Data Sharing

Cross-jurisdictional partnerships need data management systems to achieve their resource conservation goals. However, creating systems that work within different organizational platforms and requirements is notoriously difficult. To help overcome this barrier to collaboration, the Data Sharing Working Group is working to:

  1. Develop shareable and effective platforms/systems that can be beta tested and adapted within the Network and operationalized if effective;

  2. Build systems that expand the functionality of tools that have successfully been used within a partnership framework (e.g., Calflora, CNDDB, etc.); and

  3. Identify guidelines, policies, and regulations that should be modified to support improved data sharing (in conjunction with the Policy and Funding Working Group).

Our Work and Additional Resources

This working group is tackling cross-jurisdictional and multi-agency data sharing on a number of platforms. These include:

1. Invasive Plant Early Detection Data-Sharing Model Training

Breaking down data silos is particularly critical for the early detection of invasive plants, which is only successful when paired with rapid response (EDRR). As One Tam built a cross-jurisdictional EDRR program, it adopted the Calflora Database (Calflora) as the hub for invasive plant data and invested in improving existing workflows. After successfully using the system for three field seasons, they began to share this model with California State Parks districts across the state.

A One Tam staff member well-versed in Calflora, GIS, and vegetation data collection helps identify data collection and analysis needs. Data collection forms and a group structure are developed within the Calflora Database over the course of a few months. State Parks staff gain an overview of the possibilities of the system, while sharing their district’s specific needs.

This information is then used to tailor a live training where State Parks district data managers and data collectors—including staff, interns, volunteers, contractors, and partners—are trained on system fundamentals, data collection, quality control, and techniques unique to managing invasive plant data in Calflora. If time allows, a field trip provides an opportunity for users to put what they have learned into practice.

2. Improving Rare Plant Data Collection and Sharing

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) curates the California Natural Diversity Database (CNDDB), which contains geospatial data on the rare, threatened, and endangered species. While this database contains the most comprehensive information on these sensitive species, there are other valuable data sources that are not included. One is the public Calflora Database (Calflora) for wild plants.

Rare plant data is regularly contributed to Calflora, which is then mined by CDFW staff as time allows. However, One Tam is working in partnership with staff from both groups to improve rare plant data collection and sharing.

The first step was to convene rare plant botanists from around the state to take a critical look at how to improve the data collection form. A beta form was then tested in the 2019 growing season, and a feedback survey allows testers to provide input on further revisions. Next, the team intends to review methods for simplifying the movement of data between the two systems, likely including a customized export feature and a “share rare species data with CNDDB” policy that will make more rare plant data available to CNDDB staff.

Learn More

This working group meets by phone to coordinate activities and share updates. To join us, contact Sharon Farrell at info@calandscapestewardshipnetwork.org.

Participants

  • Dave Best, GIS Specialist, National Park Service

  • Lizzy Edson, Natural Resources Data Coordinator, Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy

  • Rachel Kesel, Conservation Management Specialist, One Tam/Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy

  • Claudia Mengelt, California Science Coordinator, Science Applications, USFWS

  • Kat Powelson, Science Support Coordinator, Science Applications, USFWS

  • Craig Scott, GIS Specialist, National Park Service

  • Zac Stanley, GIS Specialist, Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy

Consultant Support

  • Green Info Network is supporting the development of cloud-based geospatial data sharing mode

  • Discussions with Sitka are underway to assess Project Tracking platform needs

  • Calflora is under contract to advance a streamlined (and field-friendly) linkage between Calflora and CCNDB databases