FEMC Data Rescue Hits a Milestone! The FEMC has sought to alleviate the risk of losing inaccessible data by engaging with natural resources organizations to identify vulnerable datasets and documents across the Northeast. Matthias Sirch, FEMC Data Technician, has been spearheading this effort over the past year, traveling from the Catskills in New York all the way to Baxter State Park in Maine to rescue data at risk.

The initial phase of the Data Rescue project began by contacting researchers and land managers across the region from a broad range of disciplines. These contacts worked for non-profits, educational institutions, and state and federal agencies. From their responses, FEMC staff compiled the Data Rescue inventory to shed light on where this material is and what is required for its preservation. These may be air and water quality studies, soil analyses, and forest or wildlife surveys, all collected within or contributing to our understanding of northeastern forests.

With help from the FEMC team, including interns and staff affiliates Brenna Christensen, Kira Cincotta, Gene Desideraggio, Daria Etchings, Lukas Kopacki, Lucyanna Labadie, Yoshiya Ohno, Julia Pupko, Maddie Quill, and Skylar Roach, the Data Rescue project has scanned and archived more than 18,000 pages of datasheets, field notes, reports, aerial imagery, and photo documentation while also digitizing over 1,000 pages from this collection. We also assisted with data management for retiring individuals in an effort to retain valuable institutional knowledge. Through this process, we were able to identify many old forest health surveys that can serve as baselines for our ecosystem monitoring.

With no limit to the extent of this undertaking, the FEMC is still searching for data to save. If you know of any material you wish to include in the Data Rescue inventory, contact the FEMC here. For more information about the process, check out the new promotional video on the Data Rescue's homepage.

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