Building a science community through data tools
The Southern Ocean Observing System is building a community out of large numbers of scientists, data managers, and institutions that don’t usually work together. It spans more than sixty countries, National Antarctic Programs, and oceanography programs across a multitude of scientific disciplines. Creating a cohesive and collaborative community from such disparate actors is a challenging task, but a necessary one if the SOOS vision of a sustained system of coordinated ocean observations is to be achieved. For SOOS, our data systems are one of the most visible ways in which we bring together activities from across the community, as well as providing an incentive for our scientists to engage with formal data management activities within their institutions and nations. SOOSmap is a map-based portal of highly curated and standardised datasets, developed for SOOS by EMODnet Physics, and it provides not just access to datasets but also a very visible way to identify gaps in observing and data sharing efforts in the Southern Ocean, and a tool to support and improve observing system design. In this presentation, we will also describe our metadata portal, hosted by NASA, and our engagement through POLDER with efforts to develop federated metadata search for polar regions, which will make it much easier for researchers to find and access the wide variety of data types which haven’t yet been incorporated into a standardised and QCed data management system. Such tools are crucial for creating a tangible shared outcome of SOOS’ efforts and the desire to get their data “on the map” is a direct incentive for our science community to engage with data managers to achieve the SOOS vision.