Database-management system in the LIFE+ Petrels project!

A project of the scale of the LIFE+ Pétrels gathers a large amount of datas such as field observations, scientific monitoring, sounds, pictures and videos recorded. It was important to structure it so that this data could be stored properly, be easily accessible and, most importantly, be usable! 3 years after the beginning of the project, it was vital for the LIFE+ Pétrels to improve its database-management system. Guillaume thus came as backup to help the team as part of an 8 months Voluntary Civilian Service. Here is his experience.

The first stage of my mission was to understand the way how each agent worked individually and collectively. I thus analysed the habits and the needs of my colleagues and then I established a methodology enabling all members of the project to share efficiently informations. It wasn’t easy because during 3 years, they got used to work a certain way and old habits die hard.

Then I had to make some room because with all the data collected for the past 3 years, servers were overloaded! A further investigation, which lasted 2 weeks, inside the “dark LIFE” allowed me to sort 5To of files. I then had to organise and archive all this data, according to the methodology I had developed earlier. With the help of the National Park’s IT department, I set up a system of automatic back-up in order to secure all this precious data that was sorely collected by my colleagues on the field.

Once this work was done, I wanted to create a tool that would facilitate the field agents’ work: a movable database that they could bring with them everywhere. For the rest of my mission, I thus worked along with the rest of the LIFE+ Pétrels’ team on creating a database that can record live the information necessary for the scientific monitoring and the conservation actions. The development was mostly done at the office. I included the feedback and comments made by the field agents to correct it. I also had the chance to go on the field to test the data input and correct the bugs and, overall, improve the database. Thanks to it, the LIFE+ Pétrels’ team can monitor the apparatus placed in the remotest areas of Réunion. It also gives them an overall view on all the field actions and their reports. This allows the field agents to be more efficient on the field as well as helping them better plan their missions and win time at the office! I’m deeply proud and happy to have fulfilled my mission and reached the goals that were set, even exceeding them.”

Guillaume’s mission is coming to and en in March. He was very important at this time of the project, making the data input and processing easier for all the team. The team thank you for your work, your hard work and your joy! We hope that you will stay longer with us!

Photos : Guillaume (left) and Yahaia usig the database-management system (right)