SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT Following the Brundtland Commission’s report (Brundtland, 1987) sustainable development is defined as “development which meets the needs of current generations without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”. Here, development is intended to be restricted to economic and social development, in particular for people with a low economic standard of living. A popular model that describes how this may occur in practice is what is generally referred to as the “triple bottom line” (Elkington, 1994). This is an accounting framework that incorporates three dimensions of performance: social, environmental and financial. It differs from traditional reporting frameworks as it includes ecological (or environmental) and social measures. Needless to say, it can be difficult to assign appropriate means of measurement to this framework. Stakeholder participation and acceptance determine perceived trends and policy implementation. Socio-economic factors are, therefore, very important but at the same time very difficult to handle since they are dependent on the context and on the capacity of each country to respond to each of its social problems. A certain number of authors such as Murphy (2012) complained that since sustainable develop- ment became a matter for discussion, a preferential focus has been put on the environmental side, while socio-economic factors were considered less relevant. The reason for this is generally ascribed to the difficulties in quantitatively handling social matters. In the definition of sustainable development given by the Brundtland Commission’s report a very important emphasis is given to intragenerational and intergenerational equity (Holden et al., 2014). For some authors this can include parameters such as criminality, obesity or internet users. To contrast this approach other authors, such as Hopwood, Mellor, and O’Brien (2005), have highlighted that there is a risk that by over-extending the scope of the definition of sustainable development the concept could be diluted and become irrelevant. In addition, mixing social and environmental factors in the field of sustainable development can make it difficult for researchers to analyze phenomena. If socio-economic factors are considered difficult to study, this is contrasted by the general assump- tion that the human impact on the environment is easier to analyse. One of the aims of this book is to understand whether this is the case or whether within the study of human impact on the environment as well as in socio-economics, issues might rise that could result in a further imbalance of the “triple bottom line”. Preface SUSTAINABILITY The term “sustainability” has been defined in the ecological sciences to mean the conditions that must be present for the ecosystem to sustain itself over the long term (Holden et al., 2014). The Brundtland report details that “sustainable development must not endanger the natural systems that support life on Earth”. A fundamental assumption then is that human development tends to disrupt the balance of ecosystems, and since preservation of ecosystems is of paramount importance all impacts should be monitored and in case mitigated. To implement this it is necessary to understand environmental systems and how human pressure impacts on them. Environmental systems are complex systems where multiple factors interact and intermingle at the same time. In these cases it is very difficult to isolate a posteriori the contribution that each of these factors might have exerted. The study of pressures and environmental reactions is a highly cross-domain research field where scientists from different backgrounds, with different interests and different ways of thinking, meet. The interaction between the different methods of study, cognitive processes, practices and sometimes also human attitudes, becomes itself a complex system, adding to the complicacies of the already intricate environmental systems ISSUES OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES One of the main problems of environmental sciences is the intrinsic difficulty to devise experiments to study environmental phenomena. Decomposing these latter and reconstructing the physical laws that govern them can be difficult because factors are interdependent and often nonlinear, meaning they are very sensitive to small variations (the so-called “butterfly effect”). In addition, in the environmental sci- ences, correlation often does not mean causation, highlighting the role of an underestimated parameter (Lawlor, Davey Smith, & Ebrahim, 2004). Besides, laws are often built considering a low number of cases, or cases that only resemble what is under observation, which creates problems in finding analo- gies (Engelhardt & Zimmerman, 1982). This undermines the classic approach of the scientific method where theories need to be verified (or falsified), opening the possibility for multiple visions and theories to co-exist. This contrasts one of the foundations of scientific research, which is that science is supposed to be objective. This perspective paves the way for a different approach where scientific visions result from the convergence of communities. CROSS DISCIPLINARY ISSUES The convergence of a community implies that initially partners might have different positions. Conver- gence implies communication. Three levels of communication can be identified: • Syntactic: following Shannon and Weaver (1949), accurate transmission of data between sender and receiver across a boundary needs to be based on a shared and stable syntax/technology. The syntactic level does not consider the meaning of what is transmitted. xix • • Semantic: is a higher level where, besides the ability to transfer data, the focus is on its use, intro- ducing now the need to consider the meaning of terms. Pragmatics: is related to the signi cance of information referring also to the state of the sur- rounding world excluded from the utterance, including cultural and personal factors. Preface Full understanding among partners is achieved only if all three levels are accounted for. A suitable level of work can be reached even if not all levels are met but mechanisms are implemented that can fill the gap between different conceptualizations and cognitive models. These mechanism can be of vari- ous nature: from learning, to semantic agents, to knowledge bases, to computer supported collaborative work tools. One of the most important aim of this book is to explore how these gaps between domains, scientific fields and also between mental habits, practices or, using the specific term coined by Kuhn (1962), paradigms, can be bridged, in order that the scientific community working on an environmental problem related to sustainable development can converge on a sound and shared solution. TRENDS To fill the gaps between different conceptualizations, two strategies can be invoked. One possibility is to formalize knowledge. This allows to understand where possible inconsistencies can occur and account for them. The other strategy relies on representation of knowledge. This can be less detailed and can be used as a road-map that does not mandates which actual path to use between two points, rather offers multiple solutions to be chosen by users upon their needs. In the first case, knowledge must be explicit. Following Polanyi (1966) this is a difficult result to obtain. In fact, part of knowledge cannot be made explicit because obscured or embedded in practices or even tools. At the same time knowledge formalization cannot be performed by a single person, rather it should be the result of a community effort. This somehow can be seen as moving the problem of concurrent conceptualization from collaborative use of terms and concepts, to the collaborative design of knowledge formalization. Representation is a projection of knowledge. Using the terminology of Calender and Cohen (2006) it is prone to the omissions of possible factors and to their commission, meaning the deliberate act of changing the relations between them. Strictly speaking all representations are false (Chakravartty,1995). What is interesting in our case is that omissions and commissions allow building and sharing pragmatic codes between cultures and paradigms. These take place in artifacts called boundary objects, which aim to bridge the gaps between different cognitive models being at the same time generic for a community and detailed for another. In the study of human impact on the environment, boundary objects are often built creating geo- graphic maps of physical and chemical parameters. These, essentially, are forms of superpositions, that can become a base for mediation among communities and paradigms when the original data is processed to result in a new product. Every party contributes to it while, at the same time, the result is not under the control of only one party. Geographic maps do not have explicit semantics. This can be added through annotation. However, the introduction of text or symbols reintroduce the problem of possible contrasting cognitive models, paradigms or practices. xx Preface Maps can also be non geographic. Concept or mind maps are an example of this. In these cases con- ceptualization is made explicit but at the same time granularity can vary. In the case of mind maps for example details are generally nested, so that users can stop before entering details they are not interested in. This allows the simultaneous use of such maps by different users as a boundary object. ORGANISATION OF THIS BOOK Within this perspective, the contents of this book have been arranged into three sections, The first deals with theoretical and historical aspects of cross-domain data management as applied to the marine sci- ences; the second section details specific technologies which have been utilised or developed in order to apply these theories; and the third and final section expounds on use cases illustrating the practical application of both the theory and technology. Section 1: Theory The first chapter of this introductory section, “Oceanographic Data Management: Quills and Free Text to the Digital Age and ‘Big Data” by Justin Buck and Roy Lowry paints a picture showing how marine data management has evolved from the days of paper based recording and reporting, through the use of early internet and web based systems and projects forward ideas which are fundamental in other chapters of this book on pervasive computing and future internet and web applications for oceanographic data delivery and integration. Following this scene setting chapter is a contribution by Paolo Diviacco and Adam Leadbetter, “Bal- ancing Formalization and Representation in Cross-Domain Data Management for Sustainable Develop- ment” which looks into the issues of the philosophy of data interpretation and how the tools introduced by Lowry and Buck may be used to represent formalised data structures, while non-formalised data representation is also introduced. A key phrase from John Delaney is introduced, which underpins several ideas in later chapters: “There are emergent technologies throughout the fields around oceanography which we will incorporate into oceanography, and through that convergence we will make oceanography into something even more magical” (Delaney, 2010). The third chapter, “Developing a Common Global Framework for Marine Data Management,” by Helen Glaves, then looks to how the shift in marine research from a siloed, discipline specific activity to a multidisciplinary Earth System activity is driving data practitioners to collaborate on a global scale. This chapter has particular focus on ongoing collaborations between marine data custodians in member states of the European Commission, the United States and Australia to use common frameworks for a global data infrastructure under the auspices of the Ocean Data Interoperability Platform. One of the technologies being championed within the Ocean Data Interoperability Platform is Linked Data, a World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) standard for publishing structured data online. Chapter 4, “Linked Ocean Data 2.0,” by Adam Leadbetter, Michelle Cheatham, Adam Shepherd and Robert Thomas, surveys progress within the application of this technology to oceanographic research datasets including the development of reusable publication patterns and techniques for visualising the interconnections between datasets. Foreshadowed by Buck and Lowry in Chapter one, the application of Linked Data techniques to data streams from pervasive sensors (Linked Big Ocean Data) is introduced and explored. xxi The reproducibility of data is a fundamental issue in epistemology, and there has been much activity in Earth and space science informatics in recent years in applying the W3C Provenance Data Model to datasets to better understand where the data came from and how it has been processed. Xiaogang Ma, Linyun Fu, Peter Fox, Massimo Di Stefano and Patrick West discuss this topic in Chapter 5, “Document- ing Provenance for Reproducible Marine Ecosystem Assessment in Open Science.” Their specific focus is on the use of reproducible research, using processing notebooks published online and the Semantic Web and Linked Data techniques introduced in earlier chapters with respect to ecosystem assessment in fisheries activities. Section 2: Technologies With the theory of the Semantic Web and Linked Data now described to readers over the course of a number of chapters the opening chapter of the Technologies section of this book. Chapter 6, “Semantic Search Engine for Data Management and Sustainable Development,” with Giuseppe Manzella as lead author, applies these techniques in a knowledge management system. Underlying this chapter is the epis- temological understanding that data can be organised and presented as information and that integration of and conversations about information leads to knowledge. In the scientific method knowledge is often encapsulated in academic journal articles. The system Manzella and his co-authors present collates ma- rine science data and knowledge and allows access to them through standard interfaces, while utilising semantic technologies to provide more compelling results to users than traditional full-text based searches. The theme of data integration from a range of sources is continued by Dick Schaap in Chapter 7, “SeaDataNet: Towards a Pan-European Infrastructure for Marine and Ocean Data Management.” As it stands, the technological infrastructure of SeaDataNet connects together many national oceanographic data centres from around Europe, the Middle East and north Africa to provide a coherent metadata model for those data centres, and to provide users with federated access to their data through a single web portal. Coherence in the semantics of fields within the metadata is provided via the controlled vocabularies described earlier in the book and information products generated from the SeaDataNet data stock have been supplied to the EMODnet programme which is described in subsequent chapters. Chapter 8, “Repositioning Data Management Near Data Acquisition,” by Paolo Diviacco, Jordi Sor- ribas, Karien de Cauwer, Jean-Marc Sinquin, Raquel Casas, Alessandro Busato, Yvan Stojanov and Serge Scory propose the movement of the annotation of data files with controlled vocabulary terms closer to the point of acquisition. In the case of this chapter the technology is an automated event logging software to be deployed on research vessels which allows direct connection of data into, amongst other projects, SeaDataNet.This echoes both the “fog computing” paradigm (Bonomi, Milito, Zhu, & Addepalli, 2012) and the “Born Connected” approach described in Chapters 2 and 4 which will be increasingly important as the number of data collecting platforms in the ocean increases through programmes such as Argo and Everyone’s Gliding Observatories. Alongside Linked Data, a key technology platform in making the “Born Connected” dream a reality is Sensor Web Enablement (SWE) which is an Open Geospatial Consortium standard for publishing measurements from sensors and is useful for real time data delivery. Chapter 9, “Interoperability in Marine Sensor Networks through SWE Services,” led by Alessandro Oggioni describes the application of SWE within the Italian national marine research programme, RITMARE. Of note in their advances is the bridge between the traditional file store or relational database data management systems of the national oceanographic data centres and the expanding web services world. Preface xxii Preface Section 3: Case Studies Having established the theories and technologies of use in marine science data management as it applies to sustainable development, we now turn our attention to describing some practical applications of these areas. Chapter 10, led by Vera Van Lancker, “Building a 4D Voxel-Based Decision Support System for a Sustainable Management of Marine Geological Resources,” describes the need for marine geological resource management and associated tools to present holistic solutions to those needs. Again, an emerg- ing theme is the epistemological need to integrate data from multiple sources into information products which must be interpreted to create new knowledge applicable to a domain for which the original data sources may not have been collected. James Potemra, John Maurer, and Echelle Burns continue the theme of decision support tools based upon scientific data and information in Chapter 11, “Providing Oceanographic Data and Information to Pacific Island Communities.” The range of stakeholders to which their Pacific Islands Ocean Observing System speaks is large and includes: research scientists, operational agencies, planners, local agencies, risk managers and the general public. These groups collaborate to identify new data sets for incorporation in the system and new data products, developing the awareness and utility of the data system. Chapter 12, “Marine Environment Data Management Related to Human Activity in the South-Eastern Baltic Sea (Lithuanian Segment),” by Algimantas Grigelis, describes the integration of environmental, economic and social needs in marine spatial planning in the Baltic Sea region. As noted in the chapter, the goal of marine spatial planning is to identify and control potential conflicts between these various needs at as early a stage as possible in a development process. This favourably compares with our earlier definition of sustainable development. The marine spatial planning tools presented here have been used to sustainably develop ports and disposal sites at sea. Chapter 13, “Data and Operational Oceanography: A Review in Support of Responsible Fisheries and Aquaculture,” by Enrique Wulff-Barreiro analyses the mismatch between the data user and the data provider with reference to researchers in the fisheries and aquaculture domain. The large infrastructure systems of operational oceanography data providers and the high quality time series provided in a more delayed mode are shown to often be disconnected. These observations leave room for many future develop- ments in marine data management which could be addressed by approaches outlined in earlier chapters. Nils Kinnegin and his co-authors present how appropriate collaboration and integration of data has been achieved for a specific marine monitoring and evaluation plan in Chapter 14, “Integrated Monitor- ing in the Voordelta, The Netherlands”. They describe both policy drivers and information needs driving monitoring programmes for the creation of observational data. The authors of this chapter observe that the human elements of collaboration and frequent interaction are as important, if not more so, than the technological aspects of building such an integrated, cross-disciplinary monitoring system. The final chapter of the book, Chapter 15, “Analysis of Ocean In Situ Observations and Web-Based Visualization: From Individual Measurements to an Integrated View,” by Alexander Barth, Sylvain Watelet, Charles Troupin, Aida Alvera-Azcárate and Jean-Marie Beckers returns to the theme of representation, in this case through Web-based techniques for the display of profiles and maps of ocean data. These tools are increasingly important in the visualisation of missions undertaken by autonomous underwater vehicles and gridded data fields such as from models and remotely sensed datasets. xxiii CONCLUSION Within the tripartite structure of this book we have been able to provide a solid insight into the issues and the possible solutions related to the analysis of pressures on the marine environment and how these can be mitigated. We have highlighted that scientific research in this area is not easy to perform since the intrinsic cross-disciplinary nature of this field introduces the need to manage concurrent cognitive models and paradigms. If traditionally the triple bottom line perspective of sustainable development described above was considered biased only by the difficulties in quantifying social factors, we demonstrate in this book that the situation is not straightforward in studying and handling the environment as well. The message, from first chapter to last, is clear: data from the oceans are proliferating and the tools to integrate the data to allow for interpretation, in particular in support of sustainable development, are being actively developed. To make the most of these endeavours this book shows that in order to ac- count for the above mentioned difficulties we must move beyond managing data into managing meaning. Results to-date show that, although a lot still of work is still to be done, balancing formalization and representation of knowledge can be the key to address such issues. This idea is discussed theoretically and put in practice in several examples within this book.
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