I am doing an internship at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, CO, this summer. It’s part of my assistantship with DCERC. Last week, we had a workshop which introduced us to the various activities that go on at NCAR. It was very informative, though at times overly technical. My project for the summer will be to conduct a data audit on the data lifecycles of two groups with the Earth Observing Laboratory at NCAR. I will write a final report of my findings which explains the groups’ workflows and makes recommendations for improvements.
The issue was raised about whether or not I should obtain Internal Review Board approval for my project, and this has delayed my starting. I spent the entire afternoon last Friday filling out the IRB form online. This delay is not a problem. It has actually given me experience filling out an IRB application for a real project. Today, I heard from the IRB that my project will probably be exempt from the regulations. This is a relief, since I won’t have to ask every person I interview to sign an informed consent form.
I believe this project will give me a good, broad understanding of the data lifecycle, how tools assist the process, metadata requirements, and how archiving and distribution works in a research data center like NCAR.