There is a wealth of information available that waits to be focused on NOAA’s upcoming challenge—how to be a wise steward of such a broad range of data, given both the reality of limited resources and the enormous growth in data volume that is both inevitable and invaluable.

The importance of long-term data collection, the need to archive environmental and geospatial data for maximal societal benefit, and the recognition of the significant costs involved are all issues the Earth System science and data management communities have long discussed, albeit not always focused on the specific challenges faced by NOAA. In this interim report, the committee is thus attempting to synthesize and apply concepts that have gained broad acceptance in the data management community as preliminary principles and guidelines for archiving environmental and geospatial data in particular.

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