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Vision: Our ultimate goal is to find, rescue, and digitize all historical environmental data and to make those data available to the world.
Mission: The mission of IEDRO is to assist the scientific and educational communities of mainly developing countries locate, rescue and digitize all environmental data currently at risk on perishable media and to make those digitized data freely and openly available to the world scientific and educational communities before it is too late.
The International Environmental Data Rescue Organization, hereafter known as IEDRO, is an organization that assists the scientific and educational communities of mainly developing countries to locate, rescue and digitize all their environmental data currently at risk on perishable media and to make those digitized data freely and openly available to the world scientific and educational communities before those data are lost forever.
Until now, most Hydrometeorological Data Rescue programs have been actively supported by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). For over ten years, NOAA has led the effort to keep these data critical to all humanity from being lost forever and digitized terabytes of these data critical to the scientific community. Unfortunately, government funding has stopped leaving an estimated half million historic weather observations to die every week as the paper on which they lie deteriorates or the ink fades. IEDRO has decided to continue the scientifically critical work as a separate non-profit endeavor using private funds mainly from charitable foundations and individuals interested in assisting in gathering data to allow researchers to better understand climate change and global warming, help prevent starvation, improve flood and mud slide forecasts, forecast the spread of diseases such as malaria, dengue fever and yellow fever.
Our activities revolve around the discovery, rescue and digitization of foreign environmental data, at this point mainly meteorological (weather) observations, now residing on paper, microfilm and microfiche and magnetic tapes.
Our specific activities include the following:
1. Negotiating with foreign national meteorological services for IEDRO access to their original observations or microfilm/microfiche or magnetic copies of those observations and gaining their unrestricted permission to make copies of those data;
2. Providing for the digitization of those data.
3. Providing for the return of the digitized data to the originating national meteorological service (or other holder of the original data) as well as providing the U.S. World Data Center (NOAA National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) in Asheville, North Carolina) a copy of those digitized data for the free and unrestricted use of the world scientific and operational community.
These activities include IEDRO providing program management and data rescue experts (either IEDRO employees, volunteers, or consultants) to visit the participating countries. IEDRO also provides equipment (PCs, DVD burners, digital cameras, copy stands), software and training to rescue and digitize these found data. IEDRO will also provide on-site training in data and data rescue fields as well as sponsoring foreign data archivists to visit NCDC for training and collaboration. IEDRO will offer opportunities for applied research in the development of computer-based digitization programs facilitating the laborious manual keying of data to be digitized. While the majority of observations reside at the national meteorological services, occasionally meteorological observations are found in church archives, museums, private homes, military sites, etc. All are needed for the world data base and all are at risk.
The number of historic hydrometeorological observations alone currently at risk numbers in the hundreds of millions some dating back to the 1500s.
These activities will take place throughout the year in dozens of developing countries. The average time period from seeking permission from the data owner organization to the time the first observation is rescued by being copied onto a more robust media is about seven months. An additional 12 to 18 months are required before the first of the rescued observations are digitized due to the thousands of observation formats and languages used. The entire length of the process in a participating country varies according to the number of observations that are in need of rescue and digitization, their locations and their condition. The project/program planning, management and logistics will occur at IEDRO Headquarters in Deale, Maryland and the software development and programming and digitization will take place initially in the United States (most likely Maryland, and Virginia and eventually within several of the more progressive developing countries.
These activities entirely support scientific research and operations in the fields of meteorology, hydrology, climatology with direct and indirect support to the fields of agriculture, disease control, rural development, transportation, construction, disaster preparedness and especially climate change and global warming throughout the world.
One hundred percent of IEDRO's activities are focused on data location, rescue and digitization and the associated training.
Funding will primarily be through private individuals and charitable foundations with an interest in supporting environmental research and operations as well as those supporting sustainable development in developing countries, disease and disaster mitigation and reduction. Additional support may be through existing federal government agencies and through private contributions by individuals. For a tax deductable donation of $10, IEDRO will send you their latest DVD entitled, ".
For a $10.00 donation, IEDRO will send you a copy of the DVD entitled, "Data Rescue before It’s Too Late!" which explains the importance of DR&D to the national meteorological services of the world and to humanity.