UTM 1-Stop Environmental Catalogue
We will be consolidating research data relevant to environmental monitoring activities on the University of Toronto Mississauga (UTM) campus. Environmental monitoring refers to to research relevant to environmental issues such as water, energy etc. The purpose is to make links to this research data available for reviewing in a one-stop and online format for the wider UTM research community and the community at large. The aim is to provide a base template for sharing and promoting UTM field site specific data across departments and the hope is to encourage more researchers to buy-in according to their interest areas.
The main inspiration for our one-stop online catalogue is the Environment Research Database created by the Center for Environment (CFE) at the University of Toronto (UofT) St. George campus. We will use this database as a guide in order to create our own catalogue. In addition to this we will contact them in order to obtain advice, recommendation and discuss a possibility of collaboration in the hopes to provide a more detailed listing of research carried out specifically at the UTM campus (currently we have found evidence of only 5 research projects referenced on this site). A link to the Environmental Research Database can be found below.
Additionally, the ECO Data Project is an online repository containing research data from the department of Geography. One of the data sets available is from the UTM Meteorological (Weather) Station that has been digitally collected and served online since 1999. The data is collected and maintained by Ken Turner of the Geography department. We wish to base our database similarly to the way data is served on the UTM site. Anyone can view and use the data that is compiled in the database. They can also download the data sets and work with primary information and conduct further research on their own with the aid of the current information. The database is accessible by a drop down menu organized by the data of collection and area of research. The viewer can download the data sets in an excel format. Using a similar idea and method we hope to replicate an ECO Data website but on a campus wide scale in order to incorporate any and all campus research and information relevant to environmental monitoring.
We would personally contact the professors from the Department of Geography through email and in person and asked for their research data. We told what interest it was for them by pitching the idea of an online one-stop research catalogue. Through investigation and conversations with research staff and faculty we identified gaps in data availability, i.e. data or research information that the community would like to see made available online. An example of this would be the UTM Tree Inventory which many departments seem to have a vested interest in. Our objective is to highlight, index and make exactly such data accessible to the wider community.
Preliminary Findings -or- Preliminary Results
We have Currently have data from Prof. Conway which included various ecological foot print reports for UTM since 2004 and an aggregate data of a survey done about U-pass use at the summer of 2007
We also received pond storm water data from Aubrey,weather station reports from ken , the solar panel data from Sarosh ,and Chealsea Dalton’s Energy Consumption reports for the last three years . Faaria said that Chelsea used to have to have the tree inventory however she said that Paul Donoghue handles it now . Colin’s talk with Andrew Nicholson yeilded us The blue book which was an Expertise directory of faculty, sadly none of their Research was part of UTM campus . http://www.bluebook.utoronto.ca/
Jeff was in communications with Prof. Ron Buliung for U pass Surveys done in the recent years . However , The professor did not allow consent to access to the data as they were in raw form and needed consent from the students that filled out the survey . Mansura contacted Prof. Basiliko’s TA that does Research on soil analysis at UTM however, they refused to Give acess to data due to reports not yet published .
Limitations -or- Roadblocks
Originally , we were aiming to gather data from the chemistry , anthropology , and biology department , However after contacting them doing back ground research , Most of their Research has been outside of UTM and is outside the scope of our project therefore limiting the amount of data we could collect .
We had some technical difficulties obtaining data due to a limited scope of data were collecting and consent issues due to the nature of the data ( sensitive ie financials , Ethics protocol of surveys , not yet published ) .
We also figured out that emailing some contacts had a very low response rate . We weren't sure if they were busy , or not interested in participating or dont have data at all . We did however try to drop by their office hours and see if they were they are willing to partake in project .
Of the people that gave their consent to partake on the project , Some of them are busy and don't have time compile all the data they can give , therefore we mainly just asked them to give whatever they had easy acess too . ( we know they are doing us a favor by giving us access to the data they have so we don't want to pressure them and give them a bad impression )
Limitations on the amount of data we collected seems to be the biggest concern at the moment and we hope to hear more responses in the following week .
For our group:
Since we only collected a small subset of the data available , We plan on moving forward by using half of our resources in data gathering and half in investigating web design and ways of creating an efficient catalogue . In any cause we don't gather enough data , at least we would have a web design and layout that can be used by the next group of students that would like to expand the scope of this project . We hope to integrate Social bookmarking ( tagging ) to catalogue to engage them and makes sorting easier for new data . We would also like to integrate users to be able to link their their report if they use the data set that we have provided . This allows lateral expansion of the database and promotes pride in students work .
For the next group:
The completion of the database is not realistic in this timeline but with this template we hope to be able to guide others to our goal. When the UTM research catalogue operational, the next goal is to combine it with the UofT campus and the Scarborough campus to unify the entire University of Toronto database.
Another collaboration could be with the Sheridan campus since our university is already collaborating with them in other courses.
Works Cited -or- Bibliography
Government of British Columbia. (2006, July). Environmental catalogue design of government of british columbia . Retrieved from http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/eirs/bdp/documents/EIRS_Catalogue_Help_july06.pdf
Slideshare. (n.d.). Layout and webdesign. Retrieved from http://www.slideshare.net/SitePoint/the-principles-of-beautiful-web-design-presentation
Slideshare. (n.d.). Social book marking in academic libraries. Retrieved from http://www.slideshare.net/ellyssa/social-software-in-academic-libraries
Slideshare. (n.d.). What do users think: Next generation. Retrieved from http://www.slideshare.net/xenzen/next-generation-catalogs-what-do-users-think
Wolfr. (n.d.). Design layout and logistics. Retrieved from http://www.slideshare.net/Wolfr/design-for-developersonlineversionlong