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A Catalyst For Solutions

The lack of integration and management of data across agencies, institutions, research centers, and NGOs hinders our ability to analyze and use the valuable data we have available to us. To more effectively (and quickly) inform policy options and alternatives, we are facilitating the development of the Forest Data Hub to utilize an information modeling approach informed by on-the-ground conditions and models.

The role of the Forest Data Hub is to create an integrated view over critical data resources so they can be driving decisions faster, more accurately, and more transparently; it is a catalyzer of solutions using data from multiple stakeholders. The hub will coordinate and integrate federal, state, and local forest management and carbon accounting programs, and serve as a clearinghouse for new and emerging technologies and data platforms.

At its essence, the Forest Data Hub is a technical project to create a digital infrastructure. It could be helpful to think of the Forest Data Hub as if it were an energy grid: its function is to connect information sources, helping to standardize linkages to data while ensuring that people are able to access the right type of data, at the right time, to make critical decisions. It will integrate the products of some of the other CWI projects, such as the Regional Resource Kits. In other words, the broader information infrastructure created by the Forest Data Hub can be most effectively utilized by the tools created within the other project buckets, which is how it will inform actual on-the-ground decision making an implementation.

To that end, we are collaborating with stakeholders to identify data requirements and needs, create a glossary of terms and identify essential-use cases for the Forest Data Hub. The resulting community-based blueprint will harness the connections between scientists, data producers, and land managers to create pathways for a scalable, sustainable, and more effective data hub.

Project Lead: Dr. İlkay Altıntaş, research scientist at the University of California San Diego