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Finding the Forest in the Trees: The Challenge of Combining Diverse Environmental Data
directors of the Argonne, the Brookhaven, the Oak Ridge, and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratories, as well as four additional members appointed by the President. The four National Laboratories were designated as a research management consortium to carry out a comprehensive and coordinated research plan, and the Administrator of NOAA was designated as the director of the overall research program.
In view of the complexity and extent of the 10-year National Acid Precipitation Assessment Program (NAPAP) study and the limitations of the committee's time to devote to this task, the committee decided to concentrate its review efforts on data management aspects of the Aquatic Processes and Effects portion of the total program. In addition to the documents specifically cited below, the committee reviewed a number of other publications relevant to this case study (NAPAP, 1990a,b,c,d,e,f,g; 1991a,b; Oversight Review Board of the NAPAP, 1991; Rubin, 1991; and Rubin et al., 1992.)
VARIABLES MEASURED AND SOURCES OF DATA FOR THE AQUATIC PROCESSES AND EFFECTS PORTION OF NAPAP
The highly diverse data and information needs for the Aquatic Processes and Effects part of the total study are summarized in the National Acid Precipitation Assessment Plan under two topics (Interagency Task Force on Acid Precipitation, 1982):
first, the chemical alteration of water quality, including ground water, drinking water supplies, streams, and lakes; and secondly, the effects on the species and populations that make up biologically productive components of aquatic ecosystems. The information needs on water quality effects from acid precipitation concern regional trends, factors affecting watershed tolerances, the chemistry of metal mobilization, modeling, and related dose/response relationships for watersheds, lakes, and streams, and the risk associated with effects on drinking water.
Research components designed to obtain the needed information are presented under the following headings:
Monitoring National and Regional Water. "In addition to the water chemistry, factors to be documented should include: weather and acid deposition records; air trajectory data and the frequency of lightning (a natural nitrate production mechanism); soils, geology, and land use in the watershed and upwind areas; and watershed management trends that could affect the acid neutralizing and buffering capacity of the vegetation and soil."