program has been under way since 1948 and is supported by the National Marine Fisheries Service, the California Department of Fish and Game, and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. It exemplifies several scientific and organizational features that are important to the success of interfacing diverse data in interdisciplinary research.

The committee formed a separate subcommittee to evaluate each case study and established a list of evaluation criteria to help guide the fact finding. These criteria are presented in Appendix A. The subcommittees obtained briefings from the researchers and data managers, reviewed key background documents, and made site visits in all but the FIFE and Sub-Saharan Africa case studies. The subcommittees then reported back to the full committee both orally and in writing. The resulting case study reports were the product of the entire committee's deliberations.


Chapters 2 through 7 present the results of the six case studies described above and an analysis of the major data interfacing issues that were identified through the case studies and related research. These chapters are all similarly structured, with sections containing the relevant background, the variables measured and the sources of data, the major data management and interfacing elements and issues, and the lessons learned. Some of the more complex case studies, notably the Impact Assessment Project for Drought Early Warning in the Sahel and the National Acid Precipitation Assessment Program, have a number of additional sections.

The final chapter provides a thorough overview of the issues and requirements related to the interfacing of diverse environmental data. It identifies the problem and its context, describes the barriers to effective data interfacing, and presents Ten Keys to Success for data interfacing activities. Supporting examples from the case studies are provided throughout.


National Research Council (NRC). 1990. Research Strategies for the U.S. Global Change Research Program. National Academy Press, Washington, D.C.

National Research Council (NRC). 1992.Combining Information: Statistical Issues and Opportunities for Research. National Academy Press, Washington, D.C.

National Science and Technology Council (NSTC). 1994. Our Changing Planet: The FY 1995 U.S. Global Change Research Program. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C.

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