About the Project


The Governor’s energy package, which included 200 million dollars of funding to “stimulate development in the renewable and alternative energy field,” will result in the production of significant amounts of energy-related information (HB 7135). This plan will result in generating research data that will advance renewable energy development. The Institute for Energy Systems, Economics and Sustainability (IESES) takes the lead on this effort at Florida State University. But the state may not be able to take full advantage of this, and related, research if it is not easily accessible by the public, lawmakers, researchers, and others who will participate in the planning of the state’s energy future.

Currently, there are a number of different points of access for information about renewable energy in the state, and no comprehensive or direct point access for renewable energy research. Development of a renewable energy research database with an associated web portal for organizing and disseminating IESES and Florida Energy Systems Consortium (FESC) generated and related information will help ensure that the state will be able to leverage its research investment into tangible decisions, programs, and applications. This proposal is essential in that it will minimize duplication of research efforts, insure that researchers are aware of other efforts, facilitate the creation of collaborative links, and keep researchers up-to-date with current state-of-the-art knowledge of renewable and alternative energy research. This project will also lay groundwork to take advantage of recent initiatives encouraged by the NSF, which call for the development of cyberinfrastructure research to develop more sophisticated ways to utilize the Internet to increase the efficiency of both research and dissemination.

Project Overview

The Information Use Management & Policy Institute (II) in collaboration with the Learning Systems Institute (LSI) proposes a one year project which will identify, organize, and make available via a web portal, research generated as part of the FESC effort as well as other selected related information resources and tools as identified by FESC participants. The primary tasks to be completed in this process include:

  • Organize an advisory committee of renewable energy researchers and related experts;
  • Conduct needs assessment of IESES and FESC energy researchers and related experts to determine (1) the most important content to be included in the web portal, and (2) preferences to be considered in the design of and applications for the web portal;
  • Identify and obtain relevant energy research information from IESES and FESC and other sources as appropriate;
  • Develop a web portal such that identifies, organizes, and accesses energy research information;
  • Field test and conduct usability, feasibility, and accessibility testing on a web portal.

The goal of this project is to provide IESES, FESC, policymakers, researchers, and others in the state of Florida with the research information they need to accomplish statewide energy goals and to help IESES meet the thirteen objectives it has undertaken by providing access to research information. The work will leverage existing work at LSI – Global Usability Knowledge Management, which has developed databases with an interactive map-based portal to research centers in the area of technology usability – which will be further developed and expanded in the currently proposed project.

Project Products and Outcomes

A first product from this project will be an operational web portal that identifies, organizes, and provides access to a range of FESC and research related to renewable and alternative energy information.  A second related product will be research results on extending technologies that allow users to share information and grow/sustain the web portal through a range of social networking techniques.  This research will position FSU to obtain additional external funding related to interactive databases and web portals  Expected outcomes resulting from the project include increased IESES and FESC researcher productivity; increased leverage and collaboration of FESC resources and funding; and improved policy and decision making regarding the future uses and development of renewable and alternative energy in Florida.

Importance of the Project

Governor Crist’s and the Legislature’s initiative to plan for Florida’s future energy needs is an expansive and important effort.  The research that results from the FESC Science and Technology Thrusts, and related efforts, however, must be identified, organized, and made easily and quickly accessible to researchers, policymakers, and others. If the energy research is not organized and made easily accessible some the IESES and FESC resources could be wasted through duplication of effort or being unaware of key research information available on specific research topics being considered for or under investigation.  The web portal described in this proposal will be an essential means to maximize the benefits from the initiative and leverage the research information for specific applications and strategies to best benefit the residents of Florida.

Principal Investigators

Charles R. McClure, Ph.D.

Francis Eppes Professor and Director
Information Use Management & Policy Institute,
College of Communication & Information, Florida State University
Email: cmcclure@lis.fsu.edu
Website: http://mcclure.ii.fsu.edu/
Phone Number: 850-644-8109
Address: 142 Collegiate Loop, Tallahassee, FL 32306-2100, USA

Ian Douglas, Ph.D.

Associate Professor and Director
Knowledge Communities Research Group,
Learning Systems Institute, Florida State University
Email: idouglas@lsi.fsu.edu
Website: http://myweb.fsu.edu/idouglas/
Phone number: 850-644-0100
Address: C4600 University Center,
Tallahassee, FL 32306-2100, USA

Charles C. Hinnant, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor and Assistant Director
Information Use Management & Policy Institute,
College of Communication & Information, Florida State University
Email: chinnant@fsu.edu
Website: http://www.ii.fsu.edu/
Phone Number: 850-645-8967
Address: 142 Collegiate Loop, Tallahassee, FL 32306-2100, USA

This project is being conducted by the Information Use Management & Policy Institute and the Learning Systems Institute at Florida State University.
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