Workshop Overview

15-17 November 2011
Boulder, Colorado, USA 

Workshop summary

The purpose of the ELOKA workshop is to bring together researchers, community members, organizations, and projects working on issues surrounding data management for both Local and Traditional Knowledge (LTK) and information from community-based research and monitoring with a focus on the Arctic region.

Workshop objectives

  • Review projects working on LTK and community-based research and monitoring, with an emphasis on identifying and discussing data management (examples, successes, challenges, issues, questions, systems, etc.);
  • Discuss as a group key topics on the theme of data management, local knowledge, and community-based research; and
  • Discuss development of a LTK/Community Based Monitoring (CBM) network through collaboration and partnership.

Notes for presenters

A broad range of topics will be covered over the course of the workshop. To facilitate discussion presenters are asked to, where appropriate, address a set of key points in their presentation. This will assist in providing some consistency across talks.

  1. Overview of the project
    1. purpose,vision/goals
    2. participants, and stakeholders
    3. location, duration
    4. summary of data collected, methods, and data management approaches
  2. Lessons learned
  3. successes
  4. challenges
  5. issues
  6. questions raised

Presenters can consider providing responses to these guiding questions in relation to 'Lessons learned':

  1. Has the project reached its initial purposes;
  2. how has it been evaluated; how should it be evaluated?
  3. who uses the results of the program;
  4. how have results impacted stewardship decisions in the region/ management impact?

Please note that to ensure that all presenters have time to speak, we will be firmly enforcing the 10 minute speaking time. This does not include questions as time for questions has been scheduled at regular intervals throughout the sessions. We suggest a presentation of 6-8 slides and ask that you rehearse beforehand to ensure that you can present in the time allotted.

Active listening by audience

To support and expedite our discussions during the afternoon sessions, we are asking that the audience consider a number of questions:

  1. From your perspective, what are the most notable elements of the project vision or goals? Here, notable implies that you see the element as very important, highly interesting, applicable to other regions, or relevant to your interests.
  2. What did you find most interesting about the data management approaches discussed? Do you know of other approaches that could be appropriate for the project?
  3. What presented aspects should be considered/ are applicable throughout the North?
  4. Using brief points or keywords, can you suggest how challenges/issues/questions could be addressed? Ideas can be elaborated on during the afternoon session.

Overview of goals, objectives and desired outcomes by day

The following sections present an overview of the goals, objectives, general process, and outcomes envisioned for the ELOKA workshop. We are attempting to focus the afternoon discussion on Day 1 on general data management topics that may include community engagement, data collection methodology, consent issues, funding or others. On Day 2 the focus of discussion is on the details of the technological aspects of data management. We recognize that all of these topics are highly interrelated and that such a thematic separation is imperfect. However, the aim is to provide some structure to help organize our discussions on this complex set of topics. Day 3 will focus on establishing how participants might collaborate in the future in relation to addressing the opportunities and issues identified during the first two days.

Day 1


To gain a detailed knowledge and understanding of the broad topics of data management, local knowledge, and community-based research.

  1. Using the morning talks as a starting point for discussion compile (a) a list of visions or goals of LTK/CBM practitioners in relation to data management (b) identify successes, challenges, issues, and questions (items) set or faced by community members, researchers, and other practitioners with respect to LTK /CBM data management.
  2. Create a list of proposed ideas on how to address items raised (e.g. achieve vision, mitigate challenges). Solutions proposed can range from pragmatic or short-term, to 'blue sky' or long-term.
General Process
  • Short presentations (10 minutes maximum) in the morning are followed by facilitated discussion in the afternoon.
  • Where Indigenous community members have traveled to the workshop, 20 minutes will be allotted for the project presentation. These presentations are scheduled just before the lunch break.
  • During the afternoon sessions groups of 6-7 participants will work to generate a list of items (Objectives i) . They will then be asked to brainstorm to propose solutions in keeping with Objective ii.
  • To encourage 'cross-fertilization', groups will be structured in a way that members will need to periodically mix. For example, members from one group could be asked to present their items to another group who will in turn need to propose ideas on how to address the items. There are two objectives here: i) encourage people to think about new problems (i.e. those brought from another group). ii) facilitate personal interaction to encourage constructive network building discussions on Day 3.
  • Additionally, we will attempt to assign people from different regions evenly across groups.
  • Detailed items related to technology will be recorded and identified, if appropriate, for Day 2 discussion.
  • Groups will work to develop materials in support of achieving the outlined objectives. A representative from each group will present results to the larger group at the end of each of the two activity periods.
  1. The primary 'hard' outcome of Day 1 will be an outline of a report chapter documenting the list of items raised and the possible solutions proposed.
  2. The primary 'soft' outcome will be start of new associations between participants.

Day 2

  • To continue building on the outcomes of Day 1 through consideration of the first set of Day 2 talks (Session 1 from Agenda, continued from Day 1)
  • To develop knowledge and understanding of key topics related to the technological aspects of data management, local knowledge, and community-based research (building on Session 2 talks). A particular focus will be placed on how available technologies may address end user requirements and issues identified on Day 1 and early on Day 2.
  1. Compile an inventory of specific technical issues, challenges, and questions (items) facing workshop attendees. This may include items carried over from discussions during Day 1, and will include additional items identified through consideration of Day 2 talks and afternoon discussions.
  2. Create an annotated list of existing technical solutions currently available through, or known to, participants.
  3. Identify potential future opportunities related to technologies and a 'wish list' of features, services, data resources etc.. Wherever possible opportunities and 'wish list' will aim to address items identified on Day 1.
General Process
  • Short presentations in the morning
  • For the afternoon, the general breakout group process used on Day 1 one will be used on Day 2.
  • We may ask that a person with technology expertise be divided among the groups so that discussion can benefit from their expertise.
  • If there is interest, time can be allocated for those participants interested to discuss the details of technology (e.g. development platforms used, hardware issues etc.)
  1. The primary hard outcome of Day 2 will be an outline of a report chapter documenting technological items, available solutions, opportunities and the wish list established.
  2. The primary soft outcome of Day 2 will be participants' expanded knowledge of relevant technologies and those who develop or apply them.

Day 3


A vision for how interested workshop attendees and others may chose to collaborate into the future.

  1. Discuss perceived benefits of establishing a collaborative network. Also, identify perceived costs, drawbacks, and concerns.
  2. Start to answer key network purpose and development questions. How can a network assist with addressing items identified in Day 1 and Day 2? What would a useful network look like? How would information move through the network? What would the points of connection be (e.g. virtual site, meetings, social networking)? How can existing network initiatives be improved or expanded?
  3. Work to develop a statement or declaration of shared values, objectives, areas of interest, etc.
General Process
  • These sessions will include significant periods of discussion as an entire group.
  • Breakout groups may be established for short periods of time to address particular questions with the results of these discussions being fed back to the larger group.
  • Sessions will be documented in real-time so that the group can review draft versions of lists and statements.
  1. A list of perceived benefits, costs, drawback and concerns in relation to establishing a collaborative network.
  2. A list of preliminary questions and (where possible) answers related to establishing some form of collaborative network.
  3. A draft statement or declaration of shared values, objectives, areas of interest etc.
  4. A clear plan for moving forward on ideas developed.

Special Issue of Polar Geography

An important outcome of the workshop will be a special journal issue of Polar Geography on community-based research and data management. Selected abstracts for the workshop have been invited to develop full papers for the journal issue. Draft papers are due starting November 17th, 2011 and will be submitted to the guest editors at the end of 2011 with publication expected at the end of 2012. This collection of papers will provide detailed accounts of participants' projects and address issues surrounding data management for both Local and Traditional Knowledge (LTK) and information from community-based research and monitoring. Wherever possible, we will encourage authors to link their papers to the discussion and outcomes of the workshop. The guest editors (Peter Pulsifer, Henry Huntington, and Gretta Pecl) will be writing an introductory article for the special issue that will identify consistent themes, make connections between projects, and highlight the outcomes of the workshop.

Although the special issue will be an important workshop outcome, we recognize that the primary audience of the issue will be members of the academic community. The intention is to also share the results of the workshop beyond academia. To this end, the aforementioned post-workshop publication will complement the special issue. During the workshop the format and methods for distributing this publication will be discussed.