Guide to navigating through OHI resources
by Erin O'Reilly
Down the rabbit hole. No, I’m not referring to Alice in Wonderland but instead the moment you google a topic, only to emerge hours later on a completely different subject, questioning how you ended up there.
As the new communications coordinator for the Ocean Health Index (OHI), this is a situation I want to prevent when people try to learn more about OHI. Through a quick “ocean health index” Google search, you are faced with four seemingly separate websites followed by news articles. This begs the question, where do I start and how do I find the information I need?
I recently dug through these different resources and went down the rabbit hole myself to explore every aspect of the websites and locate the most useful information. For help navigating through the sea of websites and sources, here are a couple of tips for orienting yourself with OHI and finding the information you need. This blog is structured in the way I think about approaching the different websites, starting with introductory concepts and then diving into specifics.
The extreme basics
If there is one thing you remember from this blog, let it be that OHI has two main websites – oceanhealthindex.org and ohi-science.org – each with their own purpose. As a general rule of thumb, oceanhealthindex.org gives an overview of OHI, while ohi-science.org provides a technical perspective of OHI and insights into the open data science that supports the creation of OHI scores.
I want a general introduction
Before jumping straight into the nitty gritty details of data analysis and coding, I always find it most useful to gain a big picture understanding of a project. For OHI, this includes learning about framework’s goals, objectives, and methodology, all of which help frame the project.
OHI is a comprehensive framework for evaluating the conditions of many things people value about oceans. By synthesizing data into concrete scores, the framework equips managers and policymakers with meaningful “vital signs” that can help them manage oceans sustainably. The framework can be applied at global, regional, and national scales, enabling tailored assessments with relevant results.
- About OHI: the who, what, and how of OHI
- OHI Biography: a brief history of OHI
- Methods Overview: introduction to regions assessed and factors used in goal calculations
I want to explore OHI scores
Through interactive data visualization techniques, the OHI team has developed fun and engaging ways to explore yearly assessments.
- Interactive Global Map: explore the most recent global assessment results by overall score or specific goal
- Annual Scores by Country: ranked list of annual scores for each assessed country, including comparisons over time and detailed reports for each country
- 2017 Assessment Key Findings: summary of key findings from the 2017 global assessment
I want to learn how OHI promotes open data science
The OHI team employs data science and open science practices to increase the reproducibility and transparency of the OHI process.
- Better Science in Less Time: look into how the OHI team uses open source tools to streamline their workflow, as presented in their publication in Nature Ecology & Evolution
- Data: open access, downloadable data
- Training: online data science trainings for topics such as open data science, the OHI toolbox, and data visualization
- Publications: list of publications associated with OHI and OHI+ assessments
I want an in-depth look into the parameters measured
OHI is commonly referred to as the Fitbit for our oceans, but what exactly does this mean and how is ocean health measured? The OHI framework encompasses a suite of goals (generally 10), each representing a social, ecological, or economic benefit people receive from the ocean. They range from food provision to sense of place to tourism and recreation.
- Brief Goal Introduction: short descriptions of each goal
- Interactive Guide to Goal Components: explore types of data used to calculate each of the goals and how they are measured
- In-Depth Look at Goals: philosophy behind each goal, ideal approach for representing them, and examples of how they were used in both global and regional assessments
I want to conduct my own assessment In addition to the yearly global assessment, there are also independently-led assessments called OHI+ assessments. These assessments are a local effort to conduct an assessment on a smaller scale with more detailed or tailored data. Keep a look out for an upcoming blog featuring the OHI+ process!
- OHI+ Locations: map, list, and information about countries involved in the OHI+ process
- OHI+ Process: overview of the 4 steps involved in the OHI+ process
- OHI Manual: in-depth look into the conduct phase of the OHI+ process that focuses on the preparation and use of the OHI toolbox
Hopefully this blog provided you a guide to navigating through all of the OHI resources out there and locating the information you need. Happy exploring!