Ocean informatics monograph. Ocean informatics initiative: An ethnographic study (2002-2006). Part 1: Report

The report presents an initial monograph on Ocean Informatics (OI), an information infrastructure initiative in the ocean science community. Using ethnographic methods, we observed and analyzed the development of the OI Initiative based at Scripps Institution of Oceanography over a period of 4 years (2002-2006). The focus of the report is the formation of an information environment that provides information management and information systems design expertise focusing on biological and ecological oceanography in particular. OI is specifically framed as conducive to support of scientific data practices, data curation, design practices, and information managers’ professional development when our understanding of these elements is under development amidst an era of transitions relating to digital data production and access. The effort aims to address short-term needs for information management while formulating and planning for the growth of infrastructure over the long-term. As an interdisciplinary initiative that spans multiple organizational units, its development is framed by a keystone relationship with the scientific environments with which it partners and within which it is embedded. It began as an oceanographic site in the Long-Term Ecological Research program (LTER) and subsequently partnered with the California Cooperative Fisheries Investigations (CALCOFI) as well. In bringing new attitudes and insights relating to living systems, the ecological perspective may also have significant ramifications in considering digital configurations. The OI Initiative highlights the envisioning of infrastructure efforts as having local, situated elements and how such efforts contribute to science today. The report captures the views of the diverse participants associated with the Initiative, thus providing a living portrait of Ocean Informatics whose development continues today. The report is in two parts with appendices appearing in a separate volume as Part 2.

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