Projects are the organizing principle behind USGS science. Publications, datasets, information articles, and web portals only happen because they are sponsored by a project. And these project can succeed only if they have tools to track and control the progress of the many factors necessary to complete the effort.
The Fort Collins Science Center (FORT) works with Climate Science Centers (CSCs), Landscape Conservation Cooperatives (LCCs), and USGS Science Centers to design, implement, and support project lifecycle tools. These tools help managers and Principle Investigators (PIs) work with project records, metadata, and products stored in ScienceBase, from the initial record creation to eventual display on a public website. This work allows users to find all products associated with a project, all projects with a common geospatial footprint and/or topic, and relationships among previously disconnected products and projects. By ensuring records and datasets are accessible. The tool supports the USGS Data Lifecycle model, the LCC Integrated Data Management Network, and the application of CSC and Science Center data management standards from "cradle to grave."
The project lifecycle tools built by FORT include:
Science Base is a collaborative scientific data and information management platform used directly by science teams. ScienceBase provides access to aggregated information derived from many data and information domains, including feeds from existing data systems, metadata catalogs, and scientists contributing new and original content. Its architecture is designed to help science teams and data practitioners centralize their data and information resources to create a foundation needed for their work.
Request for Proposal Manager (RFPManager)
The Request for Proposal Manager (RFPManager) provides managers with a simple, configurable tool that gathers information and documents for funding opportunities. Its multi-step process follows the RFP process through the submission, scoring, review and final selection process. Users of RFPManager (managers, reviewers and PIs) access information through simple dashboards, configuration screens or a variety of reports. Once final projects are selected - they can be "pushed" to ScienceBase to create a project metadata record.
Data Management Plan Editor (DMPEditor)
The Data Management Plan Editor (DMPEditor) allows PIs and data stewards to maintain the Data Management Plan (DMP) throughout the project lifecycle. Data Management Plans can either be entered directly into the system or imported from RFP Manager; after completion, this tool sends a copy of the DMP to ScienceBase. Project manages can implement a set of templates to the DMP process, ensuring that plans reflect the needs of the project.
Data Entry for Project Tracking and Highlighting (DEPTH)
The Data Entry for Project Tracking and Highlighting (DEPTH) tool provides a front-end application to ScienceBase that provides user-friendly data entry and data correction of information related to project cataloging. DEPTH is driven by ScienceBase web services, delivering controlled vocabularies, contacts, and metadata from projects stored in ScienceBase. The application also provides a variety of management-level reports.
Project Dashboard (PDASH)
The Project Dashboard (PDASH) tool tracks project deliverables from "cradle to grave", consolidating all project status information for PIs, directors, coordinators, and data stewards one place to view the status of a project. Managers can create and track project deadlines, with the system notifying managers and coordinators of upcoming deadlines. The system also sends email task requests, reminders at set times before due dates, and even reminders to Climate Science Directors that "reminders" are needed. The messages are not tied to an inbox, allowing easy sharing across networks and partners.
Project Web Portals
One of the advantages of using ScienceBase for project records is that a scientist can utilize the ScienceBase web services to create downstream applications. FORT works with project staff to design, build, and implement web sites that use these services to display web mappers, search interfaces, project descriptions, image catalogs, and many other features.