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For over 20 years, ESIP meetings have brought together the most innovative thinkers and leaders around Earth science data, forming a community dedicated to making Earth science data more discoverable, accessible and useful to researchers, practitioners, policymakers, and the public. The theme of the July meeting is "Data for All People: From Generation to Use and Understanding."

Registered attendees can join us virtually at https://2022julyesipmeeting.qiqochat.com/.
Tuesday, July 19 • 2:00pm - 3:30pm
Context is Key: Enhancing Data Access, Use, and Understanding

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Learning from and using data often requires understanding the context in which it was created and its intended purposes. Why was this data collected? What are the limitations of the data? Who is the intended audience? What role does it play, if any, in governing the way we regulate our environment? Experts will often have pre-existing knowledge providing answers to these questions. They might not only know more about the data used to conduct research in their field, but also be adept at finding out more about the data and its potential implementations in any field. For members of the general public, understanding the context surrounding data can instead be a challenge that presents a barrier to its access and use.

This session will challenge participants to probe how members of the public learn about and use federal environmental data. We will evaluate the accessibility and content of several EPA webpages about the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS); explore the online landing pages for the datasets from which these webpages’ content was derived; and examine the connections between these two types of online resources.

Through this session we hope to start a conversation about the discoverability and usability of data underpinning environmental regulation, especially from the perspective of users of government websites. We hope to challenge participants to consider what steps they can take to ensure data and information supported by data are cross-discoverable and understandable. In addition, we hope to define what threshold or level of access and contextualization is most ideal and most realistic. Should data always be readily accessible from informational resources? How much contextualization is needed to make data truly accessible? We must address this and other questions about the contextual framework around public environmental information to identify meaningful efforts we can take to make this data available to everyone.

How to prepare for this session:
Since we will be looking at government websites, bringing a laptop to the session will facilitate effective participation.
If interested, you can learn more about the session organizer’s (EDGI) previous work on these and similar issues at envirodatagov.org/website-governance

avatar for Alejandro Paz

Alejandro Paz

Energy and Environment Library Liaison / EDGI Analyst, MIT & EDGI

Tuesday July 19, 2022 2:00pm - 3:30pm EDT
Ballroom 4 600 Commonwealth Pl, Pittsburgh, PA 15222