Since 1971, research personnel at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab (DISL) have collected valuable environmental and ecosystem level data as part of research and monitoring endeavors. This work spans a broad range of topics within oceanography and ecology, including fisheries, invertebrate zoology, phytoplankton and zooplankton ecology, biogeochemical cycling, trophic dynamics, physical processes, and marine resource management and conservation. The resulting data are of potentially high value to other researchers, the educational community, managers, policy makers, and the general public for understanding changes in ecosystems and in climate.
However, the true value of these data to facilitate scientific studies, education, and outreach depends on data quality, retention, and accessibility to end-users. DISL personnel and administrators recognize the need for and benefits of a comprehensive data management system to enhance the quality, retention, and accessibility of our datasets and to encourage participation by researchers in well-developed data management programs.
DISL has a Data Management Mission Statement, a Data Management Center, and Data Management Policy that are supported by a Data Management Advisory Committee to facilitate the documentation, archiving, and accessibility of high quality data. Together, they provide a consistent set of protocols and services for quality assurance, archiving (storage and retention), documentation, and distribution of data collected by DISL personnel.