About the Project

The dataARC project produced an online infrastructure to support interdisciplinary approaches to human ecodynamics in the North Atlantic context. The aim of the project is to transform the discoverability and utility of data collected over multiple decades by researchers across disciplines with an interest in this broad domain. Climate and environments in the North Atlantic are changing rapidly and unpredictably, and local northern residents are being forced to adapt in diverse ways. Data from archaeology, historic documents, climate science, and the humanities, brought together, provide critical insights into the long-term context of the changes we see taking place today and the contemporary challenges of these communities. Working towards a more holistic understanding of the long-term and present-day dynamics of this region requires linking not only datasets but the broader domain knowledge and conceptual models developed by multiple disciplines.  Investing in shared online cyberinfrastructure provides an opportunity to build and reinforce these links and to further new research directions. 

Made possible by the collaborative research efforts of the NorthAtlantic Biocultural Organization (NABO) and collaborators at research institutions across the US, UK, and Europe, and funded by two successful NSF awards (cyberNABO 1.0 and cyberNABO 2.0 - SMA 1519660 and1637076),  the dataARC project encompasses the creation of this shared and distributed cyberinfrastructure.   The project began with cyberNABO 1.0 (the exploratory phase) which involved assessing the NABO data landscape, evaluating the CI needs of the NABO research community, creating concept maps to semantically link diverse datasets, and developing a data discovery and visualization prototype. The current phase, cyberNABO 2.0, has successfully linked 15 critical databases through standardized data management and handling practices and semantically-enabled mapping of the research concepts identified in phase 1.  For more on how these datasets have been linked together please visit the Synthesis pages of the website.  

The datasets in dataARC are diverse including subjects from the humanities to the environmental sciences, temporally spanning thousands of years and spatially centered on Iceland, Greenland, the United Kingdom, and Scandinavia.  The datasets are integrated and made accessible in the dataARC Search Tool that features temporal, spatial, keyword, and conceptual filter tools enabling on-the-fly visualization and analysis of the data.  By selecting data in one of the filter modules, users can visualize data distribution temporally, spatially, and conceptually   Visualizing this integrated data encourages new research directions and cross-disciplinary data discovery.  The construction of this linked and distributed cyberinfrastructure provides an opportunity to conduct genuinely transformative, collaborative research connecting natural science, social science, environmental humanities, Indigenous knowledge, and innovative data practices to address the cultural and environmental drivers of the long-term human ecodynamics of the North Atlantic region.

Necessitating the perspectives and contributions of different domain specialists and the compilation of data from diverse sources, dataARC brings together researchers from archaeology, saga studies, tephrochronology, and paleoecology with technical specialists who are experts in database management, software development, and analytical tool creation.  This unique merger of backgrounds and expertise combined with a collective drive to share data and create open and distributable cyberinfrastructure is a core strength of the dataARC project.  Read more about the international research team members participating in dataARC.