Ocean variables, such as sea-surface temperature, surface radiation budget, dissolved oxygen, nutrients, and sea level.
Marine-resource information, such as primary productivity, survey species composition, fish pathology (heavy metals), and ecosystem surveys.
NSF's Long-Term Ecological Research network has 19 sites from Alaska to Antarctica with a network office in Seattle. Each site gathers data on the five core subjects: primary production, population and tropic structure, organic-matter accumulation, inorganic inputs, and site disturbance. The data sets are published in a Core Data Catalog, and access to them is provided via the Internet. Each site also maintains a geographic information system (GIS) and is capable of analyzing remote-sensing data.
NSF also is funding the computerization of data from the nation's natural-history museums. Data models and programs for standardizing databases are being developed for different types of collections (e.g., MUSE for fish collections and SMASCH for botanical collections). Local data are being geo-referenced to allow mapping entry into a GIS.
NSF is developing a plan for a National Center for Ecological Synthesis and Analysis. The center would serve as a ''think tank" where single investigators and groups might come for several weeks or months to use computers and data to analyze and model ecological questions. The center is not envisioned as a gatherer of new data, but as a user of existing data.