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PILOT PROJECT CLOSE UP: ORD RESEARCH INVENTORY
Harvey, J E. AND E M. Ulrich. PILOT PROJECT CLOSE UP: ORD RESEARCH INVENTORY. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC.
Harvey, Jim and Elin Ulrich. 2004. Pilot Project Close Up: ORD Research Inventory. Changing Times. Pp. 1. (ERL,GB R1022).
At the January 2003 summit, many people were drawn to our vision of improving ORD's internal communications by creating a "go-to" page that consolicated the organization's vast research programs. We realized there already was a lot of information out there, but sometimes it was hard to find. As we discussed the project, we also realized that we wanted to ensure we weren't reinventing the wheel, so we investigated what already existed. Certainly, the Office of Science Policy has been a principle participant in presenting ORD's research, and we wanted to honor and incorporate all they've accomplished, including the Science Inventory and the public pages they developed. So, the project began to evolve over time as the group discussed where we could add the greatest value.
Ultimately, we decided to develop a site that would meet new needs for information, especially those of new employees who would benefit from having one place to go for the big picture of what ORD is all about - a site where Lab missions, and links to biosketches, multiyear plans, GPRA goals, and even descriptions of our numerous acronyms and jargon would be only a couple of clicks away. But the site also would help current employees keep up with changes in the organization and, ideally, be a way for researchers to quickly learn about other investigators in other disciplines. Perhaps then, researchers would be more likely to pick up the phone and start a conversation that may lead to the kinds of multi-disciplinary collaborations we need to develop to address complex current and future environmental issues.
At times, it's been hard to keep the project going because everyone is so busy. But we get a lot of work done in spurts when our full-time activities (e.g., large-scale field studies) are less intensive. We also have a great group of people from throughout ORD (Valerie Brandon, John Miller, John Sykes, Cliff Moore, Sam Williams, Dan Sullivan, John Duncan, Peter Knudsen) who are fully engaged. Also, Robert Hillger of Region 1 and the Associate Assistant Administrator, Michael Brown, participated in the initial summit discussion, and Maureen Day has been very helpful in providing technical direction.
Yet for many of us, the biggest eye-opener was experiencing the AI process at the summit. As scientists, we're trained to ask a lot of questions and scrutinize data, reports, and manuscripts with an eye toward finding problems. Yet, sometimes that leaves us seeing the glass as 49.9999% empty. AI, on the other hand, tells the glass is actually pretty full and what's in it tastes good! When we approach each other and our work with an appreciative eye, we learn a lot more about each other and what's possible. And the product is better and more useful because it incorporates many different perspectives and ideas. AI is a powerful tool - it pulls us together, such that cooperation, collaboration, teamwork, and diversity become our strengths.
Anyone interested in viewing the current draft of the research website can access the template on the summit's Quickplace site at http://epaquickplace1.rtp.epa.gov/QuickPlace/ordleadershipsummit/Main.nsf/h_EE50D2F27DECA3A985256CFD0064880D/362EE46D362F3D8B85256D7A0073C755/?OpenDocument. Just follow the directions to load and execute the related files. If you have any other questions or an interest in helping, contact the co-conveners at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Record Details:Record Type: DOCUMENT (NEWSLETTER)
Organization:U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
NATIONAL HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS RESEARCH LAB
GULF ECOLOGY DIVISION
ECOSYSTEM ASSESSMENT BRANCH