The scientific advisory council will also focus on linking with parallel or supporting data or information dissemination systems that are necessary for a full environmental analysis. Data on animal distribution and abundance are needed, as well as other environmental data such as sea surface and water column temperature, ocean currents, and surface winds. The Marine Wildlife Behavior Database will either provide links to other oceanographic database web sites or will work with other research groups to create independent data themes or channels on the Marine Wildlife Behavior web site. The Marine Wildlife Behavior Database will utilize portal technology styled after the Geospatial One-Stop, allowing individual research groups to remotely administer their channels and providing one coherent web site for Internet users.
The Marine Wildlife Behavior Database will provide a three-dimensional component to animal behavior that has not been captured by existing Internet databases. Current efforts to geo-reference marine animal data, such as the Census of Marine Lifeís Ocean Biogeographic Information System Spatial Ecological Analysis of Megavertebrate Populations (OBIS-SEAMAP) project, have focused on the two-dimensional components of distribution and abundance. However, since acoustic energy levels can vary greatly with depth at a given location, the three-dimensional behavior of animals must be characterized in order to accurately calculate acoustic exposures. The Census of Marine Lifeís Tagging of Pacific Pelagics (TOPP) program provides movement maps derived from tagging experiments, but no detailed diving or movement data are being distributed publicly. The Marine Wildlife Behavior Database will distribute three-dimensional behavior data on fishes, marine mammals, and sea turtles over the Internet through a registered node on the National Spatial Data Infrastructure.
The Marine Wildlife Behavior Database will also create a consistent format for behavior data to be reported. Currently, the format of behavior data depends on the researcherís preference, the type of tag or method for collecting data, and/or the analytical software used for post-processing. This has produced a discontinuity between parallel studies that makes a coherent assessment of a speciesí behavior very difficult. By examining the original literature and contacting researchers regarding their results when necessary, a more consistent database of behavioral parameters will be created.
Marine Acoustics, Inc. is also currently working with other U.S. and international research groups to develop and establish a database standard. This standard would allow other research organizations to directly contribute data to or couple their existing databases with the Marine Wildlife Behavior Database. By utilizing portal technology styled after the Geospatial One-Stop, distinct data themes or channels could be created that would be administered by distributed research groups. This will allow, for example, the University of Rhode Island to administer the marine wildlife behavior channel, whereas Marine Acoustics, Inc. will administer the components dealing with marine sounds and sound propagation modeling tools. Therefore, one Internet site would network separate channels that together would provide the necessary data for a complete environmental impact assessment.