BPA Fish and Wildlife FY 1997 Proposal

Section 1. Administrative
Section 2. Narrative
Section 3. Budget

see CBFWA and BPA funding recommendations

Section 1. Administrative

Title of project
Network-Based World-Wide Web Information Infrastructure

BPA project number   9207104

Business name of agency, institution or organization requesting funding
Battelle Pacific Northwest National Laboratories

Sponsor type   WA-Federal Agency

Proposal contact person or principal investigator

 NameGary E. Johnson/Timothy Scheibe
 Mailing addressP.O. Box 999, Richland, WA 99352

BPA technical contact   ,

Biological opinion ID   Technical Support RPA 1f (page 101-102)

NWPPC Program number   3.2G

Short description
The goal of this New Technologies project is to provide technical assistance to regional efforts to develop a unified structure to access and disseminate information related to BPA’s fish and wildlife responsibility in the Northwest. This project brings the power of Internet to F&W issues.

Project start year   1995    End year   1999

Start of operation and/or maintenance   0

Project development phase   Implementation

Section 2. Narrative

Related projects
Related projects are: ESA Support (9105100), CRiSP (8910800), PTAGIS (9008000), CWT (8201300), Streamnet (8810804) and Any need to reference STP/PMIS/AIWP effort to use electronic technologies to provide specific information on BPA-funded projects. Our project complements the above projects by providing WWW technology support. Activities among the projects are coordinated to assure efficiency.

Project history
· The Web project under New Technologies was started in March 1995.
· Our major non-biological products are the home page for Technical Management Team (TMT), training/support to BPA and PSMFC, and a Web interface for the Standard Template for Performance.
· An important conclusion from the first year of work is that the World-Wide Web can contribute greatly to access and exchange of information related to the Fish and Wildlife Program and recovery plans for endangered salmon in the Pacific Northwest.

Biological results achieved
· Increased access, exchange, and dissemination of information regarding fish migration status and hydrologic conditions improved river operations decision-making, leading to increased survival for downstream migrants.
· Improved information transfer improved implementation of Programs that are designed to restore and rehabilitate depressed fish stocks in the Columbia Basin.

Annual reports and technical papers
Johnson, G.E. and T.D. Scheibe. 1996. Network-Based World-Wide Web Information Infrastructure For BPA Environment Fish And Wildlife Group: Annual Report for 1995. Draft report submitted by PNNL to BPA January 1996.

Scheibe, T.D. and G.E. Johnson. 1995. World-Wide Web Infrastructure for Fish and Wildlife. Paper presented at Department of Energy’s Office of Information Technology Conference, July 1995.

Management implications
This project allows us to routinely archive information, both used and unused information in decision-making processes, such as the TMT. With the information archived and easily accessible to recall, it is straightforward to review it to learn from past experiences. That is, the Web allows us to “capture the learning” which is a critical step in adaptive management. As a tool to access and exchange information, the Web will become an integral part of all phases of the adaptive management cycle. People can use the Web in planning, execution, monitoring and evaluation, and review. The Web tools developed by this project can help make adaptive management a reality for fish and wildlife programs in the Pacific Northwest.

Specific measureable objectives
1. Expand and revise Technical Management Team home page in response to feedback and lessons learned during pilot year (1995).
2. Develop a home page for the Standard Template for Performance.
3. Integrate with related WWW services.
4. Provide training and support to interested regional fish and wildlife parties.
5. Build and implement QA/QC tools for Web data.

Testable hypothesis
Null: World Wide Web technology will not have an impact on Northwest fish and wildlife programs in 1996. (In this case, “impact” means changes by people to using the Web to access, retrieve, exchange, and disseminate information.)

Underlying assumptions or critical constraints
1. World Wide Web technology continues to grow.
2. More and more users get connected to the Internet, and thus have access to the WWW.
3. Those users who have access take the time to learn new skills and break from the traditional ways they retrieve and exchange information.
4. The primary fish and wildlife data centers (such as PTAGIS, CIS/Streamnet, Fish Passage Center) and policy centers (such as NMFS and Council) develop Web sites or home pages for users to access data.

The Web project does not perform research using test fish. This is not a conventional research project. We do, however, use certain “methods” which are described in the following text.

PNNL developed, operated, and maintained a WWW service specifically focused on the TMT process and information needs. The philosophy employed in development of the TMT home page was to develop automated processes for delivering quickly and easily accessed information in condensed form, based on raw data resources provided by other parties. Accordingly, PNNL did not develop (and does not plan to develop) any new fisheries database storage systems. Instead, we utilized existing and new on-line data resources being developed elsewhere. The on-line availability of raw data (from the University of Washington's DART program in particular, but also from other sources) made possible automation of processes for producing and serving real-time graphics and other processed forms of information.

The completely automated process is set into motion at specified times (typically daily in the early morning hours when Internet traffic and computer processing demands are low) by the Unix cron demon. Cron is a software tool that uses the computer's internal clock to schedule program execution according to a user-controlled scheduling plan (the cron table). The update process itself is implemented using shell scripts and makefiles. Make is a Unix-based utility that checks dependencies of specified files, and executes commands to update any files that are determined to be out-of-date. A command-line web browser (that is, a non-interactive WWW access tool) is used to automatically download specified datafiles from the provider. If the downloaded datafiles contain new data (as determined from the dependencies in the makefile), a series of Perl and Unix shell scripts are executed to process the data into graphical formats. Finally, hypertext format (HyperText Markup Language or HTML) template files are time-stamped to reflect the last update time and moved onto the Web server directory tree. If the downloaded datafiles do not contain new data, the make process terminates.

A forms-based interface was developed that allows users of the service to enter comments and/or proposals for review and comment by other users. This service could serve as an important mechanism for exchange of information and ideas prior to or outside of regular meetings. Because participants are located throughout the region, interaction and data exchange through traditional channels is cumbersome. Information provided at the meeting itself is necessarily brief and lacks detail (because of time constraints). Therefore, pre-meeting information gathering and exchange of ideas would contribute significantly to regional processes, such as the TMT process. This interactive, bulletin-board-like feature of the TMT home page provides a mechanism for exchanging ideas and information outside the meeting; the TMT page itself provides detailed information that can be viewed prior to the meeting in preparation for the meeting itself.

Brief schedule of activities
1. Web training and support to interested regional parties. To increase the use and usefulness of the TMT WWW services, we intend to conduct a number of training workshops at various locations, open to all interested parties. These workshops will present introductions to the WWW in general, and demonstration of fisheries-related resources being developed in the region.
2. Web tools to access and disseminate data from primary data sites. These will include:
a. Development of a consistent viewer interface layout, complete with five alternative viewing formats.
b. Full implementation of WWW tool documentation and availability.
c. Enhancement of the interactive bulletin board.
d. Enhancement of graphical layout formats (increased readability and printability).
e. Development of a document printing tool.
3. Improved quality control measures. We plan to implement some simple data checks as part
of our automated update procedure that will identify and flag suspicious data, and notify system administrators when update problems occur.
4. Transfer of technology of the TMT Web page management to regional agency.
5. Principal contributor to integrated Web resources for Pacific Northwest fish and wildlife programs.
6. The Web page for the Standard Template for Performance is completed and users trained.

Biological need
BPA desires to increase access to, and exchange of, information produced by the Environment Fish and Wildlife Group in concert with regional partners. Currently, there are numerous centralized, controlled information systems. Fisheries information is fragmented and not widely exchanged. In the future, there will be numerous distributed access information systems (in fact these are already being developed). As demonstrated in FY 1995 and 1996, the World Wide Web on the Internet is a vehicle to connect these distributed information systems. This project will provide a mechanism to help BPA address Measure 3.2H in the Northwest Power Planning Council's (NPPC) Fish and Wildlife program: Disseminate Research and Monitoring Information. This project will also be useful for adaptive management of the Program.

Critical uncertainties
See assumptions and uncertainties listed above.

Summary of expected outcome
Expected outcomes of this project include: increased access to and exchange of fish and wildlife-related information, increased public involvement and awareness, faster information processing than is presently the case, improved decision-making and project management, and ways to reduce Fish and Wildlife program costs. In FY 1997, we plan to continue training and support efforts, enhance the resource based on lessons learned during 1995 and 1996, and expand the WWW resource to incorporate other sources of data and information. Basically, the expected outcome of this project is an upgrade of technology from print world to electronic world, i.e. making real-time information available electronically to people’s desktop computers rather than through paper exchange.

1995 saw and 1996 will see a dramatic increase in use of, and public access to, on-line network computer resources. As more people and organizations obtain on-line access, it is important to take advantage of the unique capabilities of on-line data management and access systems to enhance data exchange and usefulness. These new technologies are particularly relevant to complex problems involving many parties geographically distributed, with diverse sets of information and data, such as is the case in the problem of managing fisheries and water resources in the Pacific Northwest.

Dependencies/opportunities for cooperation
This project complements existing and planned work by other regional parties. Indeed, part of our project is to support and assist others. In FY 1995 and 1996 we worked cooperatively with scientists at UW and PSMFC. In FY 1997 we intend to continue these cooperative relationships and to form new ones with other regional parties when invited. In implementing WWW interfaces to various information bases, we share the same goal with the interested regional parties: timely and easy access to fish and wildlife-related information.

No known technical risks.

Monitoring activity
The project’s outcomes are measured against the deliverables in the contract. BPA and PNNL will monitor the project closely to assure that it is providing what was contracted for. Furthermore, feedback from users, and monitoring of the TMT home page usage is key to monitor the project. We have definable user feedback mechanisms, including the on-line comment form and feedback in workshop sessions. Finally, we will discuss this project with interested regional parties in appropriate forums when asked.

Section 3. Budget

Data shown are the total of expense and capital obligations by fiscal year. Obligations for any given year may not equal actual expenditures or accruals within the year, due to carryover, pre-funding, capitalization and difference between operating year and BPA fiscal year.

Historic costsFY 1996 budget data*Current and future funding needs
1995: 375,327
New project - no FY96 data available 1997: 200,000
1998: 200,000
1999: 200,000

* For most projects, Authorized is the amount recommended by CBFWA and the Council. Planned is amount currently allocated. Contracted is the amount obligated to date of printout.

Funding recommendations

CBFWA funding review group   System Policy

Recommendation    Tier 3 - do not fund