By Katie Kline, Website and Experts Database Designer/Developer
Supplemental Host Support from NPS
The National Capital Regional Office of the National Park Service graciously provided the Chesapeake Watershed CESU Research Network with some supplemental host support funding to help address some of the goals that were identified in the most recent Strategic Plan. We would like to report recent progress on two fronts: updates to the Projects Database and updates to the website.
Projects Database Updates
We are pleased to announce a couple of updates to the Chesapeake Watershed CESU Research Network Projects Database. Katie Kline and Dan Filer recently completed scanning hard copies of the historical files and attaching agreement documents to each project in the Projects Database. Now when you view projects on the website, digital copies of the agreements for any projects since the network’s inception in 2001 for which we had a copy on file have been uploaded to the Projects Database in Airtable.
To view an agreement, locate it in the view provided on the Projects page on the website or in a new window by selecting the “View larger version” link provided in the bottom right corner of each embedded view as shown in the image below. Then, click on the Project Number.
Expanding the record will allow you to view and open the agreement document under the “Agreement Document(s)” section of the Expanded View window as shown below. Any project modifications will also be located here. A few agreements have fallen through the cracks over the years, so you may not find an agreement for every project listed in the database. However, reviewing and scanning the historical files allowed us to significantly improve the accuracy of the database. Aside from all of the agreements that we uploaded, we also added 70 projects plus over 130 modifications that were not previously in the database. If you have a copy of a project agreement not currently available in the database, please send it to Dan Filer at email@example.com.
We also embedded project views into our Experts Database profiles, which will provide automatic updates for our Experts who have current or historical projects with Chesapeake Watershed CESU Research Network. Experts will no longer need to make manual updates to the “Ongoing and Recent CESU Projects” section of their Experts profile. As soon as a new project gets added to the database for which an Expert is a Principal Investigator, it will be displayed automatically. For any members of our Experts Database who have been awarded a Chesapeake Watershed CESU Research Network project, that section of their profile will look similar to the image below. Clicking on a project will open a new window where the viewer can access additional information about the project, including a digital copy of the agreement and any modifications.If you are not already a member of our Experts Database, please consider joining today. It is a great way to connect federal partners with experts in fields for which they need assistance. Experts who are affiliated with both non-federal and federal partners are welcome. We have also learned anecdotally that the Experts Database has helped to connect potential collaborators.
We have also been making strides toward a significant update to the website, including a new Chesapeake Watershed CESU Network logo, an overall redesign of the site, improvements to site navigation, along with improved site functionality. We don’t want to give too much away yet and spoil the surprise, but we are confident that our partners will appreciate the new functionality that will make it much easier to find funding opportunities. One of our goals was to streamline the site organization to make everything easier to find. We are also employing more dynamic content to feature projects and other news about the CESU more easily. We have targeted the annual meeting in July for the big reveal of the new logo and website.
We have additional plans to make improvements to the Chesapeake Watershed CESU Research Network with the help of this supplemental funding, like student internship opportunities for NPS-funded projects and improvements related to Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. So, please stay tuned!