The United States Geological Survey Science Data Lifecycle Model

Download the document. See also this article in Journal of eScience Librarianship for a discussion of the model’s development.

U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) data represent corporate assets with potential value beyond any immediate research use, and therefore need to be accounted for and properly managed throughout their lifecycle. Recognizing these motives, a USGS team developed a Science Data Lifecycle Model (SDLM) as a high-level view of data—from conception through preservation and sharing—to illustrate how data management activities relate to project workflows, and to assist with understanding the expectations of proper data management. In applying the Model to research activities, USGS scientists can ensure that data products will be well-described, preserved, accessible, and fit for re-use. The Model also serves as a structure to help the USGS evaluate and improve policies and practices for managing scientific data, and to identify areas in which new tools and standards are needed.

Weighing the Economic Benefits vs. Environmental Impacts of New Buildings

Read the full story in Triple Pundit.

New buildings can bring income to the communities in which they’re built by attracting new business and residents to the area. The materials and fuels used to build a new structure also have significant environmental impacts, and new impacts arise once the building is in operation.

Do the many economic benefits of new buildings outweigh the environmental harm they can cause? Could we reduce new buildings’ environmental footprints while still retaining their financial advantages?

McCormick’s recipe for packaging that’s more sustainable

Read the full story in Packaging Digest.

Mike Okoroafor, vp, global sustainability & packaging innovation, discusses the key ingredients of McCormick & Company’s sustainable packaging projects.

Mississippi River/Gulf of Mexico Watershed Nutrient Task Force 2017 Report to Congress

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This 2017 report highlights specific examples of progress achieved by the Hypoxia Task Force (HTF) and its members. The report also discusses strategies for meeting the HTF’s goals, as well as key lessons the HTF has learned, including the importance of: planning and targeting at a watershed scale; identifying the critical pollutants, their sources, and means of transport; using appropriate models to plan and evaluate implementation; using appropriate monitoring designs to evaluate conservation outcomes; understanding farmers’ attitudes toward conservation practices and working with
them through appropriate messengers to offer financial and technical assistance; and sustaining engagement with the agricultural community following adoption of conservation systems.

Illinois sportfish recovery a result of 1972 Clean Water Act, scientists report

Read the full story from the University of Illinois.

Populations of largemouth bass, bluegill, catfish and other sportfish are at the highest levels recorded in more than a century in the Illinois River, according to a new report. Their dramatic recovery, from populations close to zero near Chicago throughout much of the 20th century, began just after implementation of the Clean Water Act, the researchers say.

Senators Introduce Bill to Reduce ‘Colossal and Completely Preventable Waste’

Read the full story from ProPublica.

Two U.S. senators introduced legislation Tuesday requiring federal agencies to come up with solutions to the waste caused by oversized eyedrops and single-use drug vials, citing a ProPublica storypublished earlier this month.

Resource efficiency in practice: Closing mineral cycles

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Nutrients such as nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) are essential elements for living organisms, including plants, animals and bacteria. They are used as fertilisers in agriculture to guarantee high yields and quality products. However, the increasing demand not only in food production, but also in feed, fibre and fuel, has resulted in an increasing use of N, P and K. The depletion of non-renewable resources (such as mined phosphates rock) jeopardises the viability of the current agricultural production systems in the long term. In addition, while progress has been made towards sustainable agricultural practices, a number of inefficiencies are observed in nutrient use which can lead to the degradation of land, soil and water resources. Ultimately, this can impede well-being and economic growth from farm level to EU level. In this context, the first objective of the project “Resource efficiency in practice – Closing mineral cycles” was to identify the most promising measures at regional and farm levels, in particular in nutrient saturated areas, to improve the use of nutrients and to reduce their negative impacts. The second objective was to communicate the information gathered to farmers, farmers’ associations, and regional decision-makers in an educational style to empower them to take action at their level. Communication channels included leaflets, a dedicated website (http://mineral-cycles.eu) and four regional conferences, as well as a final conference in Brussels.