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"Some people talk to animals. Not many listen though. That's the problem."

-A.A. Milne

Acoustic Data Archiving

Collecting long term passive acoustic recordings that can inform a wealth of different areas of a species ecology and help towards conservation and management goals. The process of collecting thousands of hours of data leaves us with petabytes (much bigger than a terabyte!) of data. These data need to be stored and archived so that they can be used for analyses now and in the future. As part of our endeavor to archive and store there data we have two endeavors underway.

Keeping our data in order: Tethys metadatabase

Greek goddess Tethys
Tethys: Greek aquatic sea Goddess

Tethys is a temporal-spatial database that was built through a collaboratively funded project through the National Oceanographic Partnership Program aimed at storing the metadata (e.g. latitude, longitude, recorder ID, acoustic detections, GPS tracklines) associated with both the data collection and analysis side of our work. Dr. Marie Roch, at San Diego State University is the mastermind behind the database and several scientists from various NMFS science centers as well as those from Scripps Institution of Oceanography served as the beta users to help work out the kinks. Further development work is still needed but this was a good first step.

Archiving our sound files for the future

data visualization graphic
Visualizing Data
Image credit: NOAA NCEI

We are working with NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) on a pilot project to work out what is needed and how much it costs to store passive acoustic recordings for the long term. As part of this pilot project, both the NEFSC and the National Marine Mammal Laboratory will provide a small amount of passive acoustic recordings for NCEI to trial and work out how to handle this type of data. The Mission of NOAA's NCEI is to provide long-term scientific data stewardship for the Nation's geophysical data, ensuring quality, integrity, and accessibility. Once this pilot project is completed we are hoping to find resources and include other federal agencies into this undertaking with the aim of providing a venue for long term passive acoustic data storage.

Partners: SDSU, Scripps, NMFS Science Centers, NOAA NCEI

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