National Estuarine Research Reserve System

Centralized Data Management Office

Centralized Data Management Overview


NOAA's National Estuarine Research Reserve System (NERRS) acknowledges the importance of both long-term environmental monitoring programs and data and information dissemination through the support of the NERRS System-wide Monitoring Program (SWMP). The goal of the SWMP is to "identify and track short-term variability and long-term changes in the integrity and biodiversity of representative estuarine ecosystems and coastal watersheds for the purpose of contributing to effective national, regional and site specific coastal zone management." This comprehensive program consists of three phased components:

  1. estuarine water quality monitoring
  2. biodiversity monitoring
  3. land-use and habitat change analysis


The Centralized Data Management Office (CDMO) and the NERRS Data Management Committee (comprised of representation from the NERRS Managers, Research Coordinators, Education Coordinators, SWMP Technicians, Stewardship Coordinators, Coastal Training Program Coordinators, and NOAA) have established six priority areas in support of the System-wide Monitoring Program:

The continuation and advancement of the System-wide Monitoring Program data and information management program. The CDMO supports data management protocols for SWMP-associated water quality, meteorological, and nutrient/pigment data. Suport includes the creation and management of associated metadata, documentation, data archives, development of software-specific programs to assist with data QA/QC procedures, and data and information dissemination. In addition the CDMO works directly with the NERRS Habitat Mapping and Change Committee to host relevant GIS datalayers and the Biomonitoring Committee to continue support of the vegetation monitoring data and metadata templates, data archival, submission protocols, and development of data dissemination tools.

Maintain the on-line data and information server for access to NERRS SWMP and above mentioned data. The CDMO provides access to data and metadata via an on-line information server at

Provide technical support services to the NERRS. The CDMO maintains a leadership role in providing technical support for issues not only related to data management, but also computer hardware and software technology, telecommunications, connectivity, and training related to SWMP operations.

Conduct the annual CDMO Data Management Committee meeting. The Data Management Committee is responsible for the identification of ways to improve and enhance individual NERRS site data management capabilities and provides input to the NERRS and CDMO on data issues and strategies to increase cost savings and efficiencies.

Conduct the annual Technician Training Workshop (TTW). The annual training workshop provides hands-on training and assistance for research technicians in support of SWMP equipment setup, operation and maintenance; data collection and management; and QA/QC activities. This training is critical to ensure that SWMP is indeed a system-wide endeavor with all Reserves deploying and servicing equipment and processing data per standard operating protocols.

Provide technical consultation for special NOAA projects. The CDMO plays a critical role in projects which highlight and enhance the role of the NERRS in support of NOAA's priority areas.

Provide telemetry support for the System-wide Monitoring Program. The CDMO provides telemetry support for the NERRS GOES-E and GOES-W direct readout groundstations and associated servers, and field-based telemetry systems.

For additional information on the CDMO and related activities:
Dr. Dwayne E. Porter
CDMO Director
Belle W. Baruch Institute for Marine and Coastal Sciences
University of South Carolina
Columbia, SC 29208
803-777-4615 or