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ClimoBase: lessons learned while rescuing observational data from extinction

Presenter 1
Katie Smitt
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Graduate School of Library and Information Science

ClimoBase is a dataset that includes approximately 7000 files of climate-related measurements collected over a 14-year period at sites in Churchill, Manitoba, Marantz Lake, Manitoba, and Inuvik, Northwest Territories. The original dataset was created in 1999 with an extraction program built in Fortran. In 2013, this valuable data is barely machine-readable and in dire need of rescue. This paper will describe the steps that were taken to rescue, migrate and preserve the unique observational data within ClimoBase for future use in climate science, and the many lessons that were learned in the process. It will address best practices for a data rescue workflow and the importance of preserving research datasets and their metadata.

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