What ARDAC is
ARDAC houses Arctic data sets which exist in an excellent state and can be utilized in their current form for decision-making and project planning.
The Arctic Data Collaborative aims to house the authoritative and definitive versions of Arctic datasets in order to build research capacity and inform decisions that matter to local, state, and federal stakeholders. As part of the University of Alaska Fairbanks, ARDAC will strengthen the university and its associated researchers, institutions, projects, and students by combining high-quality, curated data sets with analysis tools to link the data directly to end user needs. It will also contain the data exploration and analysis tools needed to link data directly to management issues simply and efficiently.
ARDAC provides value-added data and visualizations which support research and decision making in our unique Arctic landscape. By focusing on highly curated and refined data with standards-based quality control, these tools and visualizations offer robust, user-friendly, meaningful, and targeted access for specific stakeholders.
ARDAC is not an all-encompassing Arctic data archive or warehouse. We do not house raw model outputs or raw datasets. Our focus is on curation and derived datasets which are useful to researchers and community stakeholders.
The data management processes applied through ARDAC are focused on broad accessibility. This means updating or creating thorough metadata for all data sets as well as the validation and cleaning of data to remove anomalous values. Data is also packaged to make it both spatially and temporally useful, and when possible tools are built to access and perform analysis and visualization of data in-browser.
As the pool of data within ARDAC grows, the skill and experience of the team in building powerful web tools for exploring complex data will be a significant asset. They have experience with a range of mechanisms for data exploration and understanding and have worked with a variety of partners to build web tools in the past. A selection of them can be found at the SNAP tools web page. The tools built for the Arctic Data Collaborative will reflect the nature of the data and the needs of our users, but will range in complexity and purpose. We are also interested in developing decision support systems within ARDAC which put the data within the collaborative to work, particularly to replace out-dated or discontinued decision support systems which cease to function well for Alaska and Arctic decision-makers.
Where we’re going.
New data and data access tools are being added regularly. We’re partnering with scientists to add key Arctic datasets to ARDAC and make them even more applicable and useful to new audiences. We’re creating APIs that let users access subsets of data for use in their own applications. We’re building innovative decision support systems to serve specific professional fields including engineering, climate science and forecasting, and planning fields.