Program Manager, Research Data Services
One Gifford Pinchot Drive
Contact Dave Rugg
I develop and implement methods for managing, publishing, and preserving the various types of research data generated by Forest Service Research & Development. This includes how to document research data using formal metadata and other materials so the data are usable by the originating research team (particularly for long-term research that spans the careers of multiple scientists), by the scientific community, and by the public.
Implementation of this research happens in my role as national program manager for Research Data Services, which includes operating the Forest Service Research Data Archive (https://www.fs.usda.gov/rds/archive) and converting paper-based historical research data from our experimental forests and grasslands into modern digital formats with documentation.
In my spare time, I’m working on a project to understand fledging in grassland birds.
Why This Research is Important
The data generated by scientists, when properly documented and published, can have usefulness far beyond the original purpose behind its collection. Re-analysis using newer statistical methods and combination of data sets across studies can yield new insights not accessible to the original science team. Data are also very useful for modeling systems -- models which are often better suited to informing land management than the research articles associated with the data. Relative to the cost of acquiring and quality assuring the data, the investment in publishing the data and preserving them for future use is small but generates a substantial benefit for science and society.
- University of Minnesota, M.S. Statistics analysis of categorical data 1983
- University of Minnesota, M.S. Ecology population ecology 1981
- Michigan State University, B.S. Zoology population ecology 1979
- Program Manager, Research Data Services, U.S. Forest Service
2010 - Current
In this position I created, and now maintain/improve, a R&D-wide capability for publishing and preserving research data. I also manage a small project to scan historical research materials from our experimental forests and grasslands, convert the research data to digital format, and then publish the documented data. This position is a fun and rewarding integration of my background in ecology, statistics, and computer science.
- IT Specialist, U.S. Forest Service
2000 - 2009
Shifted my focus to creating a capacity in Forest Service R&D to document and publish research data. Wrote what turned out to be the surprisingly successful Metavist software for creating metadata.
- Mathematical Statistician, U.S. Forest Service
1997 - 1999
Worked as a scientist in the riparian ecology unit in northern Minnesota
- Mathematical Statistician, U.S. Forest Service
1983 - 1996
Worked as a consulting statistician at the North Central Research Station, interacting with scientists across the Station on experimental design, analysis of data, and development of new statistical techniques. Some of this period was spent in the Station’s Wildlife research unit focusing on beaver biology.
Featured Publications & Products
- Rugg, David J. 2004. Creating FGDC and NBII metadata with Metavist 2005..
- Ribic, Christine A.; Rugg, David J.; Donner, Deahn M.; Beck, Albert J.; Byers, BJ., Jr. 2016. The Moquah Barrens Research Natural Area: Loss of a pine barrens ecosystem.
- Rugg, David J. 2003. TableSim--A program for analysis of small-sample categorical data..
- Brown, Donald J.; Nelson, Mark D.; Rugg, David J.; Buech, Richard R.; Donner, Deahn M. 2016. Spatial and temporal habitat-use patterns of wood turtles at the western edge of their distribution.
- Buech, Richard R.; Rugg, David J. 1995. Biomass of food available to beavers on five Minnesota shrubs..
- Ribic, Christine A.; Rugg, David J.; Ellison, Kevin ; Koper, Nicola ; Pietz, Pamela J. 2021. Diel patterns of predation and fledging at nests of four species of grassland songbirds.
- Ribic, Christine A.; Rugg, David J.; Koper, Nicola ; Ellison, Kevin ; Ng, Christoph S. 2019. Behavior of adult and young grassland songbirds at fledging.
- Ribic, Christine A.; Ng, Christoph S.; Koper, Nicola ; Ellison, Kevin ; Pietz, Pamela J.; Rugg, David J. 2018. Diel fledging patterns among grassland passerines: Relative impacts of energetics and predation risk.
- Ostry, M.E.; Anderson, N.A.; Rugg, D.J.; Ward, K.T. 2004. Long-term response of precommercially thinned aspen clones to Hypoxylon canker..
- Juzwik, J.; Rugg, D. J. 1996. Seedling mortality and development of root rot in white pine seedlings in two bare-root nurseries.
- Buech, Richard R.; Rugg, David J. 1995. Biomass relations for components of five Minnesota shrubs..
- Probst, John R.; Rakstad, Don R.; Rugg, David J. 1992. Breeding bird communities in regenerating and mature broadleaf forests in the USA Lake States.
|Wood Turtle Habitat Use in Western Edge of Distribution|
Efforts to better understand habitat use patterns of the wood turtle at the western edge of their range is important for range-wide conservation ...