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South Florida Information Access (SOFIA)

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Project Work Plan

U.S. Geological Survey Greater Everglades Science Initiative (Place-Based Studies)

Fiscal Year 2004 Project Work Plan


Project Title: South Florida Information Access (SOFIA) Website
Project Start Date: 1996 Project End Date: 2005
Project Funding: USGS Place-Based Studies Initiative
Principal Investigator: Heather Henkel
Email address: hhenkel@usgs.gov
Phone: 727-803-8747x3028 Fax: 727-803-2032
Mail address: 600 4th St. South,
St. Petersburg, FL 33716

Project Summary:

In 1995, the U. S. Geological Survey (USGS) began a research program in support of the restoration of the Everglades and South Florida ecosystem. USGS personnel have been conducting research projects designed to provide sound scientific information on which resource managers can base their decisions. The USGS recognized the need for a central site to provide all interested parties with interdisciplinary information from this research and access to these data. The South Florida Information Access web site (SOFIA) was created as a 'one-stop-shopping' access point for research on South Florida (http://sofia.usgs.gov/). The SOFIA site provides seamless access to project descriptions, publications, data, metadata, presentations, and contact information. General interest items, such as educational items, photographs and posters, are also available on the site. In addition, we have been posting historical documents related to South Florida restoration, and have made these available through out extensive publications section (http://sofia.usgs.gov/publications.html).

Project Objectives and Strategy:

The objective of the SOFIA website is to continue to provide a usable and Section-508-compliant website that provides direct access to all South Florida Place-Based Studies information. Every effort is made to ensure that the SOFIA site is usable and accessible, though usability testing, link verification, and checking for Section 508 compliance.

The initial version of the site was specifically tailored for scientists, managers and decision-makers. More recent and expanded versions of the site have added educational materials and general outreach items designed for the general public. The number of visitors to the site has increased from just under 80 per day in 1998 to over 1400 visitors/day in early 2003. The SOFIA site has grown tremendously since its inception and currently contains over 5500 documents.

Potential Impacts and Major Products:

The SOFIA site provides a single access point for a variety of scientific information including data, publications, project proposals and contact information. New information is added daily to the site, as results and products become available. Our major product is the website, including our extensive metadata collection as well as our data exchange site.

In April 2003, the SOFIA website conducted a usability test to determine how useful and effective the website is. Forty people participated in the test, including scientists and managers from various federal and state agencies and universities. The site did very well, with 100% stating that they would return to the SOFIA site and 90% stating that SOFIA can help them do their job better.


Roy Sonenshein (SOFIA Database, IMS, Digital Library) and Jo Anne Stapleton (SOFIA Metadata)


The clients are all government agencies, educational institutions, and public and private organizations responsible for, doing research on, or interested in the Everglades restoration.


Title of Task 1: SOFIA Web Portal
Task Funding: USGS Place-Based Studies Initiative
Task Leaders: Heather Henkel
Phone: 727-803-8747 x3028
FAX: 727-803-2032
Task Status (proposed or active): Active
Task priority: High
Task Personnel: Heather Henkel, Tracy Enright (contractor), Kathy Pegram (contractor)

Task Summary and Objectives: The task summary is the same as the project summary. Our objectives are to continue to provide a robust, accurate, and accessible website for the South Florida Place-Based Study program.

Work to be undertaken during the proposal year and a description of the methods and procedures:

Work will continue on the creation of new materials for the SOFIA site. This will involve creating new project pages, adding work plans, summary sheets, and publications. We will also continue to add relevant South Florida information, including materials from sources outside of the PBS program. In FY05, we will once again post relevant materials for the next Greater Everglades Ecosystem Restoration (GEER) conference.

Work will continue in helping design the SOFIA Internet Map Service (IMS), in cooperation with Roy Sonenshein.

Planned Outreach:

As in previous years, demonstrations of the website will be given at various meetings, conferences, and open houses. In addition, the SOFIA site staff works with the students of the Academy of Science and Technology at Forest Hill High School in West Palm Beach, Florida, helping to create and post research projects and related educational information. Please see http://sofia.usgs.gov/forest_hill/.

Title of Task 2: SOFIA Data Dissemination
Task Funding: USGS Place-Based Studies Initiative
Task Leaders: Heather Henkel
Phone: 727-803-8747 x3028
FAX: 727-803-2032
Task Status (proposed or active): Active
Task priority: High
Task Personnel: Heather Henkel, Kathy Pegram (contractor)

Task Summary and Objectives:

In addition to the project and publication information provided on the SOFIA site, we also provide easy access to data and metadata. The data exchange site (http://sofia.usgs.gov/exchange/) provides direct access to a variety of data sets within the SOFIA program. These data sets are organized by topic and include site maps and methodology information. Access to Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC)-compliant metadata is made available through both the SOFIA site (http://sofia.usgs.gov/metadata) and a National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI) node. Our objectives are to continue to add all available data and metadata to the SOFIA site.

Work to be undertaken during the proposal year and a description of the methods and procedures:

Work will continue with the addition of metadata records in cooperation with Jo Anne Stapleton (SOFIA Metadata project). New and previously created data sets will also be added to the site. We also plan on enhancing the data exchange site to help better organize the information provided.

Planned Outreach:

The data exchange and metadata portions of the SOFIA site will be demonstrated alongside the rest of the website at a variety of conferences, forums, and workshops.


The SOFIA website provides a centralized place for users (Federal, State, and local regional agencies, managers, and decision-makers) to access past, current, and future South Florida information including proposals, data, metadata, publications, and contact information as well as upcoming events in the South Florida area.

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U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey
This page is: http://sofia.usgs.gov/projects/workplans04/sofia-web.html
Comments and suggestions? Contact: Heather Henkel - Webmaster
Last updated: 04 September, 2013 @ 02:08 PM(HSH)