In January 2015, the Alliance for Aquatic Resource Monitoring (ALLARM) began working with CitSci.org to build an online portal to manage data from a diverse set of volunteers monitoring streams for impacts from shale gas development inside and beyond the state of Pennsylvania. One of the most unique challenges is that the database was developed after the program had been training volunteers for five years. This presented a number of hurdles around historic data organization as well as training approaches to ensure buy-in from existing volunteers. Now, ALLARM and its volunteers have upgraded their data management system from excel sheets to an online portal where volunteers upload their data, access a personalized profile to view historic data and use data analysis tools (ALLARMwater.org). This session will highlight the participatory approach to the database’s design and development process, lessons learned working with a database developer, methods to organize and clean the historic data, and training new and seasoned volunteers to ensure adoption of the database.
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