land-ocean system interactions. This is effort is strongly aligned with the Quality Review recommendation to develop a concept map and visual browse interface of the earth system by constructing small segments of the system with experts in those segments. The COSEE group will use the concept map to assemble instructional units from DLESE resources and those of other digital libraries. This is an important test of the effectiveness of the concept map in representing the DLESE collection. The DPO will work with the COSEE group in developing the concept map, identifying resources in the library that appropriately populate the map, and reviewing those resources for scientific and pedagogical quality.
The ESIP Federation is developing a new educational portal to complement their data, tools and services provided to the scientific research community. Working with Data Services and the Data Access Working Group, we will work to develop mechanisms that allow more effective access to the ESIP data and tools, while helping them to better integrate DLESE resources in their education portlet.
Through the above efforts, we will enable DLESE to achieve some of its core original goals and provide an infrastructure and legacy of great value to the geoscience community.
Coordination of Activities:
October 2005 Ð September 2006: Work with Core Services to document and assemble all documentation about the project in a central repository for use by the community. Produce quarterly reports on progress to allow partners, community members and NSF to keep abreast of developments.
Resource Review Activities:
August-September 2005: Refine requirements of the review-tracking tool and work with Isovera on development.
September - October 2005: Installation and customization of tool by Isovera. Estimated time to completion is 8 week or mid-October. Customization beyond the core features may take 8-10 additional weeks. Recruit Associate Editors and engage in finalizing the review criteria and essential criteria for recommending removal from the library.
September Ð October 2005: Prepare an online training session for Associate Editors. Prepare to offer training session at GSA or AGU as necessary. Assemble reviewer list based on DLESE registration database and membership rosters of key facilities and organizations.
September 2005 Ð September 2006: Develop and maintain best practices for Associate Editors and reviewers. Begin identifying key resources for review.
October Ð November 2006 Begin review process. Identify and contact resource owner and inform about the review process. Conduct review and submit reviews to owner. Determine whether resource remains in the library or must be removed. Review approximately 100 resources per associate editor and 3-5 resources per reviewer.
November 2005 - September 2006: Revise review process and criteria with increasing experience and lessons learned.
Development of Concept Map on Ocean Land Interactions:
November 2005: Meet with COSEE team to brainstorm strategies for the concept map development. We will also work to agree on common standards for the vocabulary concept map development.
January Ð September 2006: Work with COSEE team to develop the vocabulary and concept map. Work with COSEE team to test the effectiveness of the concept map for assigning DLESE resources to different concepts. Document results for future use by the community. With positive results on the ocean-land interaction concept map, we will seek other collaborators to join in the effort and expand the foundation of the concept map framework.
Development of Educational Portal Linking DLESE and ESIP Resources:
Fall 2005: The ESIP Federation will gather community input on the need for and characteristics of their planned educational portal.
January Ð September 2006: Key DLESE PIs from Data Services and Michelle Hall will work with the ESIP community to address those needs using resources, tools and services offered by DLESE over the following year.