North Slope Science Catalog


The North Slope Science Catalog is being updated.  New NSS Catalog should be available June 1, 2013.  Click Here to view the beta site.

The North Slope Science Initiative (NSSI) was authorized in Section 348 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (109-58). The purpose of NSSI is to improve scientific and regulatory understanding of terrestrial, aquatic and marine ecosystems on the North Slope of Alaska within the context of resource development activities and climate change. NSSI seeks to identify data and information needs that will be required in developing management scenarios and mitigation strategies. NSSI facilitates information sharing and coordination among agencies, industry, non-governmental organizations, academia, international entities and the general public.

A high priority for the North Slope Science Initiative (NSSI) has been the establishment of a central resource to facilitate the discovery and dissemination of information products in support of science-based research and management decision making on the North Slope. To meet this objective, the University of Alaska, Geographic Information Network of Alaska (GINA) has been working closely with NSSI to develop a web based information exchange called the North Slope Science Catalog. Catalog is intended to complement existing resources and avoid duplication of effort.

Catalog contains descriptions of ongoing scientific research projects and provides access to existing scientific data. Catalog provides a variety of services including:

  • Discovery: search for projects or data.
  • Distribution: download data from Catalog or other sites.
  • Archive: store data at Catalog.
  • Visualization: see imagery and maps on Catalog.
  • Remote Management: secure login and moderation of assets.

The NSS Catalog is built in an open source, linux environment that emphasizes robust security and efficient delivery of services using Ruby on Rails for the server code and ExtJS for the client web interface. Authentication is handled using OpenID to provide secure, distributed and single-sign-on access to the application. The communication between the client and the server is primarily done through REST requests to send data and project records to the client browser. An OpenLayers map interface is used for visualization of GIS data/projects and satellite imagery is provided through GINA/SDMI WebTile services. All data uploaded to the NSSI Catalog is stored in version controlled repositories to provide a permanent history of the data and to allow for citations of the exact version of the data being accessed from the Catalog. The NSS Catalog is run on multiple linux servers using CentOS 5.3, with Apache, Postgres/PostGIS, and Passenger services.

New orthoimagery for the North Slope region has been developed through the Statewide Digital Mapping Initiative (SDMI) and GINA. This imagery can be viewed in NSS Catalog or downloaded from Alaska Mapped.