Information Strategies Work Group Meeting Minutes

Durham, New Hampshire -- July 27, 2005

Curtis Cude, Paul Currier, Don Dycus, Art Garceau, Susan Holdsworth, Al Korndoerfer, Fred Leslie, Linda Lindstrom, Gail Mallard, Chuck Spooner, Peter Tennant. 

After introductions, the minutes of Annapolis meeting were reviewed.  Two general charges were given to the workgroups by the Steering Committee: review the factsheets and review the website.

Fact Sheet Review

The workgroup recommended revising the fact sheet to ensure it encompassed the full scope of our interests, and to ensure consistency with the monitoring framework language. Any further evaluation of listed activities and direction will be tabled until after the next Conference. A revised fact sheet will be circulated, reviewed, and approved prior to printing new fact sheets for the Conference.

Website Review

In general, more cross linkages need to be made between the main page, the WIS page, and the fact sheet page. The WIS page should have a clearer connection to the content available in the fact sheet. WIS recommended a number of changes to make the website more user-friendly. A WIS representative will work with the NWQMC webmaster and members of the Communications & Outreach workgroup to review and possibly implement some of the changes. 

Framework Expert System

At the San Jose meeting, Larry Keith proposed an expert system that walked people all the way around the framework. While the system showed promise, there were some significant obstacles related to the proprietary and/or security-related nature of the code as well as resources needed to work around those obstacles in pursuit of the framework expert system. Technology advances and change in the security status of some of the code may have alleviated some of the obstacles, such that a fresh estimate of resources required to develop this system should be made. WIS will pursue the development of such a proposal and bring it before the full Council for consideration.


The Integrated Ocean Observing Systems (IOOS) approach to Data Management and Communications advocates for the use of web services for sharing data between partners and with data users. EPA Office of Water is developing a Water Quality Exchange (OWWQX) to use web services to get data to a “Central Data Warehouse” independent of using a local STORET database. Eventually web services will be used to get data out of the warehouse. The NWIS/STORET project is moving towards the use of web services to enable the coordinated delivery of information from both sources. USGS-NWIS is reviewing and commenting on the developing OWWQX, while STORET is looking for ways to take advantage of web services for data delivery and distribution.

One of the biggest obstacles that USGS faces is in the conversion of parameter codes to separate data elements. Parameter codes contain information about the analyte or taxon, sample media, analytical/sampling method, units, sample fraction, time or temperature or weight basis, etc. There are multiple groups working on this problem, but there is not always good documentation on the use of parameter codes by different organizations.

WIS recommends meeting with Joe Wilson, EPA STORET Project Coordinator, to learn about and provide input on the status of STORET reengineering and OWWQX development. WIS will plan to meet prior the next regularly scheduled meeting to allow for further discussion at that time.

Water Information Strategies Leadership

The next regular WIS meeting in Florida will be the last for workgroup chair Robert Ward. Time will be allocated at that meeting to discuss the workgroup structure, nominate a new workgroup chair, and wish Robert well.


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