From Water to Web Workshop Series

August 28, 2019

Written by Emma Wattie, Atlantic Water Network

This past winter, Atlantic Water Network’s (AWN) staff traveled throughout Atlantic Canada to deliver our “ From Water to Web ” workshop series, with a focus on data management. This workshop series followed the launch of Atlantic DataStream, an open access web portal for water quality data.

As we supported community-based monitoring (CBM) organizations in uploading their data to the platform, it was clear that data management plays a key role in organizing, sharing and communicating the results of monitoring programs, but is often left until the last minute or skipped entirely. AWN designed the water to web workshops to highlight data management and help groups integrate it into their program planning.

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The day long workshop was designed to be as environmentally friendly as possible as well as incorporate as much hands-on learning as possible. The dynamic exercises went over everything from transposing data, uploading data to Atlantic DataStream and how to import data into the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment's Water Quality Index Calculator. If you were not able to attend the workshop in person, all workshop material is still available online !

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Though data management might seem like a dull topic for a full day’s workshop, we received lots of great feedback on how participants valued discussing data management and could see it being integrated into their organizations’ data management plans. 

One participant wrote: “ I like that the workshop highlighted the importance in a group having a data management practice. It’s important that groups understand how data should be collected, stored and shared in a way that is standardized. I enjoy all aspects of the workshop. I really appreciate all the resources from the day being made available through Google Drive. I will be going over the information again to solidify the topics presented.” 

Another said: “  I want to thank you for putting this workshop on. It was very well done and I think I can speak for myself and others when I say that there was a lot of value in the presentation that was taken away and brought back to the workplace.” 

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It’s AWN’s hope that the impacts of this workshop series will result in stronger data management in the region as well as more accessible data and a better understanding of the use data stored on Atlantic DataStream. We hope that this training will create a ripple effect within organizations to create champions for volunteer monitoring programs and the importance of data management.  This workshop series would not have been possible without the support of the Canadian Internet Registry Authority's Community Investment program. Thank you CIRA for supporting data management in Atlantic Canada! 

We believe that data management and analysis needs to be continually be considered for any monitoring program. Our hope is that the workshops planted seeds in participants’ minds for data management to be incorporated throughout the programming. 

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Do you want more information?   Even though this round of CIRA funded workshops has finished, AWN has received funding through the New Brunswick Environmental Trust Fund  to continue the series in New Brunswick in Fall 2019/Winter 2020. Stay tuned for more information on when these workshops will take place! 

Keep in touch with AWN by signing up for  our mailing list, or following us on  Facebook  or  Twitter !

This blog post was originally published on the Atlantic Water Network website.

Emma Wattie is the Program Manager at the Atlantic Water Network. She has been working with Community-Based Monitoring Organizations for the last four years as part of the Community-Based Environmental Monitoring Network. She’s a proud Maritimer and loves any excuse to get outside. In her spare time she’s an avid reader, knitter and baker.

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