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The Role Of Data Management In Engaging Communities In Arctic Research: Overview Of The Exchange For Local Observations And Knowledge Of The Arctic (ELOKA)

Peter L. Pulsifer, Shari Fox Gearheard, Henry P. Huntington, Mark A. Parsons, C. McNeave, Heidi S. McCann
Published 2012 · Geology
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Abstract Local and traditional knowledge (LTK) was a key component of many projects in the 2007–2009 International Polar Year (IPY) and much information was amassed through maps, interviews with local experts, photographs, artwork, and other forms of documentation. Unlike conventional physical and life sciences, few options exist for those seeking data management for social, cultural, or traditional knowledge projects. This poses many problems for researchers and communities alike. The collaborative demands of the IPY data policy emphasized the need for effective and appropriate means of recording, preserving, and sharing the information collected in Arctic communities. This article describes the history and activities of the Exchange for Local Observations and Knowledge of the Arctic, a project launched during the IPY that continues to facilitate the collection, preservation, exchange, and use of local observations and knowledge. Using examples, we describe new approaches and special considerations for managing community data. We also show how data management can assist in linking LTK and various sciences and building connections between researchers and communities and across communities. Data management, if designed to serve local needs as well as broader interests, can help to facilitate new relationships between local communities and global researchers.
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