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Great Falls of the Passaic River at Paterson, N.J

Great Falls of the Passaic River at Paterson, N.J.




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Penobscot Indian Nation Database

Project Title:Penobscot Indian Nation Database
Project Number: LJ00EHV
Project Chief:
Project Start Date: 14-MAR-2011
Project End Date: 30-SEP-2011

Project Objectives

The overall objectives of this extension of the project are to:

  1. Accommodate vertically-oriented constituent data as the new download format from handheld data recorders (affects several processes and data structures);
  2. Update the main database design and domain tables as needed;
  3. Update the Archival process to accommodate the vertical raw data format;
  4. Update the Field data download and bottle check-in/processing procedures and methods;
  5. Update the Lab procedures and provide a more generic way to control how forms are populated (based on a constituent-container relationship);
  6. Implement new procedural QA rules as necessary;
  7. Evaluate how to accommodate continuously-recorded data;
  8. Provide additional training of PIN staff on data management and handling.

Statement of Problem

A database was developed by the USGS for the Penobscot Indian Nation (PIN) in 1999 to store water-quality and associated data.  A data-entry application in MS Access was also provided. The resulting database and data-entry application are referred to as the Penobscot Indian Nation Environmental (PINE) database.

In early 2006 the USGS was contacted by PIN staff about updating the data system to make it easier to use (particularly lab data entry) and to review the PINE structure in the context of their current sampling program. They also decided to use hand-held devices in the field to record data instead of relying only on paper forms as in the past. A new partnership was formed and since that time the USGS has continued to work with the Penobscot Indian Nation in the further development of the PINE data system. This work has included switching raw data files from Excel to Access, implementing database design changes to accommodate site visits, direct loading of data formats from handheld devices, new data-review/edit and data-loading programs, and lab support through bottle check-in procedures and automatic setup of lab data-entry forms based on checked-in sample containers. The resulting system of database files and applications is now called the Penobscot Indian Nation Water-Quality Data System.

In the summer of 2007 the Penobscot Indian Nation was approved for a grant from EPA to establish a WQX data- exchange network node at their location.  They have since implemented the node infrastructure and mapped the PINE database design to WQX in order to produce output compatible with the WQX schema. Additional technical support was provided for updates to structures and processes in 2008 and 2009.

The partnership with USGS from 2006 through 2009 also included training of PIN staff in MS Access and form development, and additional expansion has taken place in the interim along with discussion of future directions and needs.  For FY11 the USGS has been requested for development assistance to further improve the PINE data system, and to provide additional training. Several tasks have been discussed between the parties, and prioritized. The effort in FY11 will follow priorities until the funds are depleted.

Strategy and Approach

The work will be coordinated between PIN and USGS through phone meetings, WebEx interactive work sessions, email, and one site visit to Maine for intensive collaborative work. The work will consist of workflow review, database design analysis, programming, creating or editing of forms and reports, training PIN staff, producing written communications of evaluations and recommendations, and documentation of new tools or procedures.

The USGS will work directly with PIN staff responsible for the design and operation of the PINE data system, and with any other staff (e.g., field and laboratory staff) whose involvement will facilitate the completion of the project in a timely fashion.


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