With the test station coming up later today, science is soon to begin. With this comes data, so data manager Joana Beja tells us what it entails:

Managing the data for the Changing Arctic Ocean (CAO) programme is not a straightforward task, with data being collected by 14 projects, funding from Germany and the UK, scientists working in different labs in both countries, fieldwork on research ships, but also smaller boats and land, it can seem a daunting task if not managed appropriately.

The way this programme is set up means that BSF funded data is managed by German data centres and the NERC funded data is managed by UK data centres, namely either the British Oceanographic Data Centre (BODC) or the Polar Data Centre (BAS-PDC). Communication between the data centres is key to ensure the data are not duplicated and are linked and easily discoverable to users (be it the wider community or CAO programme members).

BODC is the primary data centre for the CAO in the UK and myself and other colleagues have been working as on-board data managers on the 6 cruises that took place on the RRS James Clark Ross since 2017.

Our main job whilst on the ship is to make sure the appropriate metadata is captured and collated but we also provide a helping hand when it comes to collecting samples. From “bottle-coping” when the CTD is on deck and ready to sample, to make sure the metadata is appropriately collated during net trawls, to doing sediment sampling or sieving mud for macrofauna, I’ve done a bit of everything whilst on board and have had a great experience working alongside everyone the different teams.

I have a physical oceanography background so being part of geological and biological focused cruises meant that I’ve also learned a lot about these two disciplines, and the fieldwork involved in collecting the samples required for the science programmes.

When we are back in the office we make sure the data we received is securely archived, properly documented, quality controlled and made available to the wider community through our website.

Myself (yellow hard hat) and Liz Talbot sampling a box core on JR17007

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