Table of contents
  1. Story
  2. Slides
    1. Slide 1 Data Science for EarthCube 2015 Key Documents
    2. Slide 2 EarthCube 2015 All Hands Meeting: Web Page
    3. Slide 3 EarthCube 2015 All Hands Meeting: Key Documents
    4. Slide 4 EarthCube 2015 All Hands Meeting: Meeting Documents
    5. Slide 5 EarthCube 2015 Hackathon: Data Science Data Mining
    6. Slide 6 Data Science for EarthCube 2015 Key Documents: Knowledge Base in MindTouch
    7. Slide 7 Data Science for EarthCube 2015 Key Documents: Google Chrome Find
    8. Slide 8 Data.gov: Geoscience
    9. Slide 9 Global Change Master Directory: Geoscience
    10. Slide 10 Directorate for Geosciences: Data Policies
    11. Slide 11 Google Search for Geoscience Data Sets: University of Illinois Library
    12. Slide 12 Google Search for Geoscience Data Sets: Natural Resources Canada
    13. Slide 13 Google Search for Geoscience Data Sets: Australian Government
    14. Slide 14 Data Science for USGS Minerals Big Data
  3. Slides
    1. Slide 1 Data Science Data Publication for the NSF Geosciences Directorate: Dynamic Earth 1
    2. Slide 2 Dynamic Earth: GEO Frontiers 2015–2020
    3. Slide 3 NSF Geosciences Directorate Four Thematic Teams
    4. Slide 4 GEO Imperatives in Data & Cyberinfrastructure
    5. Slide 5 Develop Community-Driven Cyberinfrastructure to Advance Data/Model-enabled Science and Education
    6. Slide 6 EarthCube–Geoscience Data for the 21st Century 1
    7. Slide 7 EarthCube–Geoscience Data for the 21st Century 2
    8. Slide 8 NSF Geosciences Directorate Divisions
    9. Slide 9 Data Science Data Publication: Dynamic Earth 1
    10. Slide 10 Augustine Volcano: Wikipedia
    11. Slide 11 USGS: The 2006 Eruption of Augustine Volcano, Alaska
    12. Slide 12 Smithsonian Institution: Volcanoes of the World
    13. Slide 13 Alaska Volcano Observatory: Latitudes and Longitudes
    14. Slide 14 Alaska Volcano Observatory: Geochemical Database
    15. Slide 15 National Flood Interoperability Experiment
    16. Slide 16 NFIE Hydro Regions: Mid-Atlantic
    17. Slide 17 CUAHSI: Data Access
    18. Slide 18 EarthCube2015 Data Science Publication: MindTouch Knowledge Base
    19. Slide 19 EarthCube2015 Data Science Publication: Excel Spreadsheet Knowledge Base
    20. Slide 20 EarthCube2015 Data Science Publication: Spotfire Cover Page
    21. Slide 21 EarthCube2015 Data Science Publication: Spotfire Volcanoes AKO & Augustine
    22. Slide 22 EarthCube2015 Data Science Publication: Spotfire Volcanoes Worldwide
    23. Slide 23 EarthCube2015 Data Science Publication: Spotfire NFIE Mid-Atlantic Hydro Regions Catchments
    24. Slide 24 EarthCube2015 Data Science Publication: Spotfire NFIE Mid-Atlantic Hydro Regions Dam Events
    25. Slide 25 EarthCube2015 Data Science Publication: Spotfire NFIE Mid-Atlantic Hydro Regions Flow Lines
    26. Slide 26 EarthCube2015 Data Science Publication: Spotfire NFIE Mid-Atlantic Hydro Regions Gage Events
    27. Slide 27 EarthCube2015 Data Science Publication: Spotfire NFIE Mid-Atlantic Hydro Regions Subwatersheds
    28. Slide 28 Conclusions and Recommendations
  4. Spotfire Dashboard
  5. Research Notes
  6. Key Documents
    1. EarthCube Charter
      1. 1. Preamble
      2. 2. Mission and Vision
      3. 3. EarthCube Members and Partners
      4. 4. Governance Structure and Organizational Units
        1. 4.1 Leadership Council
          1. 4.1.1 Functions
          2. 4.1.2 Membership
          3. 4.1.2.1 Leadership Council Chair
          4. 4.1.3 Elections and Terms
          5. 4.1.4 Nominations Committee
          6. 4.1.5 Resignation, Removal and Unscheduled Departure from Elected Office
        2. 4.2 Standing Committees, Teams and Council for Data Facilities
          1. 4.2.1 Science 1 Standing Committee
          2. 4.2.2 Technology and Architecture Standing Committee
          3. 4.2.3 Council of Data Facilities
          4. 4.2.4 Engagement Team
          5. 4.2.5 Liaison Team
        3. 4.3 Special Interest and Working Groups
      5. 5. The EarthCube Office
      6. 6. Evaluation
    2. Strategic Vision
      1. Introduction
      2. Science Imperatives and Frontiers
      3. Technological Imperatives and Frontiers
      4. Footnotes
        1. 1
        2. 2
        3. 3
        4. 4
    3. Science Strategic Plan
      1. Cover Page
      2. Table of Contents
      3. Executive Summary
      4. 1. Background 1
      5. 2. End-User Workshops
        1. 2.1 Science drivers
        2. 2.2 Common or overarching themes
          1. Figure 1: Word Cloud Derived From the Science Drivers
      6. 3. Funded Projects
          1. Table 1: Categorization of Building Block projects (see text for complete description)
      7. 4. Grand Challenges
      8. 5. EarthCube: a bridge between data and knowledge
      9. Footnotes
        1. 1
        2. 2
        3. 3
        4. 4
        5. 5
        6. 6
        7. 7
        8. 8
        9. 9
        10. 10
        11. 11
        12. 12
        13. 13
        14. 14
        15. 15
        16. 16
        17. 17
        18. 18
        19. 19
        20. 20
        21. 21
        22. 22
        23. 23
    4. TAC Strategic Plan
    5. 2015 EarthCube Highlights
      1. Cover Page
      2. Inside Cover Page
      3. EarthCube in brief
      4. EarthCube in 2015
      5. Research Coordination Networks: Science communities
      6. Building Blocks: Technology demonstrations
      7. Conceptual Designs: Towards an EarthCube architecture
      8. Test Governance: Standing up the EarthCube organization
      9. Community activities
        1. Strategic planning for EarthCube
        2. Roadmaps for science activities
        3. A roadmap for technology activities
        4. Developing use cases
        5. Identifying technology gaps
        6. Adopting standards
        7. Standing up a testbed
        8. Converging on architecture
        9. The Council of Data Facilities
        10. Engaging the community
        11. Involvement and adoption in the community
      10. Faces of EarthCube
      11. Back Cover
    6. EarthCube: Past, Present, and Future
      1. Cover Page
      2. About the Editors
      3. Executive Summary
      4. Message from NSF: Transforming Geosciences through EarthCube
        1. EarthCube Vision and Mission
        2. A Timeline for EarthCube
          1. Figure A Timeline for EarthCube
          2. Photo 1
      5. End User Workshops: Gathering Requirements from Scientists
        1. Photo 2
      6. EarthCube Funded Projects
        1. Figure Funded Projects
        2. Research Coordination Networks: Engaging Science Communities
          1. Photo 3
          2. Table 2013 Coordination Networks Awards
          3. Table 2014 Research Coordination Networks Awards
          4. Photo 4
        3. Building Blocks: Exploring Solutions and Demonstrating Utility
          1. Photo 5
          2. Table 2013 Building Block Awards
          3. Table 2014 Building Block Awards
        4. Conceptual Designs: Initial Planning for Enterprise Architecture
          1. Table 2013 Conceptual Design Awards
          2. Table 2014 Conceptual Design Awards
        5. Test Governance: Formal Mechanisms to Involve the Community
          1. Figure Test Governance
      7. Getting Involved
        1. Figure High-Level Structure of EarthCube's Demonstration Governance
        2. The Science Committee
        3. The Technical and Architecture Committee
        4. The Engagement Team
        5. The Liaison Team
        6. The Council of Data Facilities
        7. The Leadership Council
          1. The EarthCube Leadership Council
          2. Photo 6
        8. Other Opportunities
          1. Photo 7
      8. References
        1. 1
        2. 2
        3. 3
        4. 4
  7. Dynamic Earth
    1. Cover Page
    2. Inside Cover Page
    3. Foreword
    4. Introduction
      1. Background
      2. GEO Imperatives and Frontiers
        1. NSF GEO supports research spanning the Atmospheric and Geospace, Earth, Ocean, and Polar sciences
      3. On Solid Scientific Ground
      4. Partnerships and Paramount Connections
        1. Polar Biology Research Collaboration
        2. GEO Partnerships
      5. How this Document is Organized
        1. Dynamic Earth: GEO Imperatives 2015-2020
        2. Dynamic Earth: Research Frontiers* (*subject to annual review)
    5. GEO Imperatives in Research
      1. Continue Strong Emphasis on and Support for Core Research
        1. Understanding Volcanic Systems
      2. Establish Collaborative Effort to Improve Understanding of and Resilience to Hazards and Extreme Natural Events
        1. Basic Research on Geohazards Potential Areas of Inquiry
        2. Preparing for Thunderstorms
        3. Basic Research on Food-Energy-Water System Potential Areas of Inquiry
      3. Establish a Collaborative Effort to Understand the Water Cycle
        1. Supporting Sustainable Water Management
    6. GEO Imperatives in Community Resources & Infrastructure
      1. Maintain State-of-the-Art Facilities
        1. Research Vessel Sikuliaq
      2. Complete Construction and Begin Full-Scale Operation of the Ocean Observatories Initiative
        1. OOI Priority Areas for Innovation
        2. Ocean Observatories in Operation
      3. Implement Strategic Plans for Logistics and Operations for the Polar Regions
        1. McMurdo, Logistics Hub of the Antarctic
      4. Begin Conceptualization and Development of Next-Generation Sun-Earth-System Community Models
        1. Collaborative Space Weather Modeling
    7. GEO Imperatives in Data & Cyberinfrastructure
      1. Develop Community-Driven Cyberinfrastructure to Advance Data/Model-enabled Science and Education
        1. EarthCube – Geoscience Data for the 21st Century
      2. Harness the Power of Computing and Computational Infrastructure
        1. Uniform California Earthquake Rupture Forecast v.3 (UCERF3)
        2. Supercomputing out West
      3. Invest in Infrastructure for Observing Systems and Sensor Arrays
        1. Remote Sensing in the Sierra
      4. Use Distributed Instrumentation and Facilities in Support of Research and Education
        1. Next-Gen Geoscientists
    8. GEO Imperatives in Education & Diversity
      1. Increase Undergraduate Exposure to and Enrollment in the Geosciences
      2. Prepare a Capable Geosciences Workforce
        1. Two Principal Investigators
        2. Student-Built Rover Braves the Antarctic
      3. Broaden Participation of Underrepresented Groups
        1. Sailing for Science
      4. Promote Public and Community-based Science to Improve Public STEM Literacy and Decision-making, and to Advance the Geosciences
        1. Geoscience for Kids
      5. Promote Use of Community Resources for Both Research and Educational Purposes
        1. Youth outreach in Critical Zone Observatory, Boulder, CO
      6. Probing Outer Space for Data
    9. GEO Research Frontiers: Dynamic Earth
      1. Earth Systems Processes that Cross the Land/Ocean Interface
        1. NSF EarthScope plate Boundary Observatory GPS network
      2. High Latitude Ocean-Atmosphere-Ice-Ecosystem Interactions and Processes
        1. Greenland Glacier
      3. Urban Geosystem Science
        1. Scientists will explore interconnectivities between the natural and built environments
      4. Early Earth
        1. Chu Research Group, Chinese Academy of Sciences
    10. Acknowledgements
    11. Image Credits
      1. Introduction
      2. Research
      3. Community Resources and Infrastructure
      4. Data and Cyberinfrastructure
      5. Education and Diversity
      6. Frontiers
    12. Advisory Committee for Geosciences (2012-2014)
  8. NEXT

Key Documents

Last modified
Table of contents
  1. Story
  2. Slides
    1. Slide 1 Data Science for EarthCube 2015 Key Documents
    2. Slide 2 EarthCube 2015 All Hands Meeting: Web Page
    3. Slide 3 EarthCube 2015 All Hands Meeting: Key Documents
    4. Slide 4 EarthCube 2015 All Hands Meeting: Meeting Documents
    5. Slide 5 EarthCube 2015 Hackathon: Data Science Data Mining
    6. Slide 6 Data Science for EarthCube 2015 Key Documents: Knowledge Base in MindTouch
    7. Slide 7 Data Science for EarthCube 2015 Key Documents: Google Chrome Find
    8. Slide 8 Data.gov: Geoscience
    9. Slide 9 Global Change Master Directory: Geoscience
    10. Slide 10 Directorate for Geosciences: Data Policies
    11. Slide 11 Google Search for Geoscience Data Sets: University of Illinois Library
    12. Slide 12 Google Search for Geoscience Data Sets: Natural Resources Canada
    13. Slide 13 Google Search for Geoscience Data Sets: Australian Government
    14. Slide 14 Data Science for USGS Minerals Big Data
  3. Slides
    1. Slide 1 Data Science Data Publication for the NSF Geosciences Directorate: Dynamic Earth 1
    2. Slide 2 Dynamic Earth: GEO Frontiers 2015–2020
    3. Slide 3 NSF Geosciences Directorate Four Thematic Teams
    4. Slide 4 GEO Imperatives in Data & Cyberinfrastructure
    5. Slide 5 Develop Community-Driven Cyberinfrastructure to Advance Data/Model-enabled Science and Education
    6. Slide 6 EarthCube–Geoscience Data for the 21st Century 1
    7. Slide 7 EarthCube–Geoscience Data for the 21st Century 2
    8. Slide 8 NSF Geosciences Directorate Divisions
    9. Slide 9 Data Science Data Publication: Dynamic Earth 1
    10. Slide 10 Augustine Volcano: Wikipedia
    11. Slide 11 USGS: The 2006 Eruption of Augustine Volcano, Alaska
    12. Slide 12 Smithsonian Institution: Volcanoes of the World
    13. Slide 13 Alaska Volcano Observatory: Latitudes and Longitudes
    14. Slide 14 Alaska Volcano Observatory: Geochemical Database
    15. Slide 15 National Flood Interoperability Experiment
    16. Slide 16 NFIE Hydro Regions: Mid-Atlantic
    17. Slide 17 CUAHSI: Data Access
    18. Slide 18 EarthCube2015 Data Science Publication: MindTouch Knowledge Base
    19. Slide 19 EarthCube2015 Data Science Publication: Excel Spreadsheet Knowledge Base
    20. Slide 20 EarthCube2015 Data Science Publication: Spotfire Cover Page
    21. Slide 21 EarthCube2015 Data Science Publication: Spotfire Volcanoes AKO & Augustine
    22. Slide 22 EarthCube2015 Data Science Publication: Spotfire Volcanoes Worldwide
    23. Slide 23 EarthCube2015 Data Science Publication: Spotfire NFIE Mid-Atlantic Hydro Regions Catchments
    24. Slide 24 EarthCube2015 Data Science Publication: Spotfire NFIE Mid-Atlantic Hydro Regions Dam Events
    25. Slide 25 EarthCube2015 Data Science Publication: Spotfire NFIE Mid-Atlantic Hydro Regions Flow Lines
    26. Slide 26 EarthCube2015 Data Science Publication: Spotfire NFIE Mid-Atlantic Hydro Regions Gage Events
    27. Slide 27 EarthCube2015 Data Science Publication: Spotfire NFIE Mid-Atlantic Hydro Regions Subwatersheds
    28. Slide 28 Conclusions and Recommendations
  4. Spotfire Dashboard
  5. Research Notes
  6. Key Documents
    1. EarthCube Charter
      1. 1. Preamble
      2. 2. Mission and Vision
      3. 3. EarthCube Members and Partners
      4. 4. Governance Structure and Organizational Units
        1. 4.1 Leadership Council
          1. 4.1.1 Functions
          2. 4.1.2 Membership
          3. 4.1.2.1 Leadership Council Chair
          4. 4.1.3 Elections and Terms
          5. 4.1.4 Nominations Committee
          6. 4.1.5 Resignation, Removal and Unscheduled Departure from Elected Office
        2. 4.2 Standing Committees, Teams and Council for Data Facilities
          1. 4.2.1 Science 1 Standing Committee
          2. 4.2.2 Technology and Architecture Standing Committee
          3. 4.2.3 Council of Data Facilities
          4. 4.2.4 Engagement Team
          5. 4.2.5 Liaison Team
        3. 4.3 Special Interest and Working Groups
      5. 5. The EarthCube Office
      6. 6. Evaluation
    2. Strategic Vision
      1. Introduction
      2. Science Imperatives and Frontiers
      3. Technological Imperatives and Frontiers
      4. Footnotes
        1. 1
        2. 2
        3. 3
        4. 4
    3. Science Strategic Plan
      1. Cover Page
      2. Table of Contents
      3. Executive Summary
      4. 1. Background 1
      5. 2. End-User Workshops
        1. 2.1 Science drivers
        2. 2.2 Common or overarching themes
          1. Figure 1: Word Cloud Derived From the Science Drivers
      6. 3. Funded Projects
          1. Table 1: Categorization of Building Block projects (see text for complete description)
      7. 4. Grand Challenges
      8. 5. EarthCube: a bridge between data and knowledge
      9. Footnotes
        1. 1
        2. 2
        3. 3
        4. 4
        5. 5
        6. 6
        7. 7
        8. 8
        9. 9
        10. 10
        11. 11
        12. 12
        13. 13
        14. 14
        15. 15
        16. 16
        17. 17
        18. 18
        19. 19
        20. 20
        21. 21
        22. 22
        23. 23
    4. TAC Strategic Plan
    5. 2015 EarthCube Highlights
      1. Cover Page
      2. Inside Cover Page
      3. EarthCube in brief
      4. EarthCube in 2015
      5. Research Coordination Networks: Science communities
      6. Building Blocks: Technology demonstrations
      7. Conceptual Designs: Towards an EarthCube architecture
      8. Test Governance: Standing up the EarthCube organization
      9. Community activities
        1. Strategic planning for EarthCube
        2. Roadmaps for science activities
        3. A roadmap for technology activities
        4. Developing use cases
        5. Identifying technology gaps
        6. Adopting standards
        7. Standing up a testbed
        8. Converging on architecture
        9. The Council of Data Facilities
        10. Engaging the community
        11. Involvement and adoption in the community
      10. Faces of EarthCube
      11. Back Cover
    6. EarthCube: Past, Present, and Future
      1. Cover Page
      2. About the Editors
      3. Executive Summary
      4. Message from NSF: Transforming Geosciences through EarthCube
        1. EarthCube Vision and Mission
        2. A Timeline for EarthCube
          1. Figure A Timeline for EarthCube
          2. Photo 1
      5. End User Workshops: Gathering Requirements from Scientists
        1. Photo 2
      6. EarthCube Funded Projects
        1. Figure Funded Projects
        2. Research Coordination Networks: Engaging Science Communities
          1. Photo 3
          2. Table 2013 Coordination Networks Awards
          3. Table 2014 Research Coordination Networks Awards
          4. Photo 4
        3. Building Blocks: Exploring Solutions and Demonstrating Utility
          1. Photo 5
          2. Table 2013 Building Block Awards
          3. Table 2014 Building Block Awards
        4. Conceptual Designs: Initial Planning for Enterprise Architecture
          1. Table 2013 Conceptual Design Awards
          2. Table 2014 Conceptual Design Awards
        5. Test Governance: Formal Mechanisms to Involve the Community
          1. Figure Test Governance
      7. Getting Involved
        1. Figure High-Level Structure of EarthCube's Demonstration Governance
        2. The Science Committee
        3. The Technical and Architecture Committee
        4. The Engagement Team
        5. The Liaison Team
        6. The Council of Data Facilities
        7. The Leadership Council
          1. The EarthCube Leadership Council
          2. Photo 6
        8. Other Opportunities
          1. Photo 7
      8. References
        1. 1
        2. 2
        3. 3
        4. 4
  7. Dynamic Earth
    1. Cover Page
    2. Inside Cover Page
    3. Foreword
    4. Introduction
      1. Background
      2. GEO Imperatives and Frontiers
        1. NSF GEO supports research spanning the Atmospheric and Geospace, Earth, Ocean, and Polar sciences
      3. On Solid Scientific Ground
      4. Partnerships and Paramount Connections
        1. Polar Biology Research Collaboration
        2. GEO Partnerships
      5. How this Document is Organized
        1. Dynamic Earth: GEO Imperatives 2015-2020
        2. Dynamic Earth: Research Frontiers* (*subject to annual review)
    5. GEO Imperatives in Research
      1. Continue Strong Emphasis on and Support for Core Research
        1. Understanding Volcanic Systems
      2. Establish Collaborative Effort to Improve Understanding of and Resilience to Hazards and Extreme Natural Events
        1. Basic Research on Geohazards Potential Areas of Inquiry
        2. Preparing for Thunderstorms
        3. Basic Research on Food-Energy-Water System Potential Areas of Inquiry
      3. Establish a Collaborative Effort to Understand the Water Cycle
        1. Supporting Sustainable Water Management
    6. GEO Imperatives in Community Resources & Infrastructure
      1. Maintain State-of-the-Art Facilities
        1. Research Vessel Sikuliaq
      2. Complete Construction and Begin Full-Scale Operation of the Ocean Observatories Initiative
        1. OOI Priority Areas for Innovation
        2. Ocean Observatories in Operation
      3. Implement Strategic Plans for Logistics and Operations for the Polar Regions
        1. McMurdo, Logistics Hub of the Antarctic
      4. Begin Conceptualization and Development of Next-Generation Sun-Earth-System Community Models
        1. Collaborative Space Weather Modeling
    7. GEO Imperatives in Data & Cyberinfrastructure
      1. Develop Community-Driven Cyberinfrastructure to Advance Data/Model-enabled Science and Education
        1. EarthCube – Geoscience Data for the 21st Century
      2. Harness the Power of Computing and Computational Infrastructure
        1. Uniform California Earthquake Rupture Forecast v.3 (UCERF3)
        2. Supercomputing out West
      3. Invest in Infrastructure for Observing Systems and Sensor Arrays
        1. Remote Sensing in the Sierra
      4. Use Distributed Instrumentation and Facilities in Support of Research and Education
        1. Next-Gen Geoscientists
    8. GEO Imperatives in Education & Diversity
      1. Increase Undergraduate Exposure to and Enrollment in the Geosciences
      2. Prepare a Capable Geosciences Workforce
        1. Two Principal Investigators
        2. Student-Built Rover Braves the Antarctic
      3. Broaden Participation of Underrepresented Groups
        1. Sailing for Science
      4. Promote Public and Community-based Science to Improve Public STEM Literacy and Decision-making, and to Advance the Geosciences
        1. Geoscience for Kids
      5. Promote Use of Community Resources for Both Research and Educational Purposes
        1. Youth outreach in Critical Zone Observatory, Boulder, CO
      6. Probing Outer Space for Data
    9. GEO Research Frontiers: Dynamic Earth
      1. Earth Systems Processes that Cross the Land/Ocean Interface
        1. NSF EarthScope plate Boundary Observatory GPS network
      2. High Latitude Ocean-Atmosphere-Ice-Ecosystem Interactions and Processes
        1. Greenland Glacier
      3. Urban Geosystem Science
        1. Scientists will explore interconnectivities between the natural and built environments
      4. Early Earth
        1. Chu Research Group, Chinese Academy of Sciences
    10. Acknowledgements
    11. Image Credits
      1. Introduction
      2. Research
      3. Community Resources and Infrastructure
      4. Data and Cyberinfrastructure
      5. Education and Diversity
      6. Frontiers
    12. Advisory Committee for Geosciences (2012-2014)
  8. NEXT

  1. Story
  2. Slides
    1. Slide 1 Data Science for EarthCube 2015 Key Documents
    2. Slide 2 EarthCube 2015 All Hands Meeting: Web Page
    3. Slide 3 EarthCube 2015 All Hands Meeting: Key Documents
    4. Slide 4 EarthCube 2015 All Hands Meeting: Meeting Documents
    5. Slide 5 EarthCube 2015 Hackathon: Data Science Data Mining
    6. Slide 6 Data Science for EarthCube 2015 Key Documents: Knowledge Base in MindTouch
    7. Slide 7 Data Science for EarthCube 2015 Key Documents: Google Chrome Find
    8. Slide 8 Data.gov: Geoscience
    9. Slide 9 Global Change Master Directory: Geoscience
    10. Slide 10 Directorate for Geosciences: Data Policies
    11. Slide 11 Google Search for Geoscience Data Sets: University of Illinois Library
    12. Slide 12 Google Search for Geoscience Data Sets: Natural Resources Canada
    13. Slide 13 Google Search for Geoscience Data Sets: Australian Government
    14. Slide 14 Data Science for USGS Minerals Big Data
  3. Slides
    1. Slide 1 Data Science Data Publication for the NSF Geosciences Directorate: Dynamic Earth 1
    2. Slide 2 Dynamic Earth: GEO Frontiers 2015–2020
    3. Slide 3 NSF Geosciences Directorate Four Thematic Teams
    4. Slide 4 GEO Imperatives in Data & Cyberinfrastructure
    5. Slide 5 Develop Community-Driven Cyberinfrastructure to Advance Data/Model-enabled Science and Education
    6. Slide 6 EarthCube–Geoscience Data for the 21st Century 1
    7. Slide 7 EarthCube–Geoscience Data for the 21st Century 2
    8. Slide 8 NSF Geosciences Directorate Divisions
    9. Slide 9 Data Science Data Publication: Dynamic Earth 1
    10. Slide 10 Augustine Volcano: Wikipedia
    11. Slide 11 USGS: The 2006 Eruption of Augustine Volcano, Alaska
    12. Slide 12 Smithsonian Institution: Volcanoes of the World
    13. Slide 13 Alaska Volcano Observatory: Latitudes and Longitudes
    14. Slide 14 Alaska Volcano Observatory: Geochemical Database
    15. Slide 15 National Flood Interoperability Experiment
    16. Slide 16 NFIE Hydro Regions: Mid-Atlantic
    17. Slide 17 CUAHSI: Data Access
    18. Slide 18 EarthCube2015 Data Science Publication: MindTouch Knowledge Base
    19. Slide 19 EarthCube2015 Data Science Publication: Excel Spreadsheet Knowledge Base
    20. Slide 20 EarthCube2015 Data Science Publication: Spotfire Cover Page
    21. Slide 21 EarthCube2015 Data Science Publication: Spotfire Volcanoes AKO & Augustine
    22. Slide 22 EarthCube2015 Data Science Publication: Spotfire Volcanoes Worldwide
    23. Slide 23 EarthCube2015 Data Science Publication: Spotfire NFIE Mid-Atlantic Hydro Regions Catchments
    24. Slide 24 EarthCube2015 Data Science Publication: Spotfire NFIE Mid-Atlantic Hydro Regions Dam Events
    25. Slide 25 EarthCube2015 Data Science Publication: Spotfire NFIE Mid-Atlantic Hydro Regions Flow Lines
    26. Slide 26 EarthCube2015 Data Science Publication: Spotfire NFIE Mid-Atlantic Hydro Regions Gage Events
    27. Slide 27 EarthCube2015 Data Science Publication: Spotfire NFIE Mid-Atlantic Hydro Regions Subwatersheds
    28. Slide 28 Conclusions and Recommendations
  4. Spotfire Dashboard
  5. Research Notes
  6. Key Documents
    1. EarthCube Charter
      1. 1. Preamble
      2. 2. Mission and Vision
      3. 3. EarthCube Members and Partners
      4. 4. Governance Structure and Organizational Units
        1. 4.1 Leadership Council
          1. 4.1.1 Functions
          2. 4.1.2 Membership
          3. 4.1.2.1 Leadership Council Chair
          4. 4.1.3 Elections and Terms
          5. 4.1.4 Nominations Committee
          6. 4.1.5 Resignation, Removal and Unscheduled Departure from Elected Office
        2. 4.2 Standing Committees, Teams and Council for Data Facilities
          1. 4.2.1 Science 1 Standing Committee
          2. 4.2.2 Technology and Architecture Standing Committee
          3. 4.2.3 Council of Data Facilities
          4. 4.2.4 Engagement Team
          5. 4.2.5 Liaison Team
        3. 4.3 Special Interest and Working Groups
      5. 5. The EarthCube Office
      6. 6. Evaluation
    2. Strategic Vision
      1. Introduction
      2. Science Imperatives and Frontiers
      3. Technological Imperatives and Frontiers
      4. Footnotes
        1. 1
        2. 2
        3. 3
        4. 4
    3. Science Strategic Plan
      1. Cover Page
      2. Table of Contents
      3. Executive Summary
      4. 1. Background 1
      5. 2. End-User Workshops
        1. 2.1 Science drivers
        2. 2.2 Common or overarching themes
          1. Figure 1: Word Cloud Derived From the Science Drivers
      6. 3. Funded Projects
          1. Table 1: Categorization of Building Block projects (see text for complete description)
      7. 4. Grand Challenges
      8. 5. EarthCube: a bridge between data and knowledge
      9. Footnotes
        1. 1
        2. 2
        3. 3
        4. 4
        5. 5
        6. 6
        7. 7
        8. 8
        9. 9
        10. 10
        11. 11
        12. 12
        13. 13
        14. 14
        15. 15
        16. 16
        17. 17
        18. 18
        19. 19
        20. 20
        21. 21
        22. 22
        23. 23
    4. TAC Strategic Plan
    5. 2015 EarthCube Highlights
      1. Cover Page
      2. Inside Cover Page
      3. EarthCube in brief
      4. EarthCube in 2015
      5. Research Coordination Networks: Science communities
      6. Building Blocks: Technology demonstrations
      7. Conceptual Designs: Towards an EarthCube architecture
      8. Test Governance: Standing up the EarthCube organization
      9. Community activities
        1. Strategic planning for EarthCube
        2. Roadmaps for science activities
        3. A roadmap for technology activities
        4. Developing use cases
        5. Identifying technology gaps
        6. Adopting standards
        7. Standing up a testbed
        8. Converging on architecture
        9. The Council of Data Facilities
        10. Engaging the community
        11. Involvement and adoption in the community
      10. Faces of EarthCube
      11. Back Cover
    6. EarthCube: Past, Present, and Future
      1. Cover Page
      2. About the Editors
      3. Executive Summary
      4. Message from NSF: Transforming Geosciences through EarthCube
        1. EarthCube Vision and Mission
        2. A Timeline for EarthCube
          1. Figure A Timeline for EarthCube
          2. Photo 1
      5. End User Workshops: Gathering Requirements from Scientists
        1. Photo 2
      6. EarthCube Funded Projects
        1. Figure Funded Projects
        2. Research Coordination Networks: Engaging Science Communities
          1. Photo 3
          2. Table 2013 Coordination Networks Awards
          3. Table 2014 Research Coordination Networks Awards
          4. Photo 4
        3. Building Blocks: Exploring Solutions and Demonstrating Utility
          1. Photo 5
          2. Table 2013 Building Block Awards
          3. Table 2014 Building Block Awards
        4. Conceptual Designs: Initial Planning for Enterprise Architecture
          1. Table 2013 Conceptual Design Awards
          2. Table 2014 Conceptual Design Awards
        5. Test Governance: Formal Mechanisms to Involve the Community
          1. Figure Test Governance
      7. Getting Involved
        1. Figure High-Level Structure of EarthCube's Demonstration Governance
        2. The Science Committee
        3. The Technical and Architecture Committee
        4. The Engagement Team
        5. The Liaison Team
        6. The Council of Data Facilities
        7. The Leadership Council
          1. The EarthCube Leadership Council
          2. Photo 6
        8. Other Opportunities
          1. Photo 7
      8. References
        1. 1
        2. 2
        3. 3
        4. 4
  7. Dynamic Earth
    1. Cover Page
    2. Inside Cover Page
    3. Foreword
    4. Introduction
      1. Background
      2. GEO Imperatives and Frontiers
        1. NSF GEO supports research spanning the Atmospheric and Geospace, Earth, Ocean, and Polar sciences
      3. On Solid Scientific Ground
      4. Partnerships and Paramount Connections
        1. Polar Biology Research Collaboration
        2. GEO Partnerships
      5. How this Document is Organized
        1. Dynamic Earth: GEO Imperatives 2015-2020
        2. Dynamic Earth: Research Frontiers* (*subject to annual review)
    5. GEO Imperatives in Research
      1. Continue Strong Emphasis on and Support for Core Research
        1. Understanding Volcanic Systems
      2. Establish Collaborative Effort to Improve Understanding of and Resilience to Hazards and Extreme Natural Events
        1. Basic Research on Geohazards Potential Areas of Inquiry
        2. Preparing for Thunderstorms
        3. Basic Research on Food-Energy-Water System Potential Areas of Inquiry
      3. Establish a Collaborative Effort to Understand the Water Cycle
        1. Supporting Sustainable Water Management
    6. GEO Imperatives in Community Resources & Infrastructure
      1. Maintain State-of-the-Art Facilities
        1. Research Vessel Sikuliaq
      2. Complete Construction and Begin Full-Scale Operation of the Ocean Observatories Initiative
        1. OOI Priority Areas for Innovation
        2. Ocean Observatories in Operation
      3. Implement Strategic Plans for Logistics and Operations for the Polar Regions
        1. McMurdo, Logistics Hub of the Antarctic
      4. Begin Conceptualization and Development of Next-Generation Sun-Earth-System Community Models
        1. Collaborative Space Weather Modeling
    7. GEO Imperatives in Data & Cyberinfrastructure
      1. Develop Community-Driven Cyberinfrastructure to Advance Data/Model-enabled Science and Education
        1. EarthCube – Geoscience Data for the 21st Century
      2. Harness the Power of Computing and Computational Infrastructure
        1. Uniform California Earthquake Rupture Forecast v.3 (UCERF3)
        2. Supercomputing out West
      3. Invest in Infrastructure for Observing Systems and Sensor Arrays
        1. Remote Sensing in the Sierra
      4. Use Distributed Instrumentation and Facilities in Support of Research and Education
        1. Next-Gen Geoscientists
    8. GEO Imperatives in Education & Diversity
      1. Increase Undergraduate Exposure to and Enrollment in the Geosciences
      2. Prepare a Capable Geosciences Workforce
        1. Two Principal Investigators
        2. Student-Built Rover Braves the Antarctic
      3. Broaden Participation of Underrepresented Groups
        1. Sailing for Science
      4. Promote Public and Community-based Science to Improve Public STEM Literacy and Decision-making, and to Advance the Geosciences
        1. Geoscience for Kids
      5. Promote Use of Community Resources for Both Research and Educational Purposes
        1. Youth outreach in Critical Zone Observatory, Boulder, CO
      6. Probing Outer Space for Data
    9. GEO Research Frontiers: Dynamic Earth
      1. Earth Systems Processes that Cross the Land/Ocean Interface
        1. NSF EarthScope plate Boundary Observatory GPS network
      2. High Latitude Ocean-Atmosphere-Ice-Ecosystem Interactions and Processes
        1. Greenland Glacier
      3. Urban Geosystem Science
        1. Scientists will explore interconnectivities between the natural and built environments
      4. Early Earth
        1. Chu Research Group, Chinese Academy of Sciences
    10. Acknowledgements
    11. Image Credits
      1. Introduction
      2. Research
      3. Community Resources and Infrastructure
      4. Data and Cyberinfrastructure
      5. Education and Diversity
      6. Frontiers
    12. Advisory Committee for Geosciences (2012-2014)
  8. NEXT

Story

Data Science for EarthCube 2015 Key Documents

Quote: "EarthCube’s short term objective is greater data availability to geoscientists; the long term objective is enhanced knowledge availability for society." (Source: 5. EarthCube: a bridge between data and knowledge). Both need Data Scientists doing Data Science Data Publications!

Objective: Data mine following the CRISP-DM standard with six steps to identify the data sets that can be analyzed and visualized.

Recommendation: NSF GEO needs a catalog of projects and their data sets that the NSF Big Data and Data Science Projects can work with to produce integrated, cross-discipline, products that are curated and archived.

Goal: This is the beginning of that effort for the EarthCube 2016 All Hands Meeting by Semantic Community and the Federal Big Data Working Group Meetup. This will demonstrate a federated architecture in the cloud like the recent Data Science for NIST Big Data Framework documents and uses cases in support of the Holdren Open Research Data Policy.

Key Results: A key data mining result was to find this table in the 7 Key Documents listed below

These were all PDF files that were converted first to Word or directly from PDF to MindTouch so they would be integrated and searchable. A number of the URLs do not copy and work properly. One possibility is that they are to content moved to the archive now.

Table 1: Categorization of Building Block Projects (see text for complete description).Edit section

Year Funded Project Name Accessing Linking Sharing / Integrating Constructing
2013 BCube     X  
2013 CINERGI     X  
2013 DisConBB   X    
2013 Earth System Bridge   X    
2013 GeoDeepDive X      
2013 GeoSoft     X  
2013 GeoWS     X  
2013 ODSIP   X    
2014 GeoLink     X  
2014 CyberConnector       X
2014 CHORDS       X
2014 Digital Crust X      
2014 EarthCollab        
2014 GeoDataSpace     X  
2014 Geosemantics   X X  
Totals 15 2 4 7 2

So EarthCollab is not doing anything and Geosemantics is doing two things! The majority are doing Sharing / Integrating so lets see what that has produced in the Earth Cube 2015 Highlights and The EarthCube Past, Present and Future 2014.

Another key data mining result was this PDF page and Back Cover Slide in the 2015 EarthCube Highlights, which contains valuable content, but shows a problem in repurposing the content:

Back,cover:,Geoscience,Papers,of,the,Future,

To*learn*best*prac.ces*of*sohware*and*data*sharing,*thirteen*members*of*the*Early*Career*Advisory*CommiRee* of*the*EarthCube*GeoSoh*project*are*publishing*a*Geoscience*Paper*of*the*Future*(GPF).**This*implies* publishing*all*the*sohware*and*data*used*to*produce*the*results*of*the*paper,*as*well*as*detailed*workflows*and*provenance*of*how*they*were*generated.**They*were*trained*by*GeoSoh*project*members*on*best*prac.ces*for*sohware*and*data*sharing,*open*source*sohware,*and*provenance.**The*papers*will*appear*in*a*special*issue*of*the*AGU*Earth*and*Space*Science*journal.*

****The*figure*includes*pictures*of*the*par.cipants,*workflow*and*provenance*diagrams,*and*some*of*the*visualiza.ons*of*their*results.**From*top*to*boRom,*leh*to*right:*Cedric*David,*NASA/JPL*(hydrology*modeling);*Ibrahim*Demir,*U.*Iowa,*(hydrology*sensor*networks);*Robinson*W.*Fulweiler,*Boston*U.* biogeochemistry*in*marine*ecology);*Jonathan*Goodall,*U.*South*Carolina*(hydrology*visualiza.ons);*Leif*Karlstrom,*U.*of*Oregon*(volcanic*vent*clustering);*Kyo*Lee,*NASA/JPL*(regional*climate*model*evalua.on);*Heith*Mills,*U.*Houston*(geochemistry*and*marine*microbiology);*JiHHyun*Oh,*NASA/JPL*(tropical*meteorology);*Suzanne*Pierce,*U.*Texas*Aus.n*(hydrogeology*for*decision*support);*Allen*Pope,*U.*Colorado*Boulder*(glaciology);*Mimi*Tzeng,* Dauphine*Sea*Lab*(ocean*fisheries);*Sandra*Villamizar,*U.*California*Merced*(river*ecohydrology);*Xuan*Yu,*U.*Delaware*(hydrologic*modeling).*

Note that I removed the </br>, but left the * and mispellings in the text.

Initial results of data data mining are shown in the slides below:

Two excellent Earth Cube Uses Cases from the 2015 All Hands Meeting that we will data mine are:

​The EarthCube 2015 Data Science Data Publication Spreadsheet for the Knowledge Base was imported into the Spotfire Dashboard and the Work Flow and Results are captured in the Slides below.

The Conclusions and Recommendations are:

  • Dynamic Earth is a “living document” basis for a series of Earth Cube Data Science Data Publications that are:
    • Transformative approaches and innovative technologies for heterogeneous data to be integrated, made interoperable, explored, and re-purposed by researchers in disparate fields and for myriad uses across institutional, disciplinary, spatial, and temporal boundaries.
  • Two excellent Earth Cube Uses Cases from the 2015 All Hands Meeting were data mined:
    • One can drill down from Worldwide-to-Alaskan-to Alaskan Augustine Volcano.
    • One can drill down from National Flood Interoperability Experiment-to-Mid-Atlantic Hydro Regions-to-Catchments Shape File and Weighted Spreadsheet.
      • Note: Unfortunately the NFEI-Hydro Regions do not include Alaska.
  • This is a federated architecture for integrating heterogeneous data sources across multiple boundaries that can be replicated in a series of data science data publications that make the Dynamic Earth a “living data document”.

MORE TO FOLLOW

Slides

Slides

Slide 1 Data Science for EarthCube 2015 Key Documents

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Slide 2 EarthCube 2015 All Hands Meeting: Web Page

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Slide 3 EarthCube 2015 All Hands Meeting: Key Documents

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Slide 4 EarthCube 2015 All Hands Meeting: Meeting Documents

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Slide 5 EarthCube 2015 Hackathon: Data Science Data Mining

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Slide 6 Data Science for EarthCube 2015 Key Documents: Knowledge Base in MindTouch

Semantic CommunityData ScienceEarthCube Data Science Publications Key Documents

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Slide 7 Data Science for EarthCube 2015 Key Documents: Google Chrome Find

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Slide 8 Data.gov: Geoscience

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Slide 9 Global Change Master Directory: Geoscience

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Slide 10 Directorate for Geosciences: Data Policies

https://www.nsf.gov/geo/geo-data-policies/index.jsp

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Slide 11 Google Search for Geoscience Data Sets: University of Illinois Library

http://www.library.illinois.edu/psdata/geodata/access.html

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Slide 12 Google Search for Geoscience Data Sets: Natural Resources Canada

http://gdr.agg.nrcan.gc.ca/gdrdap/dap/search-eng.php

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Slide 13 Google Search for Geoscience Data Sets: Australian Government

http://www.ga.gov.au/data-pubs

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Slide 14 Data Science for USGS Minerals Big Data

http://www.meetup.com/Federal-Big-Da...nts/221810524/

BrandNiemann05282015Slide14.PNG

Slides

Slides

Slide 1 Data Science Data Publication for the NSF Geosciences Directorate: Dynamic Earth 1

Semantic Community

Data Science

EarthCube Data Science Publications

Key Documents

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Slide 2 Dynamic Earth: GEO Frontiers 2015–2020

Dynamic Earth

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Slide 3 NSF Geosciences Directorate Four Thematic Teams

Acknowledgements

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Slide 4 GEO Imperatives in Data & Cyberinfrastructure

GEO Imperatives in Data & Cyberinfrastructure

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Slide 5 Develop Community-Driven Cyberinfrastructure to Advance Data/Model-enabled Science and Education

Develop Community-Driven Cyberinfrastructure to Advance Data/Model-enabled Science and Education

BrandNiemann06022015Slide5.PNG

Slide 6 EarthCube–Geoscience Data for the 21st Century 1

EarthCube – Geoscience Data for the 21st Century

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Slide 7 EarthCube–Geoscience Data for the 21st Century 2

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Slide 8 NSF Geosciences Directorate Divisions

GEO Imperatives in Research

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Slide 9 Data Science Data Publication: Dynamic Earth 1

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Slide 10 Augustine Volcano: Wikipedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Augustine_Volcano

BrandNiemann06022015Slide10.PNG

Slide 11 USGS: The 2006 Eruption of Augustine Volcano, Alaska

http://pubs.usgs.gov/pp/1769/index.html

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Slide 12 Smithsonian Institution: Volcanoes of the World

http://volcano.si.edu/gvp_votw.cfm

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Slide 13 Alaska Volcano Observatory: Latitudes and Longitudes

http://www.avo.alaska.edu/volcanoes/latlong.php

http://www.avo.alaska.edu/pdfs/AKvolclatlong.zip

BrandNiemann06022015Slide13.PNG

Slide 15 National Flood Interoperability Experiment

https://www.cuahsi.org/nfie

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Slide 16 NFIE Hydro Regions: Mid-Atlantic

Web Page

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Slide 17 CUAHSI: Data Access

https://www.cuahsi.org/DataAccess

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Slide 18 EarthCube2015 Data Science Publication: MindTouch Knowledge Base

Key Documents

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Slide 19 EarthCube2015 Data Science Publication: Excel Spreadsheet Knowledge Base

EarthCube2015.xlsx

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Slide 20 EarthCube2015 Data Science Publication: Spotfire Cover Page

Web Player

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Slide 21 EarthCube2015 Data Science Publication: Spotfire Volcanoes AKO & Augustine

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Slide 22 EarthCube2015 Data Science Publication: Spotfire Volcanoes Worldwide

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Slide 23 EarthCube2015 Data Science Publication: Spotfire NFIE Mid-Atlantic Hydro Regions Catchments

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Slide 24 EarthCube2015 Data Science Publication: Spotfire NFIE Mid-Atlantic Hydro Regions Dam Events

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Slide 25 EarthCube2015 Data Science Publication: Spotfire NFIE Mid-Atlantic Hydro Regions Flow Lines

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Slide 26 EarthCube2015 Data Science Publication: Spotfire NFIE Mid-Atlantic Hydro Regions Gage Events

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Slide 27 EarthCube2015 Data Science Publication: Spotfire NFIE Mid-Atlantic Hydro Regions Subwatersheds

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Slide 28 Conclusions and Recommendations

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Spotfire Dashboard

For Internet Explorer Users and Those Wanting Full Screen Display Use: Web Player Get Spotfire for iPad App

Error: Embedded data could not be displayed. Use Google Chrome

Research Notes

PDF-to-PPT: http://document.online-convert.com/convert-to-ppt

Search for data sets in Knowledge Base: None

Search for data sets in EarthCube: None

Search Google for Geoscience Data sets:

Australia: http://www.ga.gov.au/data-pubs

Canada: http://gdr.agg.nrcan.gc.ca/gdrdap/dap/search-eng.php

University of Illinois Library Access to Geoscience Data Sets: http://www.library.illinois.edu/psda...ta/access.html

Global Change Master Directory: http://gcmd.nasa.gov/

http://gcmd.nasa.gov/KeywordSearch/F...MetadataType=0

Interesting things:

Reference 23: dark data are any unstructured, untagged, untapped data in a repository

A second workshop being held at the 2015 IEEE International Big Data Conference that may be of interest to the ESIP community.
Big Data in the Geosciences

We are pleased to announce the forthcoming Big Data in the Geosciences Workshop, which will be co-located at the IEEE International Big Data Conference on Oct 29th - Nov 01st, 2015 in Santa Clara, CA, USA

The workshop focuses on highlighting the state-of-the-art research surrounding Big Data in the geosciences. We seek to engage the scientific community in understanding their big data challenges and problems. Finally, we aim to identify gaps in current technologies as well as gaps in the education of new data scientists. This workshop will provide a venue for participants to showcase innovative tools and services, build new collaborations, and hear from application scientists and educators about the challenges they face.

Topics of Interest include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Big Data in Geosciences - needs, requirements, and use cases
  • Big Data infrastructure being developed and deployed at science facilities
  • Semantic representation and integration including Linked Open Data and efficient query and integration techniques
  • Frameworks and methodologies for handling big data in science applications
  • Data analytics utilized/needed for data reduction, cross-heterogeneous data analysis, and science reserch
  • Use of Big Data technologies (e.g. Hadoop and NoSQL) for science
  • Visualization of scientific Big Data
  • Big Data and Data Science education in the geosciences

More information, including the official call for proposals, logistics, etc. can be found at the workshop website - http://geo-bigdata.github.io/

We look forward to seeing you in Santa Clara . If you feel like tweeting about the event please use the hashtag #geobigdata15
Conference Organizers 

  • Tom Narock, Program Chair, Marymount University
  • Marshall Ma, Program Chair, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
  • Peter Baumann, Program Chair, Jacobs University, Germany
  • Ann Bryant Burgess, Program Committee, Foundation for Earth Science
  • Pascal Hitzler, Program Committee, Wright State University
  • Steve Kempler, Program Committee, NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
  • Adila Krisnadhi, Program Committee, Wright State University  
  • Chris Mattman, Program Committee, NASA/JPL and University of Southern California
  • Lewis McGibbney, Program Committee, NASA/JPL
  • Kim Whitehall, Program Committee, NASA/JPL

Thanks, the Workshop Chairs and Program Committee

Key Documents

Source: http://earthcube.org/node/1912

EarthCube Charter

PDF

The EarthCube Charter (hereafter the Charter) embraces the leadership, strategic direction, operations, and all other formalized activities of EarthCube, and defines the structure of EarthCube’s Governance. The Charter is a living document and suggestions for changes to the Charter may be motivated by any registered EarthCube member. The comment period will be open from May 26 to June 9.

Submitted to EarthCube Leadership 2 Council: May 22, 2015

Approved by EarthCube Leadership Council: May 26, 2015

Approbation by community vote: XX June, 2015

Persistent URL: http://earthcube.org/document/2015/earthcube-charter

My Note: This text contains line numbers and some of the URLs are broken

1. Preamble

The EarthCube Charter (hereafter the Charter) embraces the leadership, strategic direction, 9 operations, and all other formalized activities of EarthCube, and defines the structure of 10 EarthCube’s Governance. The Charter is a living document and suggestions for changes to 11 the Charter may be motivated by any registered EarthCube member (§3), subject to the 12 proposed changes being approved by a Leadership Council vote. The Leadership Council 13 will consider changes to the Charter at its biannual Spring and Fall meetings (held prior to 14 the All Hands Meeting and during the American Geophysical Union Fall meeting), only after 15 four weeks notice of any change has been given to and comments have been received from 16 the community. A two-­‐thirds majority of all Leadership Council voting members (§4.1.2) is 17 required to approve changes to the Charter.

Maintaining openness and transparency, and promoting inclusivity in all decision-­‐making 20 processes are core commitments of EarthCube. In presenting the Charter as a living 21 document, the intent is to ensure that the community understands how each individual can 22 actively participate in EarthCube governance.

EarthCube is a joint initiative between the National Science Foundation Directorate for 25 Geosciences and the Division of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure. Envisioned as an evolving, 26 dynamic community effort, EarthCube is not only a new way for the National Science 27 Foundation to partner with the scientific community, but also a challenge for the many 28 academic, agency and industry stakeholders in the geo-­‐, cyberinfrastructure, computer and 29 social sciences to create new capabilities for sharing data and knowledge and conducting 30 research.

2. Mission and Vision

EarthCube’s mission and vision statements can, in response to Community input, be 34 updated at any time by a two-­‐thirds majority of all Leadership Council voting members.

EarthCube’s mission is to enable geoscientists to address the challenges 1 of understanding and 2 predicting a complex and evolving Earth system by fostering a community-­‐governed effort to 3 develop a common cyberinfrastructure to collect, access, analyze, share and visualize all 4 forms of data and resources, using advanced technological and computational capabilities.

EarthCube’s long-­‐term vision is a community-­‐driven, dynamic cyberinfrastructure that 7 supports standards for interoperability, infuses advanced technologies to improve and 8 facilitate interdisciplinary research, and helps educate scientists in the emerging practices of 9 digital scholarship, data and software stewardship, and open science.

The text of the mission and vision statements is maintained at the following persistent URL: 12 http://earthcube.org/document/2015/mission-vision

3. EarthCube Members and Partners

Individual membership in EarthCube is free, voluntary and open to all. Members are 15 encouraged to be active and engaged by participating in Standing Committee and Team 16 activities, and expected to adhere to the membership policies specified in their individual 17 Charters.

Registration via the EarthCube website is not a prerequisite for participation in any 20 EarthCube activity or accessing resources. However, registered members have the right to:

  • Vote on matters presented to the community
  • Nominate individuals or stand for elected office in any core organizational unit;
  • Form or chair special interest and working groups (§4);
  • Propose changes to the EarthCube Charter;
  • Contribute to forums, online discussions, and other publicly accessible areas of the 27 EarthCube website; and
  • Offer suggestions for sessions or speakers at the Annual All Hands Meeting.

EarthCube partners include, but are not limited to, organizations engaged in activities that 31 complement or benefit the EarthCube’s mission (§2). Partners are approved by 32 EarthCube’s Leadership Council, at the recommendation of the Liaison Team. Partnership 33 may be formal or informal, with mutually agreeable terms that relate to a specific activity 34 or task, or to a designated period of time.

4. Governance Structure and Organizational Units

EarthCube governance will be implemented through the following core organizational 38 units: the Leadership Council (§4.1); the Science Standing Committee (§4.2.1); the

Technology and Architecture Standing Committee (§4.2.2); 1 the Council of Data Facilities 2 (§4.2.3); the Engagement Team (§4.2.4); and the Liaison Team (§4.2.5).

Mindful of the requirements that the Leadership Council sets the strategic direction for 5 EarthCube and coordinates activities that promote communication, collaboration, and 6 engagement, the Council for Data Facilities and each Standing Committee and Team 7 functions independently to shape EarthCube’s vision and fulfill its mission, and are guided 8 by their own Charters that define their functions and the scope of their internal operations. 9 Depending on need, the functions and operations of EarthCube’s Standing Committees and 10 Teams may be facilitated through the formation of Special Interest and Working Groups 11 (§4.3), and are supported by the EarthCube Office (§5).

4.1 Leadership Council

The Leadership Council is the elected voice of the EarthCube community, setting the 15 strategic direction for EarthCube and making decisions critical to the success of EarthCube.

The Leadership Council will conduct its business by holding biannual Spring and Fall 18 meetings, prior to the All Hands Meeting and during the American Geophysical Union Fall 19 meeting, and a minimum of one virtual meeting in each of the remaining ten calendar 20 months. Except where otherwise specified (§4.1.5), if a vote is called on an agenda item, a 21 two-­‐thirds majority of all Leadership Council voting members is required to approve the 22 measure.

4.1.1 Functions

The Leadership Council is the starting point for ensuring continuity is preserved 26 throughout EarthCube’s governance structure, and will fulfill the following functions:

  • Act as the single point of communication for coordinating with, reporting and 29 making recommendations to the National Science Foundation and other funding 30 agencies on behalf of EarthCube;
  • Define, implement and revisit, as required, the scope and strategic direction of 32 EarthCube;
  • Identify and implement monitoring metrics to assess progress towards EarthCube 34 goals,
  • Establish, maintain, and ensure consistency, transparency and community 36 participation in all policy-­‐making procedures and decision-­‐making processes;
  • Communicate outcomes to the EarthCube community;
  • Form and manage Standing Committees, Teams and Working Groups as needed to 39 perform critical functions;
  • Enable communication among the core governance organizational 1 units to close 2 gaps, eliminate duplication, and build synergies;
  • Foster business models to sustain and maintain the infrastructure of EarthCube; 4 and
  • Provide for appropriate dispute resolution and proactive management of risk and 6 conflicts of interest.
4.1.2 Membership

Mindful of the potential for either expansion or contraction as circumstances dictate, the 10 nucleus of the Leadership Council comprises ten elected, voting members: the Chair; one 11 representative from each of the Council for Data Facilities, the Science Standing Committee, 12 the Technology and Architecture Standing Committee, and the Engagement and Liaison 13 Teams; and four at-­‐large members, representative of the constituencies of the National 14 Science Foundation Directorate for Geosciences. The EarthCube Office Manager serves as a 15 non-­‐voting member of the leadership council, as does the newly-­‐elected vice-­‐Chair. The 16 outgoing Chair (§4.1.3) and a representative from the National Science Foundation may 17 also participate as non-­‐voting members of the Leadership Council.

The Office will, in consultation with the National Science Foundation, administer an 20 appropriate honorarium, beyond travel support, for leadership council members that will 21 not exceed a threshold of $5,000 over the appointment of the member.

4.1.2.1 Leadership Council Chair

The Chair of the Leadership Council has a responsibility to act in the best interests of the 25 organization and act as an ambassador for EarthCube. The Chair represents EarthCube 26 interests as a community-­‐led organization and demonstrates a unique executive presence, 27 backed up with: solid communication skills; an ability to mobilize the community and 28 champion EarthCube’s portfolio of integrated activities to all constituencies and parties; 29 and a commitment to advancing EarthCube’s vision, mission and strategic plan through 30 open and inclusive governance.

Mindful of the expected commitments and responsibilities, the Chair of the Leadership 33 Council may negotiate compensation with the National Science Foundation, which the 34 Office will administer.

4.1.3 Elections and Terms

Every member of the EarthCube community has the same potential to be elected to Chair 38 the Leadership Council. The Chair of the Leadership Council be voted into office by the 39 EarthCube Community, in December of alternate years, and serve for two years (June 1 –May 31), with no opportunity for reelection for a consecutive term. 1 For the five months 2 prior to taking office (Jan 1 – May 31) the elected candidate will participate in Leadership 3 Council meetings as the non-­‐voting vice-­‐Chair. For the seven months after leaving office 4 (June 1 – Dec 31) the outgoing Chair may also choose to continue to participate in 5 Leadership Council meetings as a non-­‐voting member.

In the event that the person elected to the position of Chair resigns or becomes, for any 8 reason (§4.1.5), unable to perform or discharge the duties of their office, the Leadership 9 Council either will instruct that a new election be held or ask the Nominations Committee 10 (§4.1.4) to appoint, within 20 working days, a leadership council member as a locum tenens 11 for the remainder of the Chair’s term of office. The former option is preferred, but not 12 mandated.

Elected Leadership Council members normally will (beginning June 1), excepting that they 15 subsequently are elected to serve as Leadership Council Chair, serve for two years, with no 16 opportunity for reelection for a consecutive term. A serving Leadership Council member 17 may at any time choose to stand for election as Leadership Council Chair. To preclude 18 monopoly and preserve continuity, elections for the representatives from one Standing 19 Committee, one Team, and two at-­‐large members will be held each year.

Nominations for all elected positions to be filled in the following year will, with the 22 exception of the Leadership Council representative from Council for Data Facilities (who is 23 elected in July, at the Council’s General Assembly), close on November 15 (§4.1.4).

Electronic voting, supervised by the EarthCube Office, will commence on December 7, and 26 will be completed and the results announced by December 31.

All candidates for elected office will provide a short biographical sketch, for posting on the 29 relevant EarthCube web page(s), that explains their qualifications for and interest in the 30 position for which they are standing, and are encouraged to attend and make themselves 31 known to the Community at the American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting.

4.1.4 Nominations Committee

The Nominations Committee does not select leaders, but helps identify and evaluate 35 candidates for elected office. The mission of the Nominations Committee is to assure a fair, 36 inclusive, and expeditious process for identifying candidates for all EarthCube’s elected 37 offices (i.e., the Leadership Council Chair, Leadership Council Members, Standing 38 Committee and Team co-­‐Chairs).

The nominations committee will comprise the EarthCube 1 Office Manager; the Chair of the 2 Leadership Council; and one at-­‐large member elected by the community, who will serve for 3 two years (Jan 1 – Dec 31). The at-­‐large member of the Nominations Committee may not 4 stand for or seek elected office in EarthCube’s governance structure.

A Standing Committee or Team may, on an annual basis, either ask for or receive 7 suggestions for a co-­‐Chair position from the nominating committee, as will the Leadership 8 Council, in alternate years, with regard to its Chair. The Nominations Committee has sole 9 responsibility for assembling the slate of candidates for at-­‐large positions on the 10 Leadership Council.

The EarthCube office will make an open call for nominations from the community for each 13 elected office no later than October 15. Self-­‐nominations and expressions of interest, 14 supported by the candidate and a member(s) of the EarthCube community, will be 15 accepted until November 15.

The nominations committee will, early in the nominating process (and no later than 18 November 30), ensure there are at least two candidates for each elected position to be 19 filled, and verify that all the candidates for elected office have a demonstrated commitment 20 to EarthCube’s mission (§2). Additionally, the Nominations Committee will, in consultation 21 with the National Science Foundation, ensure that there is appropriately diverse 22 representation across geoscience fields and disciplines and cyberinfrastructure expertise; 23 verify that the mission of the National Science Foundation is not at risk; and determine that 24 no actual or potential conflicts of interest any nominated or self-­‐selected candidate for an 25 elected position has or may have disqualify that individual’s candidacy. The intent, with 26 respect to the National Science Foundation’s role in the nomination process, is to preserve 27 the concept of community governance, while simultaneously averting the possibility that 28 the interests of the Agency are compromised by the composition of the Leadership Council.

4.1.5 Resignation, Removal and Unscheduled Departure from Elected Office

Leadership Council members and Standing Committee or Team co-­‐Chairs may resign from 32 office at any time, by giving written notice to the Nominations Committee and EarthCube 33 Office Manager.

Except for the Chair, any voting Leadership Council member, may through a 36 communication in writing to the EarthCube Office Manager, move for a vote of no 37 confidence in another voting Leadership Council member. The serious nature of this action 38 requires that its origin(s) be clearly, concisely and rationally explained. In the event that 39 the matter(s) in question cannot be resolved through dialogue, and a motion of no confidence in any voting member of the Leadership Council becomes 1 an agenda item for 2 discussion, and is duly seconded, the member may be removed from office by an 3 affirmative vote cast by seven of the remaining nine voting members of the Leadership 4 Council. All Leadership Council members will be given a minimum of five working days 5 notice of the upcoming agenda item, and given the opportunity to cast their vote in 6 absentia. Votes of no confidence will be anonymous and accomplished electronically.

In the event that a serving member of the Leadership Council is elected to the position of 9 Chair or becomes, for any reason, unable to perform or discharge the duties of their office, 10 the Leadership Council either will instruct that a new election be held or, as is appropriate 11 and in consultation with the relevant organizational unit, ask the Nominations Committee 12 (§4.1.4), or Council of Data Facilities to appoint, within 20 working days, an active 13 EarthCube member as a locum tenens for the remainder of that member’s term of office. 14 The former option is preferred, but not mandated.

4.2 Standing Committees, Teams and Council for Data Facilities

EarthCube’s Standing Committees and Teams, and the Council for Data Facilities are 18 governed by individual Charters that delineate specific responsibilities operations, 19 functions. The Leadership Council may, as required, dissolve, amalgamate or create 20 Standing Committees and Teams that, in the latter instances, adhere to basic principles of:

  • Open membership based on volunteer effort, as defined in the Standing 23 Committee’s charter, with due regard being given to all aspects of inclusivity, 24 including, for example: ensuring representation of minorities; early-­‐career 25 scientists; and participation across all of the constituencies of the National Science 26 Foundation Directorate for Geosciences;
  • Elected leadership as defined by the Standing Committee’s charter;
  • Coordinating with the Leadership Council, and the other elements of EarthCube’s 29 governance structure, to advance EarthCube’s goals, fulfill its mission and help 30 formulate strategic priorities;
  • Creating explicit mechanisms for coordination amongst EarthCube’s Standing 32 Committees and Teams including, but not limited to, forming joint working 33 groups, appointing individuals to act as liaisons, and planning joint workshops or 34 other events; and
  • Forming Working Groups to address issues, opportunities and activities, or 36 generate deliverables required to advancing EarthCube goals.
4.2.1 Science 1 Standing Committee

The Science Standing Committee maintains a connection between the academic geoscience 3 and technology communities in EarthCube, and ensures that end user geoscientist needs, 4 requirements and aspirations are identified and prioritized.

The mission of the Science Committee is to ensure community science goals are realized 7 through the development of cyberinfrastructure, that will enhance geoscientists ability to 8 characterize and understand complex Earth systems by providing enhanced access to data, 9 and new technologies and methods to integrate, analyze and visualize those data.

The goal of the Science Committee is to serve the working geoscience community by:

  • Compiling and expressing the geoscience community’s needs, wishes and 14 requirements for the EarthCube cyberinfrastructure;
  • Ensuring an explicit connection exists between the community’s science goals and 16 technical function, by defining workflows (the series of activities necessary to 17 realize a specific science goal); identifying use cases and developing setup 18 challenges to help evaluate cyberinfrastructure components;
  • Aligning EarthCube-­‐enabled science with community priorities, to revolutionize 20 the ways geoscientists learn, collaborate and advance knowledge of complex Earth 21 systems;
  • Encouraging, engaging and enabling future generations of geoscientists; and
  • Promoting open science, through the development and deployment of easy-­‐to-­‐ 24 adopt standards, tools and cyberinfrastructure that can be exploited throughout 25 the entire research lifecycle.

The Science Standing Committee Charter is maintained at the following persistent URL: 28 http://earthcube.org/document/2015/s...mittee-charter

4.2.2 Technology and Architecture Standing Committee

The Technology and Architecture Standing Committee is charged with facilitating the 32 development of the technology that is part of EarthCube.

The mission of the Technology and Architecture Standing Committee is to oversee the 35 technology and architecture development of EarthCube to assure that EarthCube 36 infrastructure is community-­‐driven, supports standards for interoperability, and 37 incorporates advanced technologies to become a commonly used capability that supports 38 scientists on their research efforts.

The goal of the Technology and Architecture Standing Committee is 1 to facilitate the 2 continuing development of the technology component of EarthCube by:

Providing stewardship of the architecture concepts and specification documents. 5 Stewardship includes providing access to documents and change management for 6 those documents;

  • Provide a forum for synthesis of conceptual design and architectural approaches 8 for EarthCube;
  • Ensuring coordination between technology development and scientific 10 requirements. Ensure the explicit connection between the scientific process and 11 technical function. Coordinate testbed processes and other mechanisms for 12 development and validation of cyberinfrastructure components for utility in 13 science use cases;
  • Facilitating alignment of EarthCube funded projects to foster technology 15 integration.
  • Providing recommendations for accommodation and incorporation of different 17 standards in EarthCube;
  • Identifying gaps in coverage of needed cyberinfrastructure capabilities, and 19 determining recommendations on how to fill them;
  • Developing recommendations for monitoring and assessing performance of 21 EarthCube infrastructure in coordination with other EarthCube groups. 22 Monitoring technical requirements with the goal to ensure EarthCube is meeting 23 end user needs;
  • Working with other EarthCube Governance organizations as an emissary between 25 software developers, the science community, and infrastructure, as well as 26 educators; and
  • Supporting other activities as deemed relevant by the Technology and 28 Architecture Standing Committee.

The Technology and Architecture Standing Committee Charter is maintained at the 31 following persistent URL: earthcube.org/document/2015/tac-­‐charter

4.2.3 Council of Data Facilities

The Council for Data Facilities is a federation of existing and emerging geoscience data 35 facilities that serves as a foundation for EarthCube and related contributors to the 36 cyberinfrastructure for earth system science.

The mission of the Council of Data Facilities is to serve in a coordinating and facilitating 39 role that includes advancing the following responsibilities and goals:

  • Providing a collective voice on behalf of the member data facilities to the NSF and 3 other foundations and associations, as appropriate;
  • Identifying, endorsing, and promoting standards and best or exemplary practices 5 in the organization and operation of a data facility;
  • Collaborating with standard-­‐setting bodies with respect to shared feedback on 7 standards for data, models, software sharing interoperability, metadata, and 8 related matters;
  • Identifying opportunities for and supporting the development and utilization of 10 shared cyberinfrastructure, professional staff development and training, and other 11 related activities;
  • Fostering innovation through collaborative and interdisciplinary projects; and
  • Increasing understanding and engagement with relevant stakeholders.

In advancing this mission, the Council of Data Facilities is committed to working with 16 relevant agencies, professional associations, initiatives, and other complementary efforts. 17 Although, the Council of Data Facilities does not presume to be a gatekeeper for EarthCube, 18 it is committed to interact constructively with all aspects of EarthCube through 19 communication, coordination, and, where appropriate, integration of activities, initiatives, 20 products, and processes.

The Council of Data Facilities Charter is maintained at the following persistent URL:

4.2.4 Engagement Team

The EarthCube Engagement Team facilitates engagement and communication between 26 individuals within the broader community and the EarthCube program; where 27 ‘engagement’ refers to the process by which individuals build relationships for the purpose 28 of applying a collective EarthCube vision for the benefit of the geoscience community. 29 The mission of the EarthCube Engagement Team is to proactively reach out to the 30 EarthCube community and beyond to encourage involvement in EarthCube and utilization 31 of the EarthCube cyberinfrastructure, and serve as a conduit for feedback from the 32 community to EarthCube Governance.

The goal of EarthCube’s Engagement Team is to engage individual geoscientists, members 35 of the EarthCube community and primarily, individuals within the United States by:

  • Developing the EarthCube outreach strategy, documenting the strategy in the 38 Engagement Roadmap, and identifying engagement metrics;
  • Enabling broad dissemination of EarthCube information to community 1 individuals 2 across academia, the private sector, and government using a variety of tools 3 (including information to the EC Website, a forum/commons) to enable community 4 discussion;
  • Actively sharing information about EarthCube resources (data, workflows, 6 software, etc.). Implementing branding strategies to enable users to easily identify 7 EarthCube results and outcomes;
  • Engaging and supporting end users and stakeholders (e.g., professional societies, 9 publishers, government, commercial), including attracting new users to EarthCube 10 (collaborating with the EarthCube Liaison Team where appropriate);
  • Encouraging, engaging, and enabling the next generation of EarthCube stakeholder 12 leadership; and
  • Supporting other activities as deemed relevant by the Engagement Team.

The Engagement Team Charter is maintained at the following persistent URL: 16 

http://earthcube.org/document/2015/engagement-charter

4.2.5 Liaison Team

EarthCube’s Liaison Team links the activities of the wider-­‐EarthCube effort to relevant 20 organizations and initiatives nationally and globally.

The mission of the EarthCube Liaison Team is to as a liaison to cyber-­‐initiatives, 23 collaborations, agencies, associations, private enterprises and other efforts and programs 24 external to the National Science Foundation Directorate for Geosciences’ core constituency 25 of academic geoscientists. This may include national and international activities in other 26 scientific and technical domains, as well as the private sector, the education sector, and 27 operational geoscience agencies.

The goal of EarthCube’s Liaison Team is to establish partnerships, affiliations, and 30 connections to external organizations and initiatives, managing and maintaining formal 31 and informal relationships (revisiting agreements as needed), by:

  • Facilitating Standing Committee and Working Group engagement and 34 collaboration with external organizations and initiatives;
  • Reaching out to potential collaborators; and
  • Supporting other activities as deemed relevant by the Liaison Team and the 37 greater EarthCube community.

The Liaison Team Charter is maintained at the following 1 persistent URL: 2 http://earthcube.org/document/2015/liaison-team-charter

4.3 Special Interest and Working Groups

Any EarthCube member can create a Special Interest Group focused on any topic relevant 6 to EarthCube. There is no formal review or approval process.

Working groups have a formal approval process and serve as ad hoc organizational units 9 created in response to a pressing issue, opportunity, activity, or deliverable related to 10 moving forward EarthCube goals. Working Groups can emerge from the broad EarthCube 11 community, from under the auspices of a Standing Committee or Team, or by direction of 12 the Leadership Council. They can be initiated by any EarthCube member, provided they 13 secure a minimum commitment from at least three participants representing at least three 14 separate institutions. Working Groups may bridge more than one Standing Committee or 15 Team, as they serve as important mechanisms to foster collaboration and resolve issues 16 between Committees.

The formation of Special Interest and Working Groups is governed by guidelines 19 maintained at the following persistent URL: http://earthcube.org/document/working-group-initiation-form20

5. The EarthCube Office

The EarthCube Office is responsible for implementing functions assigned by and under the 24 direction of the Leadership Council, in support of EarthCube’s: core organizational units 25 (§4); Special Interest and Working Groups (§4.3); Members and Partners (§3); and funded 26 projects supported by National Science Foundation awards. The Office may exist in a single 27 physical location, comprise a virtually distributed team, or involve any combination of 28 these two elements.

Critical EarthCube Office functions involve, but are not limited to, responsibility for: 31 managing, developing, enhancing and maintaining EarthCube’s online presence through the 32 organization’s website in accordance with the Leadership Council’s requirements and the 33 community’s needs; implementing and managing technologies that create, index, store and 34 retrieve EarthCube’s records, documents, and other information assets; providing logistics 35 and performing administrative tasks in support of work being undertaken by the 36 Leadership Council’s Chair and its members; providing support and logistics to EarthCube’s 37 Standing Committees, Teams, Special Interest and Working Groups, and funded projects 38 supported by National Science Foundation awards; managing and tracking EarthCube’s 39 operational and outgoing expenses within a budget hierarchy; conducting electronic elections; supporting public relations and community 1 engagement and outreach; and 2 providing support and logistics to the Annual All Hands Meeting and all EarthCube 3 workshop organizing committees. These and other functions may be further defined in the 4 Service Agreement between the EarthCube Office and the National Science Foundation.

To ensure that organizational objectives are being fulfilled, the leadership Council, in 7 consultation with the Standing Committee and Team co-­‐Chairs, may at its discretion and 8 will, no later than half way through the period of an EarthCube Office Award, conduct a 9 performance appraisal to identify gaps and/or shortfalls in the implementation of critical 10 office functions and mechanisms for alleviating them.

The Office Manager, who either may be the PI on the EarthCube office award or their 13 appointee, facilitates communication between the Leadership Council and EarthCube’s 14 Standing Committees and Teams, the at-­‐large community, and all relevant stakeholders. 15 The Office Manager serves as a non-­‐voting member of the Leadership Council (§4.1.2). In 16 addition to supervising all administrative activities that facilitate the efficient operation of 17 the office in fulfillment of EarthCube’s mission and organizational objectives, the Office 18 Manager is responsible for: coordinating Leadership Council meeting times and agendas; 19 supporting Leadership Council meetings and activities; and maintaining its documents and 20 records in an orderly, easily accessible and searchable repository.

6. Evaluation

Key to EarthCube’s success and sustainability is that it adapts and responds to changing 24 community needs and scientific and technological advances. The degree to which 25 EarthCube’s core organizational units (§4) are advancing EarthCube’s mission (§2), and 26 EarthCube’s vision (§2) is aligned with the needs and capabilities of the geoscience and 27 cyberinfrastructure communities, will be sustained by responsible, accountable, consulted 28 and informed decision-­‐making; and evaluated through external review and by compiling 29 outcome and impact metrics. Data generated during these evaluation processes will be 30 made public, with due attention given to standards of confidentiality and with proper 31 treatment of sensitive information according to human subjects research requirements. 32 The evaluation functions may include, but are not limited to: the collection and analysis of 33 survey data; monitoring website events, tracking use and extracting trends; compiling 34 membership demographics; tracking membership participation in EarthCube events and 35 the presence of EarthCube members at professional meetings and conferences; and 36 identifying the impact of EarthCube events and activities, including advances in the 37 geosciences and cyberinfrastructure that have been enabled through EarthCube.

Strategic Vision

PDF

This draft Strategic Vision and Scope document clarifies the mission and vision for EarthCube, its overarching goals, and science and technological priorities and imperatives.

SUBMITTED: MAY 22, 2015

Authors: Farzad Kamalabadi, Basil Gomez, Yolanda Gil, David Arctur, Steve Richard, Jay Pearlman

Introduction

EarthCube’s overarching goal 1 is to catalyze the scientific mission of the geosciences community by leveraging advances in information science and technology to propel scientific progress and discovery in ways unimagined before.

The scientific scope of EarthCube entails knowledge that supports improved understanding of the Earth’s environment. Advances in scientific understanding address the critical societal needs for sustainable resource utilization, water and energy availability, effective preparation and response to extreme events and geohazards (e.g., droughts, floods, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, hurricanes, solar storms, tornadoes and other types of severe weather), and adaptation to long-term changes in the environment, weather patterns, sea level and climate. In addition to enabling unprecedented progress and discovery in geosciences, EarthCube aims to enable systematic knowledge that will inform practices and policies regarding complex environmental issues and decision making in geosciences. 2

The vision of EarthCube is to realize these lofty scientific goals by fostering modern modes of scientific inquiry that infuse technological innovations in the emerging practices of digital scholarship, data science and analytics, data and software stewardship, and open science, into basic research in geosciences.

Science Imperatives and Frontiers

The primary scientific goal of EarthCube is to enable geoscientists to make significant progress in understanding and mitigating complex, large scale environmental problems, such as: geospace variability and extreme events; planetary-scale (global) changes in the Earth system; geohazards; and water and energy sustainability. Specific objectives are: 1) to improve the utilization of scientific information in decision making designed to mitigate the impact of or facilitate adaptation to disruptive natural events (including solar storms, floods, landslides, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes and climate change), that occur across all relevant temporal and spatial scales; 2) to understand the impacts of climate change and direct human perturbations, such as land use change; and 3) to determine the magnitude, trajectory and time response of disruptive natural events and human perturbations on key Sun-Earth, solid Earth, hydrosphere, and atmosphere systems.

Addressing these objectives is predicated on the need to understand the coevolution, operation and resultant configuration of coupled Earth systems, such as the climate-carbon system and the helio-, geo- and bio-spheres, during periods of stasis or (rapid) change. For example, characterization of how physical processes originating on the Sun affect human activities on Earth; how bio- and geo-chemical fluxes from the land surface to the coastal ocean are affected by the magnitude, duration, sequencing and spatial extent of atmospheric events; and how complex emergent properties in ocean ecosystems are related to physical, chemical, and biological processes. A specific need is to advance capabilities for identifying the processes responsible for initiating feedback that either sustains equilibrium or moves systems towards thresholds and tipping points (for example, through the influence cloud cover exerts on climate and the biosphere). Furthermore, it is important to determine if governing processes are scale-dependent, to understand the temporal and spatial variability of those processes, and to improve predictions of the impacts on human society.

The motivation for EarthCube-enabled science in support of these fundamental goals can be distilled into three essential science frontiers:

1. To quantify limits of prediction and better understand the constraints on and limits of data and model accuracy and utility.

2. To characterize the key processes, interactions, causations, and feedbacks operating at and across different temporal and spatial scales within physical, chemical, and biological domains.

3. To deliver a holistic, quantitative representation of critical physical, chemical, and biological states and fluxes, in order to inform fundamental science and societal decisions.

The imperatives for advancing these geoscience frontiers include enhancing capabilities to make significant progress in understanding, communicating about, and mitigating complex, large scale environmental problems, such as:

1. Understanding the consequences, impacts, and effects of planetary-scale (global) variability and changes in Earth systems, including recognizing the geophysical signal within the natural variability.

2. Increasing understanding of geohazards and extreme events, through the effective characterization and communication of uncertainty and relative risk.

3. Providing sustainable solutions for water, energy, and mineral resource use by defining mass and energy balances associated with past and present conditions to accurately project future states.

Technological Imperatives and Frontiers

Rapid and meaningful progress along the scientific imperatives and frontiers articulated above necessitates concurrent advances in computer and information science and technology. Cyberinfrastructure should make disciplinary boundaries permeable, nurture and facilitate knowledge sharing, cultivate unanticipated uses of information, and enhance collaborative pursuit of cross-disciplinary research. The science vision of understanding and predicting a complex and evolving Earth system can be catapulted by advancing research in data science and related cyberinfrastructures to collect, manage (archive and access), analyze, share, visualize, interpret, and understand all forms of relevant geoscience data.

In order to foster integrative research that considers holistic models of geoscience processes at different scales, EarthCube must have an analogous integrative approach on the technology side. The challenge is to utilize the extensive existing infrastructure resources as the foundation for an architecture that enhances their interoperation, accelerates growth to incorporate new advanced capabilities, and facilitates sustainability.

EarthCube is occurring at a pivotal time in scientific history. Scientific research products, whether data or software or articles, are not only of great interest to scientists in other fields but have well recognized societal value 3. Open science practices are crucial to the dissemination of scientific knowledge, including digital scholarship, data and software stewardship, and routine reproducibility. 4

The advent of the digital era has opened phenomenal possibilities, bringing cyberinfrastructure resources to many scientific communities and bringing datadriven scientific research to new levels. However, many of these powerful technologies have had uneven adoption and are often not well integrated into scientific practice. A more fundamental change needs to occur, making scientists active participants driving the requirements and providing continuous feedback to engineers as technology is developed. Crucially, EarthCube cyberinfrastructure will be socially organic and driven by geoscientists’ desire to discover and utilize multidisciplinary and multiscale datasets from distributed repositories.

Therefore, the core tenets of the EarthCube technology strategy are:

1. Open science: EarthCube needs to encourage the publication of all science products so they are discoverable and accessible, to enable reproducibility, and to ensure that they can be adapted to solve new problems.

2. Knowledge-rich components: Scientific resources and products must be described with rich metadata to enable others to understand and reuse them. Advanced analysis techniques must be developed -- as well as automated learning techniques from data -- to take advantage of knowledge-rich components for the effective, mining, fusion, and assimilation of data into sophisticated inference models.

3. Federated organization: EarthCube participants, from organizations to individuals, will contribute resources designed to interoperate through agreed standards. Rather than centralized control, EarthCube will provide coordination by fostering standards and integration.

Recognizing that technology is the facilitator but not the agent for social change, EarthCube will endeavor to engage the community in adopting these principles. EarthCube will actively disseminate among scientists novel technologies designed to improve science practice. EarthCube will develop and communicate best practices for interoperability and standards.

Permanent URL: http://earthcube.org/document/2015/e...rategic-vision

Footnotes

1

Mission Statement: EarthCube’s mission is to enable geoscientists to address the challenges of understanding and predicting a complex and evolving Earth system by fostering a community-governed effort to develop a common cyberinfrastructure to collect, access, analyze, share and visualize all forms of data and resources, using advanced technological and computational capabilities. See http://earthcube.org/document/2015/earthcube-charter

2

Dynamic Earth: GEO Imperatives & Frontiers 2015–2020. See https://www.nsf.gov/geo/acgeo/geovis...-2015-2020.pdf

Science Strategic Plan

PDF and Word

This working paper articulates the community’s vision of what EarthCube-enabled science should look like in 2020. Drawing on the outcomes of 24 end-user workshops, the working paper was compiled, at the request of EarthCube’s Science Standing Committee and with due regard to community input, by domain scientists who participated in three working groups and a workshop.

Suggested Citation: 

Aronson E.L. et al., 2015, Geoscience 2020: Cyberinfrastructure to reveal the past, comprehend the present, and envision the future, EarthCube Working Paper, ECWP-2015-1, 19 p. http://dx.doi.org/10.7269/P3MG7MDZ

Cover Page

Geoscience 2020: Cyberinfrastructure to reveal the past, comprehend the present, and envision the future

Emma L. Aronson*, University of California, Riverside
Sky Bristol, US Geological Survey
Ann Bryant Burgess, Computer Science Department, University of Southern California
V. Chandrasekar, Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering, Colorado State University
Hilary Close, Department of Geology & Geophysics, University of Hawai’i, Mānoa
Tony van Eyken, Center for Geospace Studies, SRI International
Vicki Ferrini, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University
Basil Gomez, Department of Geography, University of Hawai’i, Mānoa
Danie Kinkade, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Anna Kelbert, College of Earth, Ocean & Atmospheric Sciences, Oregon State University
Raleigh L. Martin, Department of Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences, University of California, Los Angeles
Kathleen Ritterbush, Department of the Geophysical Sciences University of Chicago
Ken Rubin*, Department of Geology & Geophysics, University of Hawai’i, Mānoa
Andreas Schmittner*, College of Earth, Ocean & Atmospheric Sciences, Oregon State University
Stephen Slota, Informatics Department, University of California, Irvine
D. Sarah Stamps, Department of Earth, Planetary & Space Sciences, University of California, Los Angeles
Karen Stocks, Geological Data Center, Scripps Institution of Oceanography
Mimi W. Tzeng*, Dauphin Island Sea Lab
Peter Wiebe, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Elisha Wood-Charlson, Center for Microbial Oceanography, University of Hawai’i, Mānoa
* Working Group / Workshop Chair

Approved: May 7, 2015

Table of Contents

Executive Summary 3
1. Background 4
2. End-User Workshops 5

Science drivers 6
Common or overarching themes 7

3. Funded Projects 9
4. Grand Challenges 14
5. EarthCube: a bridge between data and science 16

Citation: Aronson E.L. et al., 2015, Geoscience 2020: Cyberinfrastructure to reveal the past, comprehend the present, and envision the future, EarthCube

Executive Summary

EarthCube cyberinfrastructure will accelerate geoscientists ability to characterize and understand complex Earth systems, from the Space environment to Earth’s core, from the top of the atmosphere to the bottom of the sea, and throughout Earth History, by providing enhanced access to data, and new technologies and methods to integrate, analyze and visualize those data. This working paper articulates the community’s vision of what EarthCube-enabled science should look like in 2020.

Discussions of science drivers involving domain end-user workshop participants commonly revolved around the topics of change, processes, and conditions. Science drivers end-user workshop participants specifically identified reflect the collective need for a better understanding of the dynamics of coupled Sun-Earth, atmosphere, solid Earth, hydrosphere and biosphere systems; the constituent physical, chemical and biological processes; and their interactions at all relevant temporal and spatial scales. Particular objectives were to improve the utilization of scientific information in decision making designed to mitigate the impact of or facilitate adaptation to disruptive natural events, climate change impacts and direct human perturbations; and to determine the magnitude, trajectory and time response of those events and perturbations on key Sun-Earth, atmosphere, solid Earth, hydrosphere and biosphere systems.

There is considerable potential for promoting synergistic opportunities, interactions among funded EarthCube projects have been relatively limited thus far. Obvious impediments to progress are the lack of defined pathways and bridges along and across which such interactions can occur, and the difficulty of explicitly aligning most funded projects with any science driver.

Beyond the complex geoscience problems that provide the broadest community motivation to pursue EarthCube, there is a need to: better understand complex earth system processes at different temporal and spatial scales; rapidly and routinely integrate and synthesize data as they are being acquired; and lower barriers to adopting new cyberinfrastructure technologies and standards, and incorporating them in scientific workflows. In this context, EarthCube will function as a bridge between data and knowledge.

Data are the key to unlocking knowledge. The community anticipates that, by making geoscientists ability to discover and obtain multidisciplinary and multiscale datasets from distributed repositories an integral component of scientific workflows, EarthCube’s implementation will make possible new kinds of synthesis for data, encourage collaboration and foster science that will advance knowledge of complex Sun-Earth, atmosphere, solid Earth, hydrosphere and biosphere systems.

1. Background 1

EarthCube began in 2011 as a joint initiative between the National Science Foundation (NSF) Directorate for Geosciences (GEO) and the Division of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure (ACI). Envisioned as an evolving, dynamic community effort, EarthCube is not only a new way for the NSF to partner with the scientific community, but also a challenge for the many academic, agency and industry stakeholders in the geo-, cyberinfrastructure, computer and social sciences to create new capabilities for sharing data and knowledge and conducting research.

EarthCube’s goal is to enable geoscientists to address the challenges of understanding and predicting a complex and evolving solid Earth, hydrosphere, atmosphere, space-environment systems, by fostering a community-governed effort to develop a common cyberinfrastructure to collect, access, analyze, share and visualize all forms of data and resources, using advanced technological and computational capabilities. EarthCube’s vision is to create a dynamic, community-driven cyberinfrastructure that will support standards for interoperability, infuse advanced technologies to improve and facilitate interdisciplinary research, and help educate scientists in the emerging practices of digital scholarship, data and software stewardship, and open science.

EarthCube will be supported by the existing foundation of cyberinfrastructure investments, including databases, software services and community facilities that have been created by the geosciences and cyberinfrastructure communities over the past two decades. Achieving the aforementioned objectives also requires a long-term effort, which the NSF anticipates supporting until at least 2022. It also requires that the constituent geoscience communities articulate their science goals and cyberinfrastructure needs, so that common themes, challenges and synergies can be identified and merged into a communal roadmap.

2. End-User Workshops

Beginning in summer 2012, NSF funded a series of 24 EarthCube domain end-user workshops 2. These workshops targeted a broad spectrum of geospace, Earth, atmosphere, ocean, and allied senior, mid- and early-career scientists, introduced the ~1650 participants to EarthCube, and encouraged them to think about how data-enabled science could help them achieve their scientific goals. An overarching goal of the workshops was to gather information about the science drivers and data utilities, and the requirements for user-interfaces, models, software, tools, technologies, etc. with the objective of ensuring that EarthCube is designed to help geoscientists more easily do the science they want and would like to accomplish. That is, EarthCube should help foster a sustainable future through a better understanding of our complex and changing planet, and enable the geosciences community to develop a framework to understand and predict responses of the Earth as a system  3.

To help better define the geoscience community’s needs, an ‘End-User Principal Investigator’ workshop was held August 14 – 15, 2013, in Tucson, AZ, with the objective of synthesizing outcomes from 16 completed end-user workshops that then had been completed. The most widely identified needs were related to data accessibility, discovery, curation, and integration. A common thread was the need to make these operations easier and less time consuming. Ideally this would occur by: 1) enhancing software tools and processing capability; and 2) supporting broad and deep community acceptance of standards, technologies, and methods that evolve responsively to use.

From a practical point of view, challenges with data arise because, at present, utilizing non-standard, heterogeneous data from different sources requires significant effort to analyze each dataset for content and determine how to integrate it with other data. The lack of standard vocabularies for specifying data schema and property values complicates the problem because the meaning, quality and uncertainty of the data are often unclear and inconsistent practices for data sharing make each new data acquisition a time consuming learning experience. Best measurement practices and standards to facilitate knowledge sharing are also required. One of EarthCube’s overarching goals is to streamline these processes and allow scientists to locate, access, store and share data in ways that facilitate and streamline their research.

2.1 Science drivers

Information derived from the end-user workshops shows that individual geoscience domains routinely utilize on average, 30 distinct data sources 4, including repositories, observations, experiments, and models. All the workshops recognized the need: to obtain more accurate and complete spatial and temporal data for the state variables that characterize Sun-Earth, solid Earth, hydrosphere, and atmosphere systems; and for EarthCube to facilitate integration of multi-scale, multi-domain data.

Although a majority of the domain workshops involved participants drawn from the Earth Sciences, the science drivers they identified reflect the collective need geoscientists recognize exists for a better understanding of the dynamics of coupled solid Earth, hydrosphere, atmosphere, space-environment systems; the constituent physical, chemical and biological processes; and their interactions at all relevant temporal and spatial scales. This includes, for example, understanding the role of fluids in seismicity and tectonics, and how the structure of the upper mantle in a given location is related to surficial geological processes and mantle convection; as well as the processes and interactions that create geological structures, shape landscapes and govern mass fluxes of water, carbon, nutrients and erosion products.

Participants also highlighted the need to understand the co-evolution, operation and resultant configuration of coupled Earth systems, such as the climate-carbon system and the helio-, geo- and bio-spheres, during periods of stasis or (rapid) change. A specific objective is to advance capabilities for identifying the processes responsible for: generating heterogeneity (in, for example, the stratigraphic record); and initiating feedback that either sustains equilibrium or moves systems towards thresholds and tipping points (for example, through the influence cloud cover exerts on climate and the biosphere). They also emphasized it is important to know if the governing processes are scale-dependent and to understand the temporal and spatial variability of those processes. For example, how physical processes originating on the Sun affect human activities on Earth; how bio- and geo-chemical fluxes from the land surface to the coastal ocean are affected by event magnitude, duration, sequencing and spatial extent; and how complex emergent properties in ocean ecosystems are created by different physical, chemical, and biological processes.

Across the end-user workshops, complimentary discussions addressed partitioning human, natural and/or catastrophic changes in systems, with the objectives being: 1) to improve the utilization of scientific information in decision making designed to mitigate the impact of or facilitate adaptation to disruptive natural events (including solar storms, floods, landslides, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes and climate change), that occur across all relevant temporal and spatial scales; 2) to understand the impacts of climate change impacts and direct human perturbations, such as land use change; and 3) to determine the magnitude, trajectory and time response of disruptive natural events and human perturbations on key Sun-Earth, solid Earth, hydrosphere, and atmosphere systems.

Other methodological issues that were identified included the need to better integrate: coupled models at different temporal and spatial scales; and the results derived from ensembles of models. In the next section we synthesize the scientific drivers and needs of the scientific community.

2.2 Common or overarching themes

Discussion of the science drivers identified by workshop participants commonly revolved around the topics of ‘change’, ‘processes’ and ‘conditions’; five overarching themes emerged. In one way or another, all of these themes call for the integration or synthesis of data and information across different scales and domains. Their direct relevance to EarthCube is that, in all cases, this is presently only possible to a limited extent.

Figure 1: Word Cloud Derived From the Science Drivers

section of the 24 end-user workshop executive summaries (the size of a word is proportional the frequency of its occurrence).

ScienceStrategicPlanFigure1.png

1) Sources of Variability – There is a need to identify and characterize the key processes, interactions and feedbacks operating at and across different temporal and spatial scales and physical domains; identify the primary drivers of change; and integrate all these factors into models, in order to better account for spatial and temporal variability seen in Sun-Earth, atmosphere, solid Earth, hydrosphere and biosphere systems.

2) Hazards – There is a need to identify and discriminate between the effects disruptive natural events and human perturbations have on atmosphere, solid Earth, hydrosphere and biosphere systems; identify their respective scales of influence, and the magnitudes of the effects they exert. Better understanding and prediction of these events and perturbations is essential if society is to adapt to and mitigate the impacts of environmental hazards and global change.

3) Predictions – There is a need to quantify limits of prediction and better understand the constraints on and limits of model accuracy. In some cases, integration of real-time data holds promise for improved prediction of disruptive natural events, such as space weather, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, tsunami, hurricanes, floods, and landslides. Whereas in other cases more time series data are required to understand, for example, how climate change alters ocean chemistry, and impacts corals and the organisms that use coral reefs as habitat.

4) State Parameters – There is a need to obtain improved estimates of the flux / migration of energy, mass, fluids, sediments, nutrients, and carbon within and between the different Sun-Earth, solid Earth, hydrosphere, atmosphere, and biosphere systems. Such information is essential if the state and functioning of the complex Earth systems and their components are to be fully understood.

5) Long-term Trends – There is a need to understand the current state and past evolution of the different Sun-Earth, solid Earth, hydrosphere, and biosphere systems and their component parts. The rationale is that if we cannot comprehend how the past evolved from deep time into the present, we are unlikely to be able to make accurate projections and predictions for the future.

Critically, in order to cultivate future generations of researchers and also for EarthCube to be of use to policy and decision makers, geoscientists must be able to access, preserve, communicate and share results and uncertainties of information and research that advances knowledge to society.

3. Funded Projects

Following from the 2009 Advisory Committee for GEO GEOVision report 5, which identified the challenges and opportunities facing the geosciences in the next decade, and the 2011 Cyberinfrastructure Framework for 21st Century Science and Engineering (CIF21) initiative, which emphasized the importance of enabling computational and data-rich science, the National Science Foundation (NSF) began evaluating proposals 6, in Spring 2013, for: an EarthCube Test Enterprise Governance; EarthCube Research Coordination Networks (RCNs); EarthCube Building Blocks; and EarthCube Conceptual Designs.

Three strategic goals were at the core of the first solicitations 7:

1) Engage all stakeholders, including geoscientists, computer science and cyberinfrastructure specialists, and data managers and facilities, to create structure and begin closer collaboration and coordination with one another;

2) Build on existing resources, with the recognition that not all research communities are equally well-served;

3) Begin an iterative process over a ten year period that provides opportunities, then collects community input and assessment on an annual basis in order to accommodate needs, change and new developments 8.

Test Governance was expected to take documents released in August and September 2012 (a roadmap 9 and a framework proposal 10), that were the end result of a year’s initial research and community outreach, use them to create a working governance model, and put the model into practice to test its effectiveness.

Research Coordination Networks (RCNs 11) are intended to create networking opportunities and multidisciplinary partnerships between geoscientists, cyberinfrastructure specialists, and data managers, and encourage closer cross-collaboration and coordination among these disparate groups.

Building Blocks (BBs) are intended to construct a cyberinfrastructure to better connect existing resources, integrate and develop resources that would serve broader communities, and begin the initial work of EarthCube.

Conceptual Designs (CDs) represent the initial planning stage for the EarthCube architecture, with the goals of better understanding the landscape of existing resources and promoting innovative designs for the evolving system.

Based on the stated activities, objectives, and themes of each funded project, it is apparent that only science-oriented funded projects (i.e., the RCNs and other projects funded through the Software Infrastructure for Sustained Innovation (SI2) program 12), could be easily aligned with the science drivers identified earlier in this report. In contrast, the more technically-oriented BBs and CDs cannot easily be related to specific science themes. This is because their intent is to provide the basic tools for scientists to facilitate and advance the work they do. However, by focusing on the broader technical themes related to different scientific approaches and the technical tools required to enable these approaches, it is possible to gain a perspective on the gaps that remain if the synergies between these projects were exploited.

To date, the NSF has funded a total of 25 EarthCube projects: a test governance project; 6 RCNs; 15 BBs; 3 CDs; and allied projects (such as BiG CZ SSI, which is intended to integrate the work of the Critical Zone Observatories 13, and proposals funded under NSF’s Data Infrastructure Building Blocks solicitation 14).

The EarthCube Test Enterprise Governance (ECTEG) funded project has a charge of producing a charter and framework for EarthCube’s Governance structure, which includes: the Leadership Council; the Science and Technology and Architecture Standing Committees; the Council for Data Facilities; the Engagement and Liaison Teams; and the EarthCube Office. Sections 2 through 4 of this document are the direct result of the charge given to the ECTEG to assess community requirements and gaps in those requirements, as defined by the outcomes of the end-user workshops.

The other 24 funded projects deal with more specific science goals and technical needs. For example, the RCNs are intended to provide opportunities for academic geosciences communities to organize, seek input, come to consensus and prioritize data, modeling, and technology needs, as well as standards and interoperability within and across domains. BiG CZ SSI likewise addresses the science needs of the constituent CZO projects.

Though they are implicitly meant to complement each other, and there is considerable potential for promoting synergistic opportunities, interactions among EarthCube funded projects have been relatively limited thus far. These interactions are expected to develop. However, an obvious impediment to progress is the lack of defined pathways and bridges along and across which such interactions can occur. Potential pathways might, for example, be defined on the basis of commonly expressed technical needs and the solutions to these needs. From a science perspective, four opportunities for promoting interactions between different funded projects emerge: 1) accessing domain-specific samples and observations; 2) linking observations across spatial and temporal scales; 3) sharing/integrating data, methods, and models; and 4) constructing frameworks for earth-system models. For BBs alone, these commonalities are summarized in Table 1 15. They are not seen as being mutually exclusive, but rather the shared opportunities they provide represent a means for identifying ways in which different funded projects 16 can work together and begin to use new cyberinfrastructure tools to address specific scientific needs.

GeoDeepDive and Digital Crust seek to integrate different types of data or models into a digital cyberinfrastructure, and to develop analytical tools that will be of use across all geoscience domains, by accessing domain-specific samples and observations. The focus of DisConBB, Earth Systems Bridge, ODSIP and Geosemantics is on the integration and best practices for collecting and curating data/information. Their shared intent is also to reduce semantic discrepancy and increase the interoperability of the architecture used to visualize and model data. The goals of BCube, CINERGI, Geosoft, GeoWS, GeoLink, GeoDataspace and Geosemantics are to better share and integrate scientific data, tools, models, methods, and other products; and their common desire to integrate long-tail data (i.e., the products of individual investigators) into publically available searchable data resources. Finally, CyberConnector and CHORDS seek to construct frameworks for Earth Systems Models and reinforce and develop new capabilities for existing modes of work, rather than proposing entirely new workflows. For this reason these projects are more closely aligned with the science drivers identified earlier in this report. Additionally, to facilitate the development, interconnection and comparison of Earth Systems Models and enhance their utility, they have a common interest in improving the quantity and quality of data available, and in the management of both real-time and historic data across heterogeneous temporal scales.

Table 1: Categorization of Building Block projects (see text for complete description)
Year Funded Project Name Accessing Linking Sharing / Integrating Constructing
2013 BCube     X  
2013 CINERGI     X  
2013 DisConBB   X    
2013 Earth System Bridge   X    
2013 GeoDeepDive X      
2013 GeoSoft     X  
2013 GeoWS     X  
2013 ODSIP   X    
2014 GeoLink     X  
2014 CyberConnector       X
2014 CHORDS       X
2014 Digital Crust X      
2014 EarthCollab        
2014 GeoDataSpace     X  
2014 Geosemantics   X X  

As the BBs mature, it will become possible to evaluate whether the funded projects diverge or converge with the scientific drivers and themes identified herein and, crucially, with EarthCube’s Mission 17 and Vision 18. It will also be possible to determine how these activities have evolved with respect to the landscape envisaged in the EarthCube Community Groups’ and Concept Teams’ roadmaps 19. Ultimately, to promote interoperability, it will be imperative to attempt to integrate these projects. The pursuit of scientific Grand Challenges, which motivate and have direct relevance to the larger geoscience community, is one way these endeavors could be stimulated.

4. Grand Challenges

Ongoing discussions involving end-user workshop participants, EarthCube’s Science Committee members, and the geosciences community as a whole have highlighted common themes that fall into two categories: 1) aspirations or expectations; and 2) barriers that need to be overcome.

A particularly salient theme is the expectation that EarthCube has the potential to galvanize the broader geoscience community and facilitate better relations with society as a whole through its problem-solving capabilities. Specifically, EarthCube should enable geoscientists to make significant progress in understanding, communicating about, and mitigating complex, large scale environmental problems. Examples include: geospace variability and extreme events; planetary-scale (global) changes in the Earth system; geohazards; and water and energy sustainability. Geoscientists’ ability to make major advances on these complex, interdisciplinary topics often is constrained by their ability to discover, access and analyze large and diverse data sets. That is, in order to tame these complex problems geoscientists require access to a dynamic and sustainable cyberinfrastructure that will allow them to discover, compile, analyze, visualize and share a wide array of data types and resources. The availability of such resources would also allow geoscientists to deconstruct the workings of complex natural systems and better understand how they are being perturbed by human activities. Geoscientists have repeatedly stressed and reemphasized these intellectual aspirations, and they provide the broadest community motivation to pursue EarthCube.

These complex geoscience problems include 20:

  • Recognizing the signal within the natural variability
  • Defining mass flux and energy balance in natural systems
  • Identifying feedback between natural and perturbed systems
  • Determining biodiversity and ecosystem health
  • Quantifying consequences, impacts, and effects
  • Effectively communicating uncertainty and relative risk

Many of the end-user workshop participants also spoke to these same complex problems, albeit in more technical and community-oriented ways 21. Moreover, beyond these grand overarching aspirations, individual domain science communities recognize that important advances can also be made on pressing and long-recognized complex research problems in their own disciplines should EarthCube’s vision be realized. For example, there is a need to:

  • Better understand complex earth system processes at different temporal and spatial scales
  • Rapidly and routinely integrate and synthesize data as they are being acquired
  • Lower barriers to adopting new cyberinfrastructure technologies and standards, and incorporating them in scientific workflows.

For these things to happen, targeted, focused and immediate action is required, to overcome potential barriers created by the conditions under which EarthCube is currently operating – specifically, the decision to actively fund cyberinfrastructure development while potential community-driven uses for that infrastructure are still being defined. The EarthCube community also had to overcome the social challenge of rapidly developing successful working relationships among the members of its primary constituencies (domain geoscientists and technologists), each of which has a different understanding of the key issues involved; utilizes different modes of communication; and collectively have limited previous experience of working together.

EarthCube explicitly was conceptualized in a very general way so as not to predetermine for the community what it would include (or exclude). However, we must now address both the intellectual aspirations of the constituent end-user communities, which may have little to no understanding of the technological requirements that need to be fulfilled for them to realize them; and the drive to produce the cyberinfrastructure by technologists who know what can and can’t be done, but may not fully grasp how the infrastructure will be used, nor have received clear instructions about priority use-cases.

Progress is being made on all these fronts, but the need to rapidly address these operational barriers in a way that engenders community trust is paramount for achieving the goal of successfully building an exceptional and unequaled sustainable infrastructure to enable truly transformative research and enhance geoscientists’ ability to communicate important results.

5. EarthCube: a bridge between data and knowledge

EarthCube cyberinfrastructure will accelerate geoscientists’ ability to characterize and understand complex Earth systems, by providing enhanced access to data, and new technologies and methods to integrate, analyze and visualize those data. The motivation for EarthCube-enabled science is provided by the science drivers identified by end-user workshop participants (§2.2), which can be distilled into three fundamental science goals:

  • Quantify limits of prediction and better understand the constraints on and limits of data and model accuracy and utility.
  • Characterize the key processes, interactions and feedbacks operating at and across different temporal and spatial scales and biological, chemical, mechanical, and physical domains.
  • Deliver a holistic, quantitative representation of critical biological, chemical, mechanical, and physical states and fluxes, to inform fundamental science and societal decisions.

To attain these goals, EarthCube will:

  • Offer access to fundamental high-quality data 22 describing critical biological, chemical, mechanical, and physical states and fluxes.
  • Develop and maintain user-friendly software tools and cyberinfrastructure to enable discovery, access, analysis, and visualization of data across domains, and improve replication and reproducibility.
  • Facilitate the interoperability and centralization of databases, repositories, and community-developed standards and workflows.
  • Enable the transformation of data to information and knowledge, advancing science and its dissemination to policy makers and the general public.

EarthCube’s short term objective is greater data availability to geoscientists; the long term objective is enhanced knowledge availability for society.

EarthCube enabled science is interdisciplinary across domains and fundamentally relies on open access to well-documented data, models, software, analytical and visualization tools, methodologies, workflows, and other resources. To break down disciplinary barriers and build an exceptional and unequaled sustainable infrastructure that will enable truly transformative research and enhance geoscientists’ ability to communicate important results, the resources and tools EarthCube develops should be highly accessible and easily adoptable by geoscientists across multiple domains.

EarthCube will promote scientific discovery by developing tools and workflows that can be inserted into the everyday practices of researchers, from students to senior scientists, that ensure that data and processes are efficiently documented, preserved and can be integrated across disciplines. In so doing EarthCube will fundamentally transform how interdisciplinary geoscience is performed, by allowing for greater data interoperability and developing advanced analytical tools. For example, tools that enable the integration and synchronization of data from multiple sources, over vastly different temporal and spatial (deep time to real-time, and microscopic to global) scales, and can be used across multiple disciplines will enable new multi-disciplinary data integration and analysis. The intent being to encourage the community to collectively attempt to resolve the complex problems that intersect multiple geoscience domains (§4).

The geoscience community also recognizes there are key challenges in cyberinfrastructure integration, use and education endeavors that provide defining opportunities for EarthCube. For example, any geoscience data management infrastructure will necessarily include information about and access to physical objects (e.g., sediment core, fossil, ice, and water samples); and uncertainties associated with both observational and interpretive/derived data types must be acknowledged, tracked and assimilated into and subsequently accounted for by analytical methods and tools. Specifically, end-users at all levels will require integrated access to high-quality, diverse, multidisciplinary data sets, models and model outputs, that are predicated upon the:

  • Discovery, capture and enabling access to analog, archived, poorly recognized, and dispersed items (dark data 23), documentation of data quality, and ensuring interoperability across geoscience domains.
  • Iterative and dynamic implementation of methodologies and tools that serve the critical data management needs of the geoscience community.
  • Active engagement of diverse stakeholders (including geoscientists, infrastructure developers, policy and decision makers, and the public).

As individual geoscientists (long-tail end-users) benefit from integration with big data science initiatives, science objectives and horizons will expand dramatically. For this reason, EarthCube’s cyberinfrastructure should allow for the evolution of both methods and semantics. To ensure the sustainability of EarthCube products, geoscience stakeholders must be fully engaged with their agency and industry (economic geology and technology) partners, and their externally-built products and resources. Key to this engagement is EarthCube’s promotion of open science, through the development and deployment of easy-to-adopt standards, tools and cyberinfrastructure that can be exploited throughout the entire research lifecycle.

Collectively, these practices and workflows will provide: access to the data resources individual geoscientists need to address specific research questions; sufficient flexibility to enable end-users to customize outcomes to suit their specific needs; and ensure data have extensive utility. Data are the key to unlocking knowledge. The community anticipates that, by making geoscientists ability to discover and obtain multidisciplinary and multiscale datasets from distributed repositories an integral component of scientific workflows, EarthCube’s implementation will make possible new kinds of synthesis for data, encourage collaboration and foster science that will advance knowledge of complex Sun-Earth, atmosphere, solid Earth, hydrosphere and biosphere systems.

Footnotes

6

N.B. The first end-user workshops were being held at the same time as the NSF was evaluating the first proposals.

7

Proposals for EarthCube Integrative Activities are not considered here.

8

This report represents the first iteration of the community input and assessment process

11

Which continue under the fourth Amendment to the EarthCube solicitation http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2013/nsf13529/nsf13529.htm

13

A Critical Zone Observatory is an environmental laboratory, focused on the interconnected chemical, physical and biological processes shaping Earth's surface http://criticalzone.org/national/

15

Table 1 represents the Science Standing Committee’s interpretation of the Building Block projects’ potential for interaction with domain science objectives; other communities have proposed alternative categorizations (see, for example, http://earthcube.org/document/2015/t...orkshop-report).

16

Only funded projects integral to EarthCube are considered here.

17

EarthCube’s mission is to enable geoscientists to address the challenges of understanding and predicting a complex and evolving Earth system by fostering a community-governed effort to develop a common cyberinfrastructure to collect, access, analyze, share and visualize all forms of data and resources, using advanced technological and computational capabilities. http://earthcube.org/document/2015/earthcube-charter

18

EarthCube’s long-term vision is a community-driven, dynamic cyberinfrastructure that supports standards for interoperability, infuses advanced technologies to improve and facilitate interdisciplinary research, and helps educate scientists in the emerging practices of digital scholarship, data and software stewardship, and open science. http://earthcube.org/document/2015/earthcube-charter

19

In March 2012, the NSF formed and funded a number of EarthCube Community Groups and Concept Award Teams, each of which was tasked with producing a roadmap to help move their area of EarthCube forward http://earthcube.org/type-document/roadmaps

22

Here data broadly include observational and interpretive, model, experimental, and physical sample items.

23

Here dark data are any unstructured, untagged, untapped data in a repository.

TAC Strategic Plan

Same as above

2015 EarthCube Highlights

PDF and PPT

My Note: Converted to Slides

The 2015 EarthCube Highlights book celebrates our progress toward our mission and goals, and outlines the work yet to come. EarthCube activities continue to demonstrate that a collaborative, interdisciplinary approach is able to transform and quickly advance understanding of the fundamental processes of the Earth system.

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Inside Cover Page

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EarthCube in brief

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EarthCube in 2015

Research Coordination Networks: Science communities

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Building Blocks: Technology demonstrations

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Conceptual Designs: Towards an EarthCube architecture

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Test Governance: Standing up the EarthCube organization

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Community activities

Strategic planning for EarthCube

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Roadmaps for science activities

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A roadmap for technology activities
Developing use cases
Identifying technology gaps
Adopting standards
Standing up a testbed
Converging on architecture

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The Council of Data Facilities

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Engaging the community

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Involvement and adoption in the community

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Faces of EarthCube

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Back Cover

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EarthCube: Past, Present, and Future

PDF (Full) and PDF (Excerpts) and Word (Excerpts)

My Note: Used Excerpts

Members of the Leadership Council compiled and released the EarthCube: Past, Present, and Future report in December 2014. This project overview piece most notably covers the current progress of each of the EarthCube funded project teams and outlines new ways to get involved with EarthCube. 

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About the Editors

Yolanda Gil is Director of Knowledge Technologies at the Information Sciences Institute and Research Professor in the Computer Science Department of the University of Southern California. She received her M.S. and Ph. D. degrees in Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon University. Her expertise is in artificial intelligence, in particular intelligent systems to support scientific discovery. She chaired the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Provenance Group that led to the W3C PROV community standard, and is now engaged with the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) to investigate provenance challenges of geospatial data. Dr. Gil has served in the Advisory Committee of the Computer Science and Engineering Directorate of the National Science Foundation. She was elected Fellow of the American Association of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) in 2012. She led the EarthCube Roadmap for Workflows in Geosciences, and is Co-­‐PI of the EarthCube Building Block on “GeoSoft: Software Stewardship for Geosciences.” She Co-­‐Chairs the EarthCube Technology and Architecture Committee, and was elected as its representative to the EarthCube Leadership Council.

Marjorie Chan is a Professor in the Department of Geology and Geophysics of the University of Utah. She received her Ph.D. in geology from the University of Wisconsin-­‐Madison, and her B. Sc. from the University of California-­‐Davis. Her research interests are in clastic sedimentary geology, and multidisciplinary studies using aspects of facies, basin analysis, fluid flow, and modeling (with applications toward environmental and predictive problems). Recent work examines sandstone color, iron oxide concretions, and weathering patterns as terrestrial analogs for the red planet Mars. She is an elected fellow of the Geological Society of America (GSA) and was the 2014 GSA Distinguished International Lecturer delivering 54 lectures in 6 countries. She was co-­‐convener of the Sedimentary Geology EarthCube End-­‐User Workshop, and is a Co-­‐PI of the EarthCube RCN for "EC3 Earth Centered Cyberinfrastructure Collaboration”. She is Co-­‐Chair of the EarthCube Engagement Team, and was elected as its representative to the EarthCube Leadership Council.

Basil Gomez is an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Geography at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa. He received a D.Sc. and Ph.D. from the University of Southampton, and his Bachelors degree from Plymouth Polytechnic. His research focuses on interrelations between landscape, water and the materials it transports, which can shed light on such diverse issues as: paleoearthquake recurrence on the Hikurangi margin; Holocene climate variability across the mid-­‐latitude South Pacific; the potential rate of bed-­‐load transport, and the source provenance of Cypriot Bronze Age and Roman pottery. He is Co-­‐Chair of the EarthCube Science Committee, and was elected as its representative to the EarthCube Leadership Council.

Bruce Caron is an active online-­‐community architect, and is looking to help virtual science organizations build community governance and achieve their promise. Bruce was trained as a social anthropologist and an urban cultural geographer. He recently led the NASA Science on Drupal Central Project, which built collaboration and collective intelligence capabilities for NASA earth science Drupal developers. Bruce is the founder of the New Media Studio and the New Media Research Institute in Santa Barbara. He has served as the president of the Federation of Earth Science Information Partners and is a founding and current board member of the Foundation for Earth Science in Washington, DC. In 2010 he was awarded the Martha Maiden Lifetime Achievement Award from the ESIP Federation. He is currently the Program Office Manager for EarthCube.

Executive Summary

EarthCube began in 2011 as joint initiative between the National Science Foundation (NSF) Directorate for Geosciences (GEO) and the Division of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure (ACI). This evolving, dynamic community effort is not only a new way for the NSF to partner with the scientific community, but also a challenge for the many academic, agency and industry stakeholders in the geo-­‐, cyberinfrastructure, computer and social sciences to create new capabilities for sharing data and knowledge and conducting research.

EarthCube’s vision is a community-­‐driven dynamic cyberinfrastructure that will support standards for interoperability, infuse advanced technologies to improve and facilitate interdisciplinary research, and help educate scientists in the emerging practices of digital scholarship, data and software stewardship, and open science. EarthCube’s mission is to enable geoscientists to address the challenges of understanding and predicting a complex and evolving Earth system by fostering a community-­‐governed effort to develop a common cyberinfrastructure to collect, access, analyze, share and visualize all forms of data and resources, using advanced technological and computational capabilities.

Achieving these objectives requires a long-­‐term effort, which the NSF anticipates supporting until at least 2022. It also requires a community desire to identify common solutions and best practices, adapt and respond to change as cyberinfrastructure evolves, and adopt new technologies and approaches.

Between 2012 and 2014, the NSF funded twenty-­‐four EarthCube domain end-­‐user workshops. Their purpose was to allow the constituent geoscience communities to articulate their cyberinfrastructure needs and science goals, particularly in relation to the accessibility of data and information both within their disciplines and from other fields. In 2013 and 2014, the NSF funded several dozen projects focused on software component development, architecture design, efforts to advance community-­‐building, and governance.

An important result of these activities was the development of an initial EarthCube governance through several community events. This governance structure was put in place in the Fall of 2014 and will be operating in the next few months to develop processes to coordinate community input and ongoing work. EarthCube’s Leadership Council oversees the activities of the five components of EarthCube governance: the Science Committee, the Technology and Architecture Committee, the Council of Data Facilities, the Liaison Team, and the Engagement Team. The Council is comprised of community-­‐elected representatives drawn from each of these components, and at-­‐large members of the Atmosphere/Space; Oceans, Earth Sciences, Polar and Cyberinfrastructure communities

Above all, EarthCube is an evolving, dynamic community effort that actively seeks to engage individuals and partners from across the geosciences and cyberinfrastructure. The more scientists and technologists are engaged in future EarthCube activities, the more EarthCube can and will achieve.

Message from NSF: Transforming Geosciences through EarthCube

Since the beginning of EarthCube in 2011, we at the National Science Foundation have appreciated anew the frontier science challenges undertaken by the academic geosciences community and their partners. We know the community will seek even greater challenges in the future to understand the fundamental processes of the Earth system, within the atmospheric, earth, geospace, ocean and polar sciences and across those boundaries. EarthCube is intended to support this endeavor and transform the conduct of geosciences research by creating a more productive research environment, with new capabilities for sharing data and knowledge by and beyond the geosciences.

As a joint effort of the NSF Directorate for Geosciences and the Division of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure, EarthCube is a new approach for NSF to partner with the scientific community. It envisions an iterative process for creating community-­‐driven and governed cyberinfrastructure, and requires collaboration among the many stakeholders in the geosciences, cyberinfrastructure and computer sciences, social sciences, as well as agency and international partners that share these goals. It is critical to this partnership to have a staged and deliberate approach to EarthCube, allowing time for broad and open involvement, as well as assessment and responsiveness from both NSF and the community.

We are now in a new phase for EarthCube where the responsibilities for and drivers of EarthCube come from the scientific community. NSF welcomes this transition and the wide adoption of EarthCube’s vision and process, as reflected by this document. It presents the community’s view of where we have been and how EarthCube will be formed through collaborative activities, from the strategic visioning of EarthCube to conceiving and standing up a functioning community governance through Test Enterprise Governance; from the vital input and guidance of the geosciences domains workshops and Research Coordination Networks to the initial elements of EarthCube found within the Building Blocks and Conceptual Designs.

We know this will be a long-­‐term effort with many changes over time as cyberinfrastructure evolves to accommodate changing user needs and emerging technologies and services. EarthCube will be supported by the existing foundation of cyberinfrastructure investments, including databases, software services and community facilities that have been created by the geosciences and cyberinfrastructure communities over the past two decades. Success in serving the entire geosciences community will depend in part on identification of common solutions and best practices, and strategic adoption of new technologies and approaches. It will also depend on the continued participation and work of the community, and we are grateful for the many contributions that have already been made on behalf of EarthCube.

NSF commends the community for their whole-­‐hearted spirit of collaboration, the bright vision they see for geosciences in the future and our ability to work in partnership to achieve this vision. We look forward to working closely with the entire EarthCube community in the years to come.

Eva Zanzerkia

Program Director, EarthCube

Directorate for Geosciences

National Science Foundation

EarthCube Vision and Mission

EarthCube’s long-­‐term vision is

  • a community-­‐driven dynamic cyberinfrastructure that will support
  • standards for interoperability,
  • infuse advanced technologies to improve and facilitate interdisciplinary research, and
  • help educate scientists in the emerging practices of digital scholarship, data and software stewardship, and open science.

EarthCube’s mission is

  • to enable geoscientists to address the challenges of understanding and predicting a complex and evolving Earth system
  • by fostering a community-­‐governed effort to develop a common cyberinfrastructure
  • to collect, access, analyze, share and visualize all forms of data and resources,
  • using advanced technological and computational capabilities.

(From the EarthCube Leadership Council, December 2014)

A Timeline for EarthCube

EarthCube was established in 2011 via a collaborative partnership between NSF’s Directorate for Geosciences (GEO) and the Division of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure (ACI). An NSF Dear Colleague Letter1 was released in June 2011 announcing the partnership and initial goals for EarthCube. Several webinars followed, and an additional document, EarthCube Guidance for the Community 2 , gave more detailed guidance. These announcements launched the first conversations about the future of EarthCube. Over the next two years, a series of webinars, community meetings (Charrettes), and White Paper and Roadmap solicitations provided a forum for potential participants to propose what EarthCube should look like in terms of science requirements, technology solutions, designs, and governance.3

Figure A Timeline for EarthCube

Figure A Timeline for EarthCube.png

Between March and August 2012, each of the Community Groups and Concept Teams was tasked with preparing Roadmaps to show how to move their area of EarthCube forward. These roadmaps were the culmination of months of research, community outreach, and deliberations in virtual and physical meetings, and they identified the initial stakeholders and cyberinfrastructure components. Collectively they served to provide NSF and other interested parties with a cross spectrum of ideas and concepts from the Earth, computer, information science and other stakeholder communities regarding key elements needed to build EarthCube. They were presented to NSF and the EarthCube community at the second EarthCube charrette.

The second EarthCube charrette took place in Roslyn, VA, in June 2012. This event engaged 190 physical and 60 remote attendees and focused on moving EarthCube forward. A goal of the charrette was to review and integrate the Community Group and Concept Team draft roadmaps, to forge a common vision, and create a cohesive set of milestones to move EarthCube forward. Activities and discussions focused on the identification of common themes, challenges, and synergies; that could be merged into one common roadmap for EarthCube.

Beginning in summer 2012, NSF funded a series of 24 EarthCube domain end-­‐user workshops. These workshops targeted a broad spectrum of Earth, atmosphere, ocean, and allied senior, mid-­‐ and early-­‐career scientists. The purpose of these workshops was to allow the constituent geoscience communities to articulate their cyberinfrastructure needs and science goals, particularly in relation to the accessibility of data and information both within their disciplines and from other fields.

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Meetings of the EarthCube Community Groups and Concept Award Teams Principal Investigators were held in June and October 2012. The first meeting fostered the discussions and roadmap integration efforts, which began at the June 2012 charrette, and generated ideas for use cases, reference architecture, governance and timelines. The follow-­‐up meeting furthered integration of the roadmaps, thereby developing a more cohesive vision of how to move EarthCube forward. Significant steps have been made towards achieving this goal, and a comprehensive technical roadmap for EarthCube is being assembled.

In September 2013, the NSF, marking a new phase for EarthCube, announced $14.5 million in funding for initial software components development for EarthCube (‘Building Blocks'), projects to develop broad architecture design white papers (‘Conceptual Designs’), and Research Coordination Networks (RCNs) to advance community-­‐ building exemplars in several domain science communities, and a project to develop and test a prototype community governance framework. NSF support for EarthCube continued with the announcement of another round of awards in September 2014.

To date, a great deal of collaborative work has been done to further the advancement of EarthCube, but the process is far from complete, and in the coming years the geoscience community will continue to build and expand upon the work already done.

End User Workshops: Gathering Requirements from Scientists

NSF funded 24 EarthCube domain end-­‐user workshops targeting a broad spectrum of Earth, atmosphere, ocean, and related senior, mid-­‐ and early career scientists. The purpose of these workshops was to allow geoscience communities to articulate and document their cyberinfrastructure needs with the object of improving data and information access within and outside their disciplines. An additional goal of these workshops was to gather information about the science-­‐drivers and data utilities, and the requirements for user-­‐ interfaces, models, software, tools, etc. so that EarthCube can be designed to help geoscientists more easily do the science they want and would like to accomplish.

Outcomes of the domain workshops and other community engagement programs continue to actively shape EarthCube’s form and function. Additionally, the workshops served to introduce EarthCube to a broad spectrum of end-­‐users, and encouraged them to think about how data-­‐enabled science could help them achieve their scientific goals. This information is currently being analyzed by working groups and teams constituted under EarthCube’s Demonstration Governance Structure, with the object of determining how it can best be leveraged to enable and enhance the future development of EarthCube..

Included in the Executive Summaries for each of these workshops are statements about the community’s science vision and the challenges it faces, as well as the technical requirements needed to address them, and priorities and recommendations for action.

End user workshop reports and other materials are available from http://www.earthcube.org/page/end-­‐user-­‐workshops, including a compilation of workshop executive summaries.

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http://www.earthcube.org/page/end-user-workshops

End User Workshops

Meetings of Young Researchers in Earth Science (MYRES) V: The Sedimentary Record of Landscape Dynamics, August 8, 2012, Salt Lake City, UT

Envisioning Success -­‐ A Workshop for Next Generation EarthCube Scholars and Scientists, October 16-­‐17, 2012, Washington, DC

Structural Geology and Tectonics, October, 20-­‐21 2012, Chicago, IL

EarthScope, October 29-­‐30, 2012, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ

Experimental Stratigraphy, December 11-­‐12, 2012, Austin, TX

Shaping the Development of EarthCube to Enable Advances in Data Assimilation and Ensemble Prediction, December 17-­‐18, 2012, Boulder, CO

Engaging the Critical Zone Community to Bridge Long Tail Science with Big Data, January 21-­‐23, 2013, Newark, DE

Envisioning a Digital Crust for Simulating Continental Scale Subsurface Fluid Flow in Earth System Models, January 29-­‐31, 2013, Fort Collins, CO

Cyberinfrastructure for Paleogeoscience, February 4-­‐6, 2013, Minneapolis, MN

Education, March 4-­‐5, 2013, La Jolla, CA

Petrology and Geochemistry, March 6-­‐7, 2013, Washington, DC

Sedimentary Geology, March 25-­‐26, 2013, Salt Lake City, UT

Modeling for the Geosciences, April 22-­‐23, 2013, Boulder, CO

Integrating Inland Waters, Geochemistry Biogeochemistry and Fluvial Sedimentology Communities, April 24-­‐26, 2013, Boulder, CO

Deep Seafloor Processes and Dynamics, June 5-­‐7, 2013, Narragansett, RI

Integrating Real-­‐time Data into the EarthCube Framework, June 17-­‐18, 2013, Boulder, CO

Ocean 'Omics, August 21-­‐23, 2013, Catalina Island, CA

Developing a Community Vision of Cyberinfrastructure Needs for Coral Reef Systems Science, September 18-­‐19, 2013, Honolulu, HI, and October 23-­‐24, 2013, Santa Barbara, CA

Bringing Geochronology into the EarthCube Framework, October 1-­‐3, 2013, Madison, WI

Articulating Cyberinfrastructure Needs of the Ocean Ecosystem Dynamics Community, October 7-­‐8, 2013, Woods Hole, MA

Engaging the Atmospheric Cloud/ Aerosol/ Composition Community, October 21-­‐22, 2013, Fairfax, VA

Rock Deformation and Mineral Physics Research, November 12-­‐14, 2013, Alexandria, VA

Science-­‐Driven Cyberinfrastructure Needs in Solar-­‐Terrestrial Research, August 13-­‐15, 2014, Newark, NJ

Increasing the Access to and Relevance of Marine Seismic Data, December 10-­‐12, 2014, San Francisco, CA

EarthCube Funded Projects

During 2013 and 2014, several projects were funded to advance the EarthCube vision. The projects fell into four categories:

1. Research Coordination Networks, to engage the science community around organized joint goals

2. Building Blocks, to develop novel infrastructure capabilities and demonstrate their value in a science context

3. Architecture, to explore concepts for the design of an enterprise architecture

4. Governance, to demonstrate that the community can be engaged in the design and development of EarthCube infrastructure

Figure Funded Projects

Figure Funded Projects.png

Research Coordination Networks: Engaging Science Communities

EarthCube Research Coordination Networks (RCNs) are intended to advance geosciences cyberinfrastructure by building and strengthening partnerships between geo-­‐ and cyber/computer / information scientists.

Examples of RCN outcomes include:

  • Development of community standards, data citation or other community plans for data management in one or more field of the geosciences.
  • Articulation of common cyberinfrastructure and technology grand challenges across different geosciences disciplines, including dialog towards designing potential solutions for data integration, computation, modeling, software and/or visualization needed to meet future scientific and education goals.
  • Agreements on data and/or cyberinfrastructure issues involving multiple geosciences fields that will result in improved interdisciplinary access to products of scientific work or training and education.

Each RCN has a steering committee primarily composed of academic geoscientists. Cyber and/or computer / information scientists have key roles within the network. Network participants typically involve investigators at diverse organizations, including new researchers, post-­‐docs, graduate students, and undergraduates. The RCNs include mechanisms to maintain openness, ensure access, and actively promote participation by interested parties outside of that initial list of participants.

Results from these projects will influence the direction of EarthCube, including architecture and geosciences-­‐wide cyberinfrastructure developments.

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Table 2013 Coordination Networks Awards
Name & Web Site Project Page
C4P Collaboration and Cyberinfrastructure for Paleogeosciences 29
EC3 Earth-­‐Centered Communication for Cyberinfrastructure: Challenges of Field Data Collection, Management and Integration 33
SEN Sediment Experimentalist Network 39
Table 2014 Research Coordination Networks Awards
Name & Web Site Project Page
CReSCyNT Coral REef Science and CYberinfrastructure NeTwork 31
ECOGEO EarthCube’s Oceanography and Geobiology Environmental ‘Omics 35
iSamples The Internet of Samples in the Earth Sciences 37

http://workspace.earthcube.org/rcns

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Building Blocks: Exploring Solutions and Demonstrating Utility

EarthCube Building Blocks are created to leverage existing resources that have resulted from investments to date on cyberinfrastructure for geosciences and other sciences.

Building Block projects aim to:

1) Integrate existing technology components to extend capabilities to a broader set of geoscientists than are currently served,

2) Create or modify cyberinfrastructure to overcome shortcomings identified by the geosciences community, or

3) Introduce novel cyberinfrastructure into the geosciences

They are designed to demonstrate utility to geosciences communities within 24 months.

The Building Blocks must articulate how they extend and fit into an overall cyberinfrastructure ecosystem, and how the solution might be broadly applied across all geosciences.

The Building Blocks involve both computer scientists and geoscientists, and often include social and library scientists.

Photo 5

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Table 2013 Building Block Awards
Name & Web Site Project Page
BCube A Broker Framework for Next Generation Geoscience 45
CINERGI Community Inventory of EarthCube Resources for Geosciences Interoperability 49
DisConBB Integrating Discrete and Continuous Data 55
Earth System Bridge Earth System Bridge: Spanning Scientific Communities with Interoperable Modeling Frameworks 59
GeoDeepDive A Cognitive Computer Infrastructure for Geoscience 63
GeoSoft Collaborative Open Source Software Sharing for the Geosciences 69
GeoWS Geoscience Web Services 71
ODSIP An Open Data-­‐Services-­‐Invocation Protocol (ODSIP) 73
Table 2014 Building Block Awards
Name & Web Site Project Page
CHORDS Cloud-­‐Hosted Real-­‐Time Data Services for the Geosciences 47
CyberConnector Bridging the Earth Observations and Earth Science Modeling for Supporting Model Validation, Verification, and Inter-­‐comparison 51
Digital Crust An Exploratory Environment for Earth Science Research and Learning 53
EarthCollab Enabling Scientific Collaboration and Discovery through Semantic Connections 57
GeoDataspace Simplifying Data Management for Geoscience Models 61
GeoLink Leveraging Semantics and Linked Data for Data Sharing and Discovery in the Geosciences 65
GeoSemantics A Geo-­‐Semantic Framework for Integrating Long-­‐Tail Data and Models 67

http://workspace.earthcube.org/building-blocks

Conceptual Designs: Initial Planning for Enterprise Architecture

EarthCube Conceptual Design projects will generate reports describing an initial enterprise architecture design for EarthCube.

These projects interact with the EarthCube community to understand architecture requirements based on the scope of scientific challenges as well as the existing and planned cyberinfrastructure resources.

The architecture must address:

  • The diversity of technologies and infrastructure approaches
  • The incorporation of existing systems that are used by geoscientists
  • The integration of diverse information in an easy-­‐to-­‐use system
  • The dynamic nature of architecture requirements as new research opportunities and innovative technologies arise

The strategy for selecting the EarthCube enterprise architecture will be phased. In the first phase, conceptual designs will be reviewed by the community as the basis for the architecture. The second phase will focus on Design Refinement, where the concept designs will be revised to reflect additional requirements gathered by through ongoing EarthCube activities.

Table 2013 Conceptual Design Awards
Name & Web Site Project Page
DAsHEr Developing a Data-­‐Oriented Human-­‐Centric Enterprise Architecture for EarthCube 79
GEAR Enterprise Architecture for Transformative Research and Collaboration Across the Geosciences 81
Table 2014 Conceptual Design Awards
Name & Web Site Project Page
SC-DA A Scalable Community-­‐Driven Architecture 83

http://workspace.earthcube.org/conceptual­‐designs

Test Governance: Formal Mechanisms to Involve the Community

This project for Test Enterprise Governance outlines an agile model to identify, test and evaluate governance models to manage the development of Geosciences cyberinfrastructure. This model seeks broad engagement and participation of the EarthCube stakeholders to define and assess governance models while seeking evaluation and cross-­‐checks from advisory committees and evaluation mechanisms.

This effort employs an iterative deployment across the range of EarthCube stakeholders to encourage transparency, consensus, and inclusiveness. A broad coalition of stakeholder groups comprise the Assembly and served as a preliminary venue for evaluating and testing governance models in 2012-­‐2013. A Secretariat acted as the coordinating body throughout the first phase of the project, carrying out duties such as planning, organizing, communicating. To ensure broader end-­‐user participation in evaluating governance models, a crowdsourcing approach was used for members not involved in the Assembly.

In 2014-­‐2015, a community-­‐led Demo governance is being tested and improved. The organizational structure will be demonstrated and evaluated. The structure and activities of the Demo governance rely heavily on the outcomes of earlier activities, including 26 end-­‐ user workshops. The role of the test governance demonstration is to facilitate community convergence on a reference architecture, procedures for standards, and coordination among emerging EarthCube elements.

Getting Involved

EarthCube is an evolving, dynamic community effort that seeks to ensure successful outcomes by actively involving individuals and partners from across the geosciences and cyberinfrastructure sectors. The current phase of EarthCube’s development builds upon the outcomes of the 24 end-­‐user workshops, that incorporate input from ~1500 participants. It also seeks to energetically engage stakeholders whose activities will be furthered and enhanced by the improved access to data and resources that EarthCube’s emerging, community-­‐governed cyberinfrastructure will facilitate.

You can become involved and positively impact the future of EarthCube. This is an opportunity for you to influence how data will be collected, accessed, analyzed, visualized, shared, and archived; facilitate and participate in interdisciplinary research; and help educate scientists in the emerging practices of digital scholarship, data and software stewardship, and open science. Collectively these activities will help foster a sustainable future through a better understanding of our complex and changing planet, and enable the geosciences community to develop a framework to understand and predict responses of the Earth as a system—from the space-­‐atmosphere boundary to the core 4.

The demonstration governance structure that resulted from the activities of the Test Governance project is designed to facilitate individual involvement in committees and working groups, and thereby encourage broad representation from across the geoscience community.

Figure High-Level Structure of EarthCube's Demonstration Governance

Figure High-­‐level Structure of EarthCube’s Demonstration Governance.png

The components of the demonstration governance represent the diversity of EarthCube functions:

The Science Committee

The Science Committee role is to identify and prioritize end user requirements, and to connect the academic and technology communities. It is co-­‐chaired by Basil Gomez and Emma Aronson and, in the short-­‐term, the work is enabled by three working groups whose tasks are to synthesize: the overarching science drivers identified by the participants of the twenty-­‐four end-­‐user workshops; the funded project’s science goals; and novel use cases.

The Technical and Architecture Committee

The Technology & Architecture Committee role is to test and facilitate technology and architecture development. It is co-­‐chaired by Yolanda Gil and Jay Pearlman, and its work is enabled by working groups whose initial focus is on identifying the technical requirements through science use cases; conducting a funded projects gap analysis; developing testbeds for the funded projects; and the identification of appropriate standards for EarthCube.

The Engagement Team

The Engagement Team role is to encourage involvement in EarthCube by proactively reaching out to the geoscience community. The team is chaired by Marjorie Chan. Three working groups are centered around mapping the community engagement scope; conveying new tools and cases; and facilitating internal communication.

The Liaison Team

The Liaison Team seeks to establish partnerships with existing cyber-­‐initiatives, agencies, associations, and other efforts external to the NSF core constituency, including international activities as well as the private sector. It is co-­‐chaired by Rick Ziegler and Lindsay Powers. The current focus is on mapping the larger geo/CI landscape and community; populating landscape map with organizations, initiatives, agencies, data facilities, etc.; and assessing where EarthCube fits into this landscape. The Liaison Team plans to organize a joint session between EarthCube and COOPEUS -­‐ (Cooperation EU/US) at the RDA – Research Data Alliance Fifth Plenary Meeting in March 2015.

The Council of Data Facilities

The Council of Data Facilities (CDF) is a federation of existing and emerging geoscience data facilities that serve as a foundation for EarthCube and cyberinfrastructure for the geosciences. The interim chair is Mohan Ramamurthy, and it is co-­‐chaired by Kerstin Lehnert and Don Middleton. The CDF Charter was approved in December 2014. The Council is holding a General Assembly Meeting in January 2015 (after the ESIP Winter Meeting), at which time the members of the Executive Committee (the chair, a vice-­‐chair, a secretary, and four other representatives) will be elected.

The Leadership Council

The Leadership Council oversees the activities of the five other components of EarthCube governance, in coordination with NSF as the sponsor and with the EarthCube Office for logistic support. It is presently comprised of community-­‐elected representatives drawn from the Science Committee (Basil Gomez); Technology & Architecture Committee (Yoland Gil); Council of Data Facilities (Mohan Ramamurthy); Liaison Team (Rick Ziegler); and Engagement Team (Marjorie Chan); as well as members at-­‐large of the Cyberinfrastructure (David Actur); Atmosphere/Space (Farzad Kamalabadi); Oceans (Danie Kinkade); Earth Sciences (Kerstin Lehnert); and Polar (unfilled) communities. Basil Gomez is the Leadership Council’s Interim Chair.

The EarthCube Office supports the Leadership Council and all the other governance components, and is part of the Test Governance project.

The EarthCube Leadership Council

The Leadership Council is the elected voice of the EarthCube community, setting the strategic direction for EarthCube and making decisions critical to the success of EarthCube with input from the community and in consultation with NSF.

The Leadership Council is formed by representatives of the EarthCube governance components as well as at-­‐large members of the community. Nine voting members include the chair, three standing committee representatives (for the Science Committee, the Technical & Architecture Committee, and the Council of Data Facilities), and five at-­‐ large representatives from constituencies of geosciences (one each of Atmosphere, Earth, Oceans, and Polar) and Cyberinfrastructure. Four non-­‐voting members include an Engagement Team Representative, a Liaison Team Representative, a representative from the National Science Foundation, and the Director of the EarthCube Office.

To fulfill this role the Leadership Council will:

  • Ensure consistency and transparency in policies, procedures, and decision-­‐making, including providing multiple ways for people to participate in the process of making decisions, and communicating outcomes of decisions to the broad EarthCube community.
  • Enable communication between governance organizational units to close gaps, eliminate duplication, and build synergies.
  • Establish and manage Standing Committees and Working Groups as needed to perform critical functions.
  • Foster business models to sustain and maintain the infrastructure of EarthCube.
  • Establish, facilitate, and maintain policies and procedures.
  • Provide for public dispute resolution and proactive management of risk and conflicts of interest.
  • Act as the single point of communication for coordinating with and making recommendations to the NSF and other funding agencies on behalf of EarthCube.

All components of the demonstration governance are open to any and all individuals who wish to participate. We invite you to sign up and share in these activities by visiting the EarthCube Commons at http://workspace.earthcube.org/.

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Other Opportunities

Other major arenas that are open to your participation include:

1. Professional Meetings: At the major professional meetings of the geosciences (e.g., AGU -­‐ American Geophysical Union, GSA -­‐ Geological Society of America, and others), diverse technical sessions and town hall meetings showcase EarthCube activities. Technical sessions permit you to see what projects are in progress and learn about significant results and outcomes. Town hall meetings present thematic information about EarthCube, and offer opportunities for you to raise questions and highlight your concerns. There typically will also be an EarthCube exhibit booth for you to visit, where you can learn about funded EarthCube projects, the new tools that are being developed, and use-­‐case and demonstration science data products.

2. Workshops: Future EarthCube activities will encompass science and technology retreats, workshops, training events, and research opportunities. A focus of these activities will be the fostering of interdisciplinary connections and interactions between scientists and technologists. Announcements will be posted on the EarthCube Commons, publicized in the bi-­‐weekly community newsletter and communicated to community members by electronic mail.

3. Research Projects: The NSF periodically announces proposal opportunities with the object of addressing specific aspects of EarthCube to advance its goals. The more that you know about ongoing EarthCube activities, the more you will understand how to pursue these opportunities.

EarthCube is a compelling and evolving vision for the geosciences. The more scientists and technologists are engaged, the more EarthCube can achieve. This is your opportunity to help turn ideas into reality!

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To receive EarthCube announcements and other information about the program, you can subscribe to the mailing list at http://workspace.earthcube.org.

Please contact us if you have suggestions or have further questions about how you can be involved: leadership@earthcube.org.

References

1

Dear Colleague Letter: http://1.usa.gov/1BtXS7V

2

EarthCube Guidance for the Community: http://1.usa.gov/1wrkkxo

3

These documents are available in the EarthCube Document Repository: http://workspace.earthcube.org/document-repository

4

Earth Cube Guidance for the Community, NSF11085.

Dynamic Earth

Source: https://www.nsf.gov/geo/acgeo/geovis...-2015-2020.pdf (PDF) and Word

Cover Page

Source: https://www.nsf.gov/geo/acgeo/geovision/start.jsp

DynamicEarthCoverPage.jpg

This document represents a collective effort to articulate GEO-wide priorities and focus areas. Input and feedback was sought and received from many sources including GEO program officers, professional society conferences, advisory committees, decadal surveys, town hall meetings, working group collaborations between AC GEO members and GEO staff, and the research community. NSF-level strategic goals, administration-level priorities and principles, and the perspectives of the four GEO divisions are also captured in this "living" document. The goal of this document is both to lay out a near-term plan for geosciences research supported by NSF and to highlight the importance and breadth of the scientific enterprise funded by GEO.

Dynamic Earth 2015-2020

Dynamic Earth: GEO Imperatives & Frontiers 2015-2020
December 2014 (Adobe Acrobat file, 48 MB)
To request hardcopies, please send an e-mail to geowebmaster@nsf.gov.

 

Inside Cover Page

Dynamic Earth: GEO Imperatives & Frontiers 2015–2020

NSF Advisory Committee for Geosciences December 2014

Foreword

 

On behalf of the National Science Foundation (NSF) Advisory Committee for Geosciences (AC GEO), I am pleased to share Dynamic Earth: GEO Imperatives & Frontiers 2015–2020. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to participate in the development of this document that outlines imperatives and frontier areas for NSF’s Directorate for Geosciences (GEO) on a five-year time horizon. Periodically undertaking these strategic efforts is an important part of the work of AC GEO.  These efforts allow us to take a broad view of geosciences research and education opportunities and directions and to work with GEO staff to turn this framework into solid research to meet the challenges of the next few years.

The committee recognizes the critical importance of GEO core research programs. They are the backbone and foundation for the high-level Imperatives and Frontiers described in this document. Support of these programs is the highest priority of the GEO Directorate.

The document represents a well-considered, collective effort to articulate GEO-wide priorities and focus areas. We collected input and feedback from many sources including GEO program officers, professional society conferences, advisory committees, decadal surveys, town hall meetings, and working group collaborations between AC GEO members and GEO staff.  NSF-level strategic goals, administration-level priorities and principles, and

the perspectives of the four GEO Divisions are also captured in this “living” document. We intend that the document will be useful as high-level guidance for NSF program officers and other NSF staff, that it will communicate the compelling research goals of the Geosciences Directorate to interested parties, and that it will stimulate “bottom up” thinking from the community to provide further input on what researchers in the community consider to be the emerging frontiers for the Directorate and for its Divisions and Programs. Our goal is both to lay out a near-term plan for geosciences research supported by NSF and to highlight the importance and breadth of the scientific enterprise funded by GEO.

Although it is not possible to include all GEO-supported basic science in this document, the committee recognizes the critical importance of GEO core research programs. While they may not all be mentioned by name, GEO basic research programs are the backbone and foundation for the high-level Imperatives and Frontiers described in this document. Support of these programs is the highest priority of the GEO Directorate. While this report views GEO on a macro level, the four division planning efforts will look more closely at specific core programs in their purview.  The committee also recognizes that while it is an exciting time to be in the geosciences and undertaking potentially breakthrough research, it is also a challenging one. While the complexity of research projects has increased along with the demand for both financial and physical resources, the resources to support them have not kept pace with demand. Given the current economic climate and availability of Federal dollars, it is not likely that this scenario will change dramatically in the next five years. As such, the committee again stresses that supporting core research must be GEO’s number one priority.

This document is unique in that it is the first opportunity to focus on the expanded mission of GEO. In fall 2012, then NSF Director Subra Suresh announced a realignment of several organizations.  Part of this realignment was to incorporate Polar Programs into GEO. While Polar and Geoscience Programs have always had a strong collaborative and inter-connected relationship, this change broadens GEO’s purview and thus allows a holistic and comprehensive approach to planning and supporting research that encompasses the entire planet.

It is an exciting time to be at the forefront of such important and impactful scientific undertakings. GEO is primed to exert leadership in critical scientific areas of global significance. The NSF AC GEO looks forward to working with GEO to see that the science envisioned in this document is enabled.

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Dr. George Hornberger Vanderbilt University

Chair, Advisory Committee for Geosciences

Introduction

Background

One of the most important functions of the NSF Advisory Committee for Geosciences (AC GEO) is to provide strategic input into the GEO Directorate’s long-range plans and partnership opportunities. Hence, AC GEO—in collaboration with NSF GEO staff—regularly engages in strategic exercises to lay out a broad agenda and direction for geoscience research and education opportunities. AC GEO is also tasked to serve as a liaison between GEO and the broad scientific research and education community served by GEO. To that end, AC GEO has been involved in numerous reports, workshops, meetings and informal interactions that capture current and anticipated areas of interest from the perspective of GEO and the community.

In 1999, the major long-range planning document, NSF Geosciences Beyond 2000: Understanding and Predicting Earth's Environment and Habitability, was released. This report developed a comprehensive vision of the science necessary to understand the complexity of planet Earth and the scope of programs and activities that GEO would address from 2001 to 2010. NSF Geosciences Beyond 2000 identified key scientific areas and outlined a strategic balance between supporting high quality research, improving geoscience education and strengthening scientific capacity with the overarching goal of advancing understanding of the planet’s integrated systems to benefit the nation. GEO continues to strive to maintain an appropriate balance of resources dedicated to research, infrastructure, education, and data and cyberinfrastructure to advance knowledge and nurture the next generation workforce. 1 1 Additional information related to GEO’s budget over time can be found by reviewing annual appropriations documents at http://www.nsf.gov/about/budget.

To comprehend the full range of physical, biological, and chemical processes of Earth’s dynamic system, scientists must study deep-time records of these processes archived in the Earth’s sedimentary carapace (crust) at all spatial and temporal scales. These records are fingerprints of the processes that produced them—processes that continue to shape the Earth. A deep-time perspective (spanning the billions of years of Earth history) through study of paleoclimate, paleobiology, crustal evolution and dynamics, and sedimentary resources is critical for predicting potential climate, energy, water, and other boundaries for human life on the planet.

GEO Vision 2009

In 2009, AC GEO released GEO Vision: Unraveling Earth’s Complexities Through the Geosciences, a call to action for the geosciences community and a series of recommendations to advance the state of geosciences. Developing this document included an examination of the underlying and cross-cutting foundational areas for the geosciences necessary to meet research challenges and related recommendations. GEO Vision (2009) outlined five priority research areas for  the  geosciences that continue to be major scientific drivers:  the Dynamic Earth, Changing Climate, Earth and Life, Geosphere-Biosphere Connections and Water. In 2013, the former Advisory Committee for Polar Programs also released a report, Recommendations for Polar Programs, in which the committee laid out its advice on areas related to the Polar Regions including access, core research, systems, education, and people.

GEO Imperatives and Frontiers

This newest strategic planning effort, Dynamic Earth: GEO Imperatives and Frontiers 2015–2020, builds on previous AC GEO reports and other strategic planning efforts within the community and NSF to fulfill GEO’s mission to support research in the atmospheric, earth, geospace, ocean, and polar sciences.

Within the GEO Directorate, Divisions are developing and refining division-level priorities that complement this report and provide a greater level of detail and insight into specific core research and program activities.  This new document also reflects the fact that in 2012, the Division of Polar Programs 2(PLR) joined with GEO. As a geographically focused division, PLR supports numerous scientific disciplines including traditional geosciences, astronomy and astrophysics, biology, and Arctic social sciences, as well as their integration.  This merger provides GEO with a truly global perspective and reach. GEO is well-positioned to focus on Imperatives and Research Frontiers that complement and are bolstered by excellent core programs and all GEO staff.

2 The Division of Polar Programs was originally located within NSF’s Directorate for Geosciences. In 1993, the Division was moved under the purview of the NSF Office of the Director and renamed the Office of Polar Programs for administrative reasons. In 2012, the Office of Polar Programs moved back into the Directorate for Geosciences assuming its original name, the Division of Polar Programs.

This document is organized around four thematic areas: (1) Research, (2) Community Resources & Infrastructure, (3) Data and Cyberinfrastructure and (4) Education & Diversity. Each thematic area has supporting Imperatives – items at the GEO-wide level that must be accomplished in order to fulfill the potential of geoscience to advance knowledge and address critical national needs. In order to advance geoscience research in new directions, this document also identifies four examples of Research Frontiers: Earth System Processes that Cross the Land/Ocean Interface; High Latitude Ocean- Atmosphere-Ice-Ecosystem Interactions and Processes; Urban Geosystem Science; and Early Earth.

Research Frontiers are areas of growing interest in the GEO research community. The examples identified in this document, or other emerging themes may rise to the level of an Imperative if GEO and the community collectively agree that the timing is right for increased resources and effort. Frontier activities require an infusion of new resources in order to be fully supported.

NSF GEO supports research spanning the Atmospheric and Geospace, Earth, Ocean, and Polar sciences

As the primary U.S. supporter of fundamental research in the Polar Regions, GEO provides interagency leadership for U.S. polar activities

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On Solid Scientific Ground

The basic research at the heart of GEO’s mission and supported by GEO advances scientific knowledge of the Earth’s environment, including resources such as water, energy, minerals and biological diversity. GEO-supported research also underpins the critical needs to better understand, forecast, and respond to extreme events and geohazards (e.g., droughts, floods, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, hurricanes, solar storms, tornadoes and other types of severe weather) and to improve adaptation to long-term changes in the environment, weather patterns, sea level and climate. GEO supports basic research that informs practices and policies regarding complex environmental issues such as resource discovery, conservation and sustainability; water and energy availability; and species adaptation. Additionally, GEO provides platforms and infrastructure for basic research in scientific disciplines outside traditional geoscience fields, such as astronomy, physics, and anthropology in the Polar Regions.

GEO’s education and outreach efforts bolster the nation’s economy by preparing communities to understand and respond to living with our dynamic earth, as well as training an innovative and capable workforce. The GEO workforce includes geologically based sectors, such as the oil, gas, petroleum and mining industries; agricultural production; environmental services; information technology; hazard preparation and mitigation; groundwater industries; civil engineering and construction; government organizations and authorities; and research and exploration. Future geoscientists, such as hydrologists, geologists, glaciologists, meteorologists, oceanographers, seismologists, soil scientists, space scientists, and volcanologists, are paramount to ensuring that solid science guides our nation’s conservation, management, safety and security strategies to meet critical societal and global challenges. GEO has a strong interest in promoting public participation and awareness of all the science it supports, as well as supporting and training the STEM workforce through extensive partnering with the Directorate for Education and Human Resources (EHR) on the Improving Undergraduate STEM Education (IUSE) effort. 3

3 NSF’s emphasis on undergraduate STEM teaching and learning through evidence-based reforms, as well as enhancement of NSF’s graduate fellowship programs, is guided by the Federal Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education 5-Year Strategic Plan http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/microsites/ostp/stem_stratplan_2013.pdf

Partnerships and Paramount Connections

The considerable task of supporting and advancing the Imperatives and Frontiers in this report would not be possible without collaboration and partnerships. GEO actively reaches across organizational and disciplinary boundaries to leverage resources, tackle complex issues and share technology and data. Partnerships internal and external to NSF are necessary to bolster the resources and meet the goals of GEO.

GEO participates and plays a key role in various cross- agency efforts related to sustainability, environmental research and education, cyberinfrastructure, natural hazards and disasters. GEO participates in agency-wide efforts to support facilities for a wide array of these and additional science areas and is an important enabler of basic research. GEO also partners with EHR to broaden the participation of underrepresented groups in STEM through the IUSE effort and other activities.

Polar Biology Research Collaboration

Research station at Toolik Lake in Alaska.
The Arctic Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) Site at Toolik Lake Field Station is located in the foothills region of the North Slope of Alaska and includes the entire Toolik Lake watershed and the adjacent watershed of the upper Kuparuk River. The LTER site
enables research aimed at understanding how tundra, streams and lakes function in the Arctic.

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External partnerships are also necessary to bolster GEO goals and leverage resources.  For example, interagency partnerships are required to bridge the gap between the scientific-knowledge base supported by NSF’s basic research mission and the missions of other federal agencies. GEO has been actively involved in various multiagency initiatives, such as U.S. Earth System Prediction Capability, United States Global Change Research Program, Ocean Research Priority Plan under the National Ocean Council, National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program/Global Seismic Network and U.S. Weather Ready Nation. International relationships and activities also further GEO’s reach and help catalyze the larger understanding of the Earth’s systems. Because many GEO issues are global in scale, international partnerships are  critical to maximize GEO-sponsored research. For example through the Division of Polar Programs, GEO supports and coordinates a broad array of research to ensure an active and influential role in the Antarctic Treaty System. Additionally, GEO is committed to efforts led by Future Earth and the Belmont Forum aimed at making advances in the arenas of water, coastal and Arctic sustainability and cyberinfrastructure. International partnerships are, and will continue to be, a necessity in addressing critical geosciences issues.

Increasingly, GEO is interested in connecting GEO basic research with the marketplace. GEO is participating in NSF-wide programs that promote partnerships between academic institutions and industry. GEO intends to enhance research in collaboration with industry partners to foster geoscience workforce pipeline retention, leverage funding and commercialize technologies that stem from basic research investigations and their evolving analytical and observational needs.

GEO’s strong support for basic research as well as the collective efforts described above reflect and support NSF’s strategic goals outlined in the NSF Strategic Plan for 2014-2018. Additionally, GEO supports Administration priorities for science and technology agencies 4, including:

  • Earth observations
  • Global Climate Change
  • Information technology and high-performance computing
  • National and Homeland security
  • R&D for informed policy-making and management

4 http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/defa...14/m-14-11.pdf

Finally, GEO remains committed to transparency and accountability in all its procedures, consistent with Administration priorities and policies.

GEO Partnerships
  • NSF Directorates
  • Academic community
  • Professional societies
  • Non-profit organizations
  • Private foundations
  • Private industry
  • Federal Agencies [Department of Energy, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Department of Defense, U.S. Department of Agriculture]
  • Federal Funded Research and Development Centers (FFRDCs)
  • State government & geological surveys
  • International science agencies

How this Document is Organized

The thematic areas of Research, Community Resources & Infrastructure, Data & Cyberinfrastructure and Education & Diversity organize the remainder of this document. Each thematic area describes the GEO Directorate-level Imperatives identified for 2015-2020. The section following the Imperatives, GEO Research Frontiers, includes research topics that are currently viewed as strong interest areas for the Directorate that could be supported should additional resources become available. The GEO Research Frontiers topics will be revisited annually as part of the NSF GEO Program Officer science retreat and at future AC-GEO meetings.

Dynamic Earth: GEO Imperatives 2015-2020

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Dynamic Earth: Research Frontiers* (*subject to annual review)

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GEO Imperatives in Research

NSF—one of the largest sources of federal dollars for basic research in the geosciences—is the only federal agency that supports the full breadth of the geosciences. NSF-supported geoscience basic research extends from the Earth’s core out to the sun and encompasses the entire planet, from pole to pole, from the highest summit to the deepest ocean trench. The agency accounts for almost one quarter of federally obligated dollars in environmental sciences. 5

“Environmental sciences” includes atmospheric sciences, geological sciences, oceanography. Source: NSF, Survey of Federal Funds for Research and Development.

Continue Strong Emphasis on and Support for Core Research

GEO advances understanding of our changing, complex planet and the many global processes that affect the Earth’s system through support of basic research programs. Emphasizing and supporting core research in all its forms remains a GEO imperative and central to NSF’s mission

GEO advances understanding of our changing, complex planet and the many global processes that affect the Earth’s system through support of basic research programs. Emphasizing and supporting core research in all its forms is GEO’s most critical imperative and central to NSF’s mission. GEO strives to meet this imperative by committing to support established programs dedicated to investigator-driven basic research aimed at achieving new knowledge through scientific discovery. GEO intends to maintain the culture of excellence in GEO core research programs including disciplinary, interdisciplinary, systems-level and community-driven science by encouraging and supporting interdisciplinary collaborations and participating in strategic NSF initiatives that advance GEO interests. While certain core research areas and priorities are highlighted in this document more than others, it is not an indication that the highlighted themes will overshadow the competitive award processes in GEO Divisions, where most of our fundamental discoveries are supported. This document should be considered in the context of ancillary GEO Division-specific planning reports, and efforts that complement and supplement the high-level priorities described herein.

Understanding Volcanic Systems

Erupting Kilauea - the youngest and southeastern-most volcano on the big island of Hawaii.
Understanding volcanic systems, or how magma moves beneath the Earth’s surface, brings scientists closer to understanding the complexity of our planet’s core. As magma is injected into the brittle upper crust, it erupts as lava and forms a new crust upon cooling. Scientists are investigating where magma is stored and how it moves through the core’s geological “plumbing” network.

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An opportunity for strengthening core research lies in increased support of mid-scale research efforts. The 2012 National Science Board report The National Science Foundation Support of Unsolicited Mid-Scale Research(NSB 12-22) defined this research “as projects whose budgets fall between an amount higher than a typical NSF award and below that of a center.” Enhancing emphasis on mid-scale research will provide opportunities for significant scientific advancement in core areas. While all areas of GEO research would benefit from mid-scale- level support, GEO Program Officers identified several needs including research across coastal boundaries, high pressure and temperature mineral physics collaboration, large-scale field studies, characterization of sub-glacial lake environments and improved space weather specification and forecasting.

Establish Collaborative Effort to Improve Understanding of and Resilience to Hazards and Extreme Natural Events

During the next five years, GEO intends to continue its support for key geohazards research through a new cross-divisional effort.   Basic research in this area will deepen fundamental scientific understanding of natural processes underlying geohazards and extreme events and enable improved quantitative models and qualitative research that can enhance societal preparedness and resilience against such events. Research in geohazards is expected to have linkages with the NSF Directorates for Engineering (ENG); Biological Sciences (BIO); Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences (SBE); Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE); and Mathematical and Physical Sciences (MPS), and with other Federal agencies including National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). The program will support basic research that can enhance resilience and sustainable responses to extreme events and increase understanding of societal and economic interactions and impacts associated with hazards and disasters, such as droughts, floods, hypoxic zones, severe storms, extreme air pollution events, space weather events, earthquakes, landslides, sinkholes, toxic algal blooms, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions and wildfires.

Basic Research on Geohazards Potential Areas of Inquiry
  • Use adaptive sensor networks, portable systems, and real-time data assimilation to better understand the processes underlying extreme events and natural hazards and to improve shorttime forecasting.
  • Focus on regional “hot spots” such as high seismic activity zones and the Polar Regions to hasten predictive capabilities.
  • Improve understanding and prediction of landslides by partitioning the contributing factors (e.g., sediment, erosion, precipitation, and hydrology).
  • Increase understanding of fault behaviors contributing to earthquakes and tsunamis and improve system-scale modeling of coupled events.
  • Tap the breadth of geoscience time scales to provide insight into future hazards.
  • Improve warning times for and public response to tornadoes.
  • Improve our understanding and forecasting of large space weather events and their potential impacts on our technology-dependent society.

Geohazards research will enhance:

  • Understanding and forecasting of extreme events and geohazards and their impact on natural and human systems.
  • Understanding of the fundamental processes underlying extreme events and geohazards on various spatial and temporal scales, and the variability inherent in such events and hazards.
  • Quantitative models to improve understanding, mitigation, risks and resilience to extreme events.
Preparing for Thunderstorms

Lightning strikes near the U.S. Capitol building during a thunderstorm in Washington.
Weather warnings with longer lead times will make a big difference in helping people prepare for natural disasters. To better predict where and when spring thunderstorms will strike, researchers are conducting experiments to gain a greater understanding of the genesis and development of severe storms. With high-flying aircraft and fine-grained computer simulations, scientists are enabling earlier warnings thus providing safer skies for air travelers and safer situations on the ground.

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Based on a history of investments in research related to natural hazards and resilience and the coupled natural-human system, NSF is well prepared to respond to this issue of critical national and international importance and to provide support for the scientific underpinnings necessary for informed policy-making and crisis management. GEO research priorities in this important area connect with and leverage investments made by U.S. and international agencies, such as the World Meteorological Organization’s High Impact Weather Project and the USGS Volcanoes, Landslides, Earthquakes, and Floods reporting program; and the multi-agency National Space Weather Program. 6   For example, GEO supports an international research effort through COCONet, a GPS-Meteorological observing network in the Caribbean that helps to track severe weather and understand seismic and volcanic unrest. GEO will bring its leadership and unique federal research and education role to support research on hazards.

6 See NRC report Severe Space Weather Events – Understanding Societal and Economic Impacts: A Workshop Report (2008) (http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=12507).

Basic Research on Food-Energy-Water System Potential Areas of Inquiry

Where do water resources face the greatest stress and uncertainty?

  • What are the local and global impacts of changes in water cycle dynamics at high-altitude, high-latitude regions?
  • What technological innovations in engineering, energy and mineral extraction, and agricultural practices will prove most effective in achieving system resiliency and sustainability?
  • Where are water and hydrocarbons hidden beneath the surface?
  • What are the impacts of land cover fragmentation on water quantity, water quality, and “quality of life” for humans and ecosystems?
  • What impact will a changing climate have on the global and regional precipitation pattern?
  • Can biofuels be produced in a sustainable manner, and if so, what is the optimal strategy for sustainable biofuel production?
  • What new measurement strategies, integrated modeling efforts, and data and information about the water cycle will enhance forecasting and decision-making at various levels within the system?

Moreover, the recent addition of Polar Programs to GEO expands the purview within the Directorate to understand extreme events linked to the Polar regions, as the poles are inherently central to the global climate system (e.g., permafrost thawing, contribution to sea level rise).

Establish a Collaborative Effort to Understand the Water Cycle

Water is essential for life in its many forms. Economic growth and human well-being wholly depend on the availability of adequate supplies of water for agriculture, energy use, transportation, ecosystem services, manufacturing and waste management.

Climate change, shifting land-use patterns, and alterations in population demographics and needs are impacting the interplay between food availability, energy consumption and water availability. NSF can play a unique role in providing support for enabling a solid scientific understanding of the mechanisms that enable sustainability and resiliency of global food, energy and water resources as well as a firm scientific footing to underpin important public policy related to water resources.

Supporting Sustainable Water Management

Irrigation using pumped groundwater plays a crucial role in sustaining agricultural production.
The High Plains region boasts some of the most productive irrigated agricultural land in the United States, made possible by one of the largest contiguous aquifer systems in the world, the Ogallala-High Plains aquifer complex. However, in the face of the increasing demand for agricultural products, the reserved water is being pumped out faster than natural recharge of rainwater. To develop a plan to sustainably manage this vital resource, researchers are investigating water availability and the interactions of water systems with climate change and human activities.

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During the next five years, GEO will coordinate with several NSF Directorates and explore external collaborative options to support basic research efforts that focus on the food, energy and water nexus. Two goals of this research are to integrate modeling of the food-energy-water system including assimilating information from existing NSF networks such as the Critical Zone Observatory (CZO), the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) and the Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) Network and to advance science and engineering solutions and technologies that solve component problems and optimize societal benefits. NSF will also partner with agencies and entities that work in agricultural regions and that have supported long-term agronomic research, such as U.S. Geological Survey, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Department of Energy, and the Environmental Protection Agency. Under the umbrella of food-energy-water research, GEO will invest in basic water cycle research to foster a better understanding of water as a primary agent for transporting mass and energy throughout the Earth. Research topics to explore include variations in global and regional precipitation rates and patterns, subduction zones and water distribution in the Earth’s crust and mantle, shifts in the water cycle due to changes in cloud cover type and location, and water storage in ice, snow, and oceans. Investments will provide foundational research for enhancing societal resilience and decision-making regarding water, given unprecedented perturbations to the water cycle from climate change and increasing demands given a rapidly growing human population.

GEO Imperatives in Community Resources & Infrastructure

Effective science infrastructure satisfies scientific needs, provides broad observational capabilities and is flexible and adaptable to multiple scientific purposes.  Facilities, community models and instrumentation are critical to the success of GEO’s research investments. Across the geosciences, infrastructure investments range from shared-use instruments with annual operating costs of a few hundred thousand dollars to expansive centers of excellence where annual operations exceed one hundred million dollars. In the case of the United States Antarctic Program (USAP), NSF has special responsibilities to coordinate and manage the program on behalf of the nation. This section highlights the GEO Imperatives related to Community Resources and Infrastructure investments—largely Major Research Equipment and Facilities Construction (MREFC)-level investments—that are critical to meeting GEO and NSF commitments and research imperatives.

NSF’s highest priority in achieving community resources and infrastructure imperatives are Major Research Equipment and Facilities Construction (MREFC) projects. NSF’s MREFC account supports the acquisition, construction, and commissioning of major research facilities and equipment that provide unique capabilities at the frontiers of science and engineering. A project must represent an
exceptional opportunity to enable research and education for NSF to consider it for MREFC funding. The project should be transformative in nature, i.e., with the potential to shift the paradigm in scientific understanding.

A considerable portion of GEO resources supports community resources and infrastructure such as Antarctic Facilities, Arctic Observing Network, Incoherent Scatter Radar (ISR), Toolik Field Station, Critical Zone Observatories, CubeSat, Earthscope, IceCube, Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology (IRIS), International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP), National Center for Atmospheric Research, UNAVCO, and U.S. Academic Research Fleet. Increasingly in this era of constrained resources, challenges arise in balancing the need for state-of-the-art infrastructure with the need to maintain strong science research programs. GEO investments in facilities must thus be strategic to best support advancement in knowledge. GEO is able to draw on the recommendations of numerous community planning efforts to make these decisions. Some examples are the National Research Council (NRC) Decadal Survey of Ocean Sciences and NRC Study on NSF Science Priorities for Antarctic and Southern Ocean Research, both currently underway and the recently completed NRC Decadal Survey of Solar and Space Physics.

While GEO is making substantial infrastructure investments, other federal agencies, and other countries are doing the same. Private philanthropy, the business community, international investments and university investments are changing the landscape regarding support for facilities. These additional sources of funding represent an opportunity for the geosciences to leverage resources and management and operations expertise, but also a challenge to employ them effectively and appropriately. Fiscal realities require optimization of resources, which may mean changes to the mission, scope and purpose of facilities. An additional challenge for the scientific and engineering community at large is to maintain and modernize singular infrastructure at a level that meets scientific needs and advances scientific knowledge while effectively and efficiently linking infrastructure, investments, and data to provide an integrated view of the Earth system.

Maintain State-of-the-Art Facilities

Observational, computational, sampling and laboratory resources and infrastructure are central to the success of the geosciences and related disciplines. State-of-the- art facilities must be designed to support multiple issues and disciplines and be available as community resources. It is also imperative that GEO sustain its commitment to existing facilities that enable new discoveries. Scheduling and prioritizing access to resources must be transparent in order to ensure the broadest participation. Some examples of the high- caliber resources that GEO must continue to support include:

  • The US Academic Research Fleet (ARF), as organized through the University-National Oceanographic Laboratory System (UNOLS), constitutes a capable and unique shared-use facility critical for a broad variety of measurements and observations by a diverse community of scientists. The ARF includes the NSF vessel Sikuliaq, an MREFC project that dramatically increases the ability to support Arctic scientific research. In addition to its state- of-the-art scientific capabilities, the Sikuliaq

complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act, allowing increased access to the ship. Regional Class Research Vessels (RCRV), a potential MREFC project, presents an opportunity to optimize the size of the academic research fleet, meet needs across government agencies for research vessels in support of ocean science research and support action items in the National Ocean Policy Implementation Plan.

  • EarthScope has enabled exciting discoveries about the dynamics and evolution of the North American continent and the Earth as a whole, including plate boundary process and hazards. EarthScope will continue to catalyze an explosion of new approaches for analyzing and modeling unprecedented volumes of seismic wavefield data across very large arrays. Additionally, geodetic technology supported through Earthscope is transforming our understanding of fault, volcanic, hydrologic and surficial systems and advancing data archiving, data connections and data tools for massive amounts of geodetic, seismic, petrophysical and meteorological information. The success of EarthScope has been enabled by long-term NSF infrastructure investments in seismology through IRIS and geodesy through UNAVCO, both of which support observational networks around the globe.
  • McMurdo Station, the largest of the three year-round stations operated by the U.S. Antarctic Program, is a critical hub for U.S. science and logistics. Findings of the U.S. Antarctic Blue Ribbon Panel in 2012 found “no reasonable alternative to McMurdo…that would permit transshipping (sea, air, and land), or that would justify abandoning the investment made in fixed plant at McMurdo.”
  • For more than four decades, the NSF-supported Incoherent Scatter Radar (ISR) network has provided critical observations of the ionosphere and upper atmosphere that underpin fundamental research and agency priorities in geospace and space weather science. New ISR technologies offer exciting opportunities to expand global coverage and enable new observational capabilities. Collectively, observations of ISR and other facilities and technologies are essential to inform and guide the development of the next generation Sun-Earth-System Community Models.

GEO must continue to act as a steward of community resources to sustain the infrastructure that will support current and anticipated future scientific research priorities. The NSF-GEO Facilities and Infrastructure Team (GEO-FIT) 7 is developing a GEO-wide approach to infrastructure lifecycle management. The approach will examine and account for all infrastructure phases—from proposal and initial award through construction or acquisition, operation and maintenance, and sun-setting. GEO-FIT will develop a set of standards to assess the efficiency of GEO facility operations and to determine when re-competition of a facility or its management is required and to assess when and how a facility should be discontinued.

7 The NSF-GEO Facilities and Infrastructure Team is an internal NSF group made up of program officers and other staff who manage infrastructure programs in GEO.

Research Vessel Sikuliaq

Research Vessel Sikuliaq is designed to operate in Arctic sea ice and the open water surrounding Alaska. It will support roughly 500 researchers and students annually and spend up to 270 days per year at sea. The vessel is uniquely outfitted with the latest technology for marine research, including a low underwater noise signature, advanced communications, acoustic sensors, and advanced scientific equipment handling systems.

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Considerable community demand exists for mid-scale infrastructure (approximately $10 million to $60 million). To meet this need, GEO is exploring a process for mid-scale infrastructure support. Consistent with Administration priorities for science and technology in FY 2016, 8 the GEO plan will include programmatic efforts to encourage development of sophisticated tools to collect Earth-observation data. These tools are critical both to advance understanding of the Earth system as well as to lay an observational foundation for services that protect life, property, and the economy.

8 Executive Office of the President of the United States, Office of Science and Technology Policy and Office of Management and Budget, Memorandum for Heads of Departments and Agencies: Science and Technology Priorities for FY 2016 Budget, M-14-11, July 18, 2014.

Complete Construction and Begin Full-Scale Operation of the Ocean Observatories Initiative

The Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI) will enable study of complex, interlinked physical, chemical, biological and geological processes operating throughout the global ocean. This initiative will allow simultaneous, interdisciplinary measurements to investigate a spectrum of ocean phenomena and processes including episodic, short-lived events, and more subtle, long-term changes and emergent phenomena in ocean systems. OOI provides a unifying cyberinfrastructure that enables concurrent control of sampling strategies and response to remote detection of events. OOI contributes to the major goals of both the Integrated Ocean Observing System and the National Ocean Policy. GEO’s investments in advancement of the ocean sciences on a global scale through OOI are of critical importance.

OOI Priority Areas for Innovation

OOI Technology

  • Cabled Technology
  • Cyberinfrastructure
  • Moorings
  • Robotics (Autonomous Underwater Vehicles & Gliders)
  • Sensors

OOI Major Science Themes

  • Climate Variability, Ocean Circulation, and Ecosystems
  • Coastal Ocean Dynamics and Ecosystems
  • Fluid-Rock Interactions and the Sub-seafloor Biosphere
  • Plate-scale Geodynamics
  • Ocean-Atmosphere Exchange
  • Turbulent Mixing and Biophysical Interactions
Ocean Observatories in Operation

Ocean Observatory Initiative (OOI) Regional Scale Nodes program provides high-bandwidth connectivity between land and sea.
OOI is a multi-scale ocean observing system. Planned to be operational for 25 years, it provides sustained, time-series data that enables researchers to study complex, interlinked physical, chemical, biological, and geological processes operating throughout the global ocean. OOI also releases its data to the public and educators, making oceanographic information available to citizens and scholars who might never go to sea.

DynamicEarthFigure9.png

Implement Strategic Plans for Logistics and Operations for the Polar Regions

GEO remains committed to promoting innovative methods of safe and efficient fieldwork and data gathering in support of the critical research being conducted in the Polar Regions. As part of this commitment, GEO will continue its strategic consideration and implementation of U.S. Antarctic Blue Ribbon Panel recommendations. 9  GEO will follow steps outlined in the recommendations, which includes needs identified by user committees such as researchers and support contractors, as well as the Department of Defense (DoD) and other federal agencies.

9 U.S. Antarctic Program Blue Ribbon Panel, More and Better Science in Antarctica through Increased Logistical Effectiveness, July 2012.

With the addition of the Division of Polar Programs (PLR), GEO significantly enlarged its portfolio of facilities, research ships in particular, as well as its expertise and experience in facilities management. GEO continues to sequence major investments, such as vehicle fleet replacement and major maintenance, in order to optimize equipment life-spans and distribution of resources. GEO also pledges to develop a long-term solution to NSF’s major ice-breaking needs and is coordinating with the U.S. Coast Guard and others on this effort.

McMurdo, Logistics Hub of the Antarctic

Established in 1955, McMurdo station is the logistics hub of the U.S. Antarctic Program. It is built on the bare volcanic rock of Hut Point Peninsula on Ross Island, the solid ground farthest south that is accessible by ship. The station is equipped with lab facilities, repair facilities, dormitories, administrative buildings, a firehouse, power plant, water distillation plant, wharf, stores, and warehouses.

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Begin Conceptualization and Development of Next-Generation Sun-Earth-System Community Models

Sun-Earth-System models are equally as critical as an instrument-based facility to GEO community resources. Versions of these models have been downloaded and used by researchers and other professionals throughout the world. The development and maintenance of complex system codes in these models is beyond the capabilities of single researchers and requires strong community collaboration.

Collaborative Space Weather Modeling

A Model of Community Coordinated Modeling Center (CCMC)
NASA NSF Partnership for Collaborative Space Weather Modeling supports large-scale space weather modeling efforts that require collaborative community teamwork. This joint effort has been significantly enhanced by our capabilities in the modeling and prediction of solar eruptions, particle acceleration in the corona and solar wind, small scale physics effects in global magnetosphere models, and upper atmosphere dynamics.

DynamicEarthFigure11.png

Therefore, GEO will support the development of improved modeling techniques to handle multi-scale phenomena, community access to adaptable, modular, modeling frameworks and improved data assimilation techniques. GEO will work to expand the next generation models to address disciplinary gaps (e.g., ocean sciences, hydrologic sciences, geomorphology). Additional collaboration opportunities may materialize as interest in Sun-Earth System models broadens  and scientific  working groups in biogeochemistry, land and ocean modeling, land/ice, polar climate, solar and space plasma physics  and societal  dimensions become engaged. Sun-Earth system models also must incorporate ecological, biogeographic and evolutionary responses to changes in the state of the Earth system if they are to address societal needs by forecasting short and long term environmental change. In addition, integrating ecosystems models into physical Earth system models is one of the great cyber-development challenges facing geoscientists today.

GEO Imperatives in Data & Cyberinfrastructure

Geoscientists are increasingly engaged in data-intensive science and investigation, data management and long-term data access and storage. GEO-supported research endeavors will require significant advances in computational capabilities and data management, including data access and storage issues. GEO seeks transformative concepts and approaches to create integrated data management infrastructures across the geosciences.

Develop Community-Driven Cyberinfrastructure to Advance Data/Model-enabled Science and Education

Through its EarthCube project and close collaboration with the NSF Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) and other organizations, GEO has entered into a staged, iterative cyberinfrastructure implementation approach that engages various science and information technology communities. GEO will continue to engage the geoscience community in developing a coherent, distributed framework for the open and easy discovery of, and access to, data; software and services; information; and computational resources. Open access to data is critical to promoting scientific innovation and to maintaining a culture that values transparency and reproducible results. GEO will also facilitate a dialogue regarding the coordination of geoscience data and software facilities.

EarthCube – Geoscience Data for the 21st Century

Advanced computational and data technology is playing an increasing role in geoscience research, powering new knowledge in space, atmospheric, oceanic, and terrestrial systems. However, models and data often exist in disparate and incompatible systems, limiting collaboration and discovery across disciplines. To address this deficiency, GEO is working with NSF’s Division of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure (ACI) to develop EarthCube, a community-driven project that aims to grow integrative systems and support data and knowledge management across the geosciences.

DynamicEarthFigure12.png

Establishing technology for sharing data and workflows within and across disciplines, as well as for discovery of and access to information across disciplinary boundaries will greatly enhance multidisciplinary research. GEO will support new, transformative science and education through the effective use of geoscience data enabled by modern software, models and analytical tools (e.g., computer vision and machine learning techniques) that can simulate and examine complex and interrelated Earth processes.  GEO will collaborate with various communities to develop a unified cyberinfrastructure framework that addresses issues related to data archiving and reuse, discovery, access, visualization and integration. Dark data (data not easily rendered into digital formats) and large volumes of model-generated data pose particular challenges. GEO is well positioned and committed to advancing data and model-enabled science and education including increasing and improving access to modeling capabilities for researchers, educators and students.

Transformative approaches and innovative technologies are needed for heterogeneous data to be integrated, made interoperable, explored, and re-purposed by researchers in disparate fields and for myriad uses across institutional, disciplinary, spatial, and temporal boundaries.

Harness the Power of Computing and Computational Infrastructure

GEO has a long history of cyberinfrastructure investments across scientific domains and now has an opportunity to accelerate the pace of scientific discovery by harnessing the power of computing and computational infrastructure. Cutting-edge geoscience research, involving modeling and the analysis of “big data,” increasingly demands high performance computing. Some of these needs must be met at the scale of national computing centers.

Uniform California Earthquake Rupture Forecast v.3 (UCERF3)

which forecasts possible damaging earthquakes, produced using TACC supercomputers.

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However, the community of users who require mid- size computing clusters is very rapidly growing, both for certain classes of research problems and for the development of codes that will eventually be implemented on larger platforms. Hence, GEO will support adoption of a robust, widely available computational infrastructure to support data-enabled science and computing at multiple levels.

Science enabled by data and supporting cyberinfrastructure is central to furthering our understanding of the Earth System.

Various modes and methods of support will address resource issues such as:

  • Access to and availability of computing resources including the NCAR-Wyoming Supercomputing Center
  • Dedicated personnel to support effective use of high-performance computing resources
  • Extensible computing solutions and the role of cloud computing
  • Improved models/algorithms and sustainable community modeling efforts
Supercomputing out West

Housed at the NCAR-Wyoming Supercomputing Center (NWSC), the Yellowstone high performance computing system is putting U.S. geoscientists at the forefront of their field. The center and its 1.5-petaflops supercomputer are sponsored by the NSF and available
for NSF-funded researchers to produce the world’s most advanced models, from sophisticated climate simulations to life-saving wildfire prediction systems.

DynamicEarthFigure14.png

Enhancing community-wide frameworks to share and coordinate software development across geoscience fields (e.g., EarthCube and Computational Infrastructure for Geodynamics (CIG)) is key to enhancing geoscience research. As with data, software requires careful stewardship and curation for community use at all stages of its life-cycle, including documentation, distribution, updating, and re-purposing.

Invest in Infrastructure for Observing Systems and Sensor Arrays

As fully engaged leaders and stakeholders in an unprecedented era of observation and simulation capabilities, GEO must invest in infrastructure for observing systems and sensor arrays. GEO will support connection and integration of observing networks, data streams and systems, and sophisticated analytical and computational resources in order to:

  • Enhance availability, effectiveness, quality, and utility of data from sensor, instrumentation, and observing systems;
  • Increase speed and transparency of data transfer from the field into data systems and applications; and
  • Increase emphasis and capacity for virtual operations, including remote manipulation of equipment at field sites.

Enhanced rates of data transfer from the field and more robust mechanisms for virtual operation of observing systems in the field will improve data quality and research outcomes. Reducing costs of real-time data transfer and virtual operation will make them more accessible to researchers, and eventually could lead to cost savings as necessary person-time in the field is reduced.

Remote Sensing in the Sierra

Remote sensors at work in the Southern Sierra Critical Zone Observatory (CZO).
Wireless sensor networks at the Sierra site and CZO sites across the country are streamlining data collection and enhancing our understanding of climate, hydrology, and biotic systems. These water-balance instrument clusters include over 380 sensors that measure everything from solar irradiation to soil moisture to snow depth, wirelessly transmitting collected data to a central
terminal.

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Use Distributed Instrumentation and Facilities in Support of Research and Education

Cyberinfrastructure has a key role in workforce development as virtual communication can be highly effective in education, mentoring and outreach efforts. GEO’s research agenda offers countless opportunities to engage the scientific community in education and outreach activities, as well as provide authentic research opportunities for students, educators and life-long learners. Furthermore, new GEO research directions require greater computing expertise among geoscientists and improved understanding of the geosciences among computer scientists.

Next-Gen Geoscientists

Student outreach is broadening the reach and appeal of the geosciences.
NCAR’s Computational & Information Systems Lab (CISL) hosts undergraduate and graduate students from underrepresented
backgrounds at the Software Engineering Assembly conference. This experience helps students hone their computational skills.

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For the next generation, we need developers of cutting-edge methods and codes as well as users of widely available codes who have a robust understanding of the underlying methods. GEO will leverage its investments in distributed instrumentation and facilities in support of research and education. Bringing data and tools to the classroom will provide invaluable educational experiences and spark interest in pursuing STEM career paths.

GEO Imperatives in Education & Diversity

Our future sustainability and prosperity require an interdisciplinary workforce that reflects the nation’s diversity and has the capacity to work collaboratively to develop effective solutions for complex societal issues. GEO is committed to promoting community engagement, nurturing the next generation of scientists, enhancing the capabilities of the current workforce and broadening participation at all levels. GEO will continue to work in partnership with key internal organizations, such as the Directorate for Education and Human Resources (EHR), as well as numerous external organizations, professional societies, scientific communities and private industry.

Increase Undergraduate Exposure to and Enrollment in the Geosciences

GEO-supported disciplines often differ from other scientific disciplines in the lack of a discrete path from high school to undergraduate studies to graduate studies. Therefore, GEO recognizes and supports the need to recruit and retain undergraduates by exposing them early to the geosciences.

Specific GEO objectives under this Imperative include:

  • Increase undergraduate student exposure to the geosciences overall and increase the number of undergraduate students earning Bachelor’s degrees in geoscience majors.
  • Explore the role and benefits of service learning in geosciences, in terms of workforce development and undergraduate education, engagement and retention, as well as identifying research directions that are relevant to communities and as a bridge between basic research and community-relevant science.
  • Increase the number of students enrolling in geoscience graduate programs by ten percent over the next five years.
  • Identify graduate-level competencies in the geosciences and other disciplines supported by GEO.

Prepare a Capable Geosciences Workforce

Two Principal Investigators

discuss strategies for GEO Research Experiences for Undergraduate (REU) programs at an REU workshop in San Jose, CA

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GEO will fund programs that build capacity through education and training experiences for both the current workforce and the workforce of the future. This approach will include promoting networking of programs so that their impacts are scalable. Key strategies and specific actions in this area for the next five years include:

  • Identify skills and competencies needed by the GEO workforce and corresponding curricula that provide the undergraduate experiences necessary to gain such skills and competencies.
  • Provide supplementary support to well-functioning programs that reach a wider population of undergraduate students, including those at community colleges.
  • Expand research opportunities through the established Research Experiences for K-12 Teachers, Advanced Technological Education (ATE) and Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) programs.
  • Support training programs for those currently in the workforce to enhance their skills.

Geoscience graduates have numerous employment opportunities. 10 Through partnerships and networks, GEO will help students explore career options for geosciences-related employment in academia, government, and the private sector and also enable established professionals to keep pace with the latest advances in geoscience research.

10 See the AGI “Current” on “The Industries of Geoscience Graduates’ First Job by Degree Field .” (AGI Current #90, July 24, 2014) for a graphic depiction of industries that employ newly minted geoscience graduates.

Student-Built Rover Braves the Antarctic

Two high school seniors work to patch up rover “M’RAJE.”
When two high school seniors decided to build a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) for the Marine Advanced Technology Education ROV design competition, they never expected their technology to be used to conduct research in Antarctica. With the help of marine biologist, Gretchen Hoffman from the University of California-Santa Barbara, these students have helped to build an underwater, camera-equipped “rover” that can withstand harsh Antarctic conditions for polar ice observations. Their prototype, referred to as “M’RAJE,” completed 10 successful dives during a recent Antarctic research season. Such NSF funded opportunities motivate youth to dream big and invent the seemingly impossible.

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Broaden Participation of Underrepresented Groups

Broadening participation of scientists and students from underrepresented groups is a priority in all aspects of GEO’s business operations—from grant funding to merit review to staff hires. In addition to preparing the future workforce, GEO re-affirms its intention to increase the diversity of students in the geoscience-related fields by pursuing the following objectives and actions over the next five years:

  • Increase the diversity of students who participate in internship programs and GEO-funded research.
  • Expand access to quality geoscience education and research experiences by partnering with Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) and community colleges.
  • Encourage and support partnerships among geosciences degree-granting institutions, MSIs and community colleges. Adopt methods to sustain partnerships, especially at critical junctures (e.g., times of re-organizations, staff turnover).
  • Provide research and technical training opportunities for underserved groups at GEO facilities, including opportunities to enhance participation of persons with disabilities through innovative use of technology.

To meet these objectives, GEO will focus its efforts on those programs that have proven effective and can be scaled, disseminated and sustained. For example, GEO, EHR and other NSF Directorates recently launched the Improving Undergraduate STEM Education (IUSE) program, designed to support research and development leading to and propagating interventions that improve both the quality and quantity of STEM graduates. To be most effective, many of these activities will be developed in partnership with researchers, other agencies,

professional societies, and through public-private partnerships. Providing resources and tools for NSF-supported researchers to facilitate meaningful activities for promoting broader participation is an important aspect of this approach. GEO also will work with EHR to support professional development of faculty to improve pedagogy and mentoring skills.

Sailing for Science

Students assist with the management of magnetometers to record the magnetic field during the Jurassic Ocean Crust Magnetic Survey Program (JOCMS) voyage.
First generation college students from Kutztown University of Pennsylvania went on a six-week voyage to study the Pacific seafloor
through the Jurassic Ocean Crust Magnetic Survey Program (JOCMS). The purpose of the trip was to study the behavior of the magnetic fields during the middle and late Jurassic period. Alongside real life experience at sea, students participated in data collection and processing and assisted in developing a website for the cruise. The goals of the program are to foster professional development and to provide students with a skillset that will prepare them for advanced programs in marine biology.

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Promote Public and Community-based Science to Improve Public STEM Literacy and Decision-making, and to Advance the Geosciences

Another important aspect for GEO’s Education and Diversity goals is to promote public and community- based science to improve public STEM literacy, support decision-makers and advance the areas of science that we support. A better-educated public can make informed decisions and choices regarding policies and activities that are beneficial to society and the environment. GEO has a strong interest in promoting public participation in and awareness of our science.  To that end, GEO will:

  • Fund supplements to promote community engagement and broadening participation.
  • Improve the readability of GEO award abstracts and titles so the supported research is more accessible to the general populace.
  • Encourage geoscience professionals to communicate clearly with public audiences about the excitement and relevance of their work and to engage in community-based science activities.
  • Promote effective communication of geoscience information to stakeholders such as engineers; surveyors; urban planners; emergency managers; resource managers; energy developers; local, regional and federal government officials and related stakeholders in other countries or in international organizations.
  • Support development of online and print material and other media to interest the public, particularly students, in the geosciences.

A pressing need exists to translate new knowledge into public information and advice to aid decision- makers. GEO will partner with NSF’s Office of Legislative and Public Affairs (OLPA) over the next five years to improve the availability and accessibility of GEO-funded research results.

Geoscience for Kids

Online Magazine “Beyond Penguins and Polar Bears” for elementary Geoscience Education.
NSF has funded a free online magazine targeted towards K-5 teachers. Using the natural intrigue of the Arctic and the mystical creatures that live in the wintery tundra of the southernmost part of the world, the magazine covers a broad range of topics from weather and climate to geography, culture and art, and polar science. The magazine also facilitates inquiry-based teaching and scientific discourse. Beyond Penguins and Polar Bears has received Science magazine’s Science Prize for Online Resources in
Education for its innovative ability to provide free online science education.

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Promote Use of Community Resources for Both Research and Educational Purposes

GEO will increase support for projects that harness the power of widely available technology for innovations in GEO-supported science and education (e.g., pressure sensors in smart phones, cars as weather stations, GPS satellite signals).

Technology has broken down the barriers between education in formal classrooms and informal learning environments, including museums, science centers, and the home.
Technology-rich environments can help retain students in all parts of the pipeline from K-12 through graduate school. Interactive technology tools can help students learn and retain information better than traditional classroom lectures as they can also be tailored to multiple learning styles and abilities.

GEO will work with partners to explore the possibility of issuing an incentive-based (e.g., prize, challenge) call for proposals in this area. Also key to the GEO-supported research enterprise, particularly in geographic areas such as the Arctic, is support of science that is relevant to local communities. For example, many PLR-supported researchers include Arctic residents as full partners in all aspects of their research projects. These collaborations provide interesting models to engage with community- based science efforts around water, weather and other topics with strong local impacts.

Youth outreach in Critical Zone Observatory, Boulder, CO

Youth outreach in Critical Zone Observatory, Boulder, CO to explain glacial erosions.

DynamicEarthFigure21.png

GEO encourages the development of creative, scalable options to expose undergraduates to genuine research experiences and instrumentation. GEO will leverage facility investments for undergraduate research and technical training with a focus on virtual access such as that available through CubeSats, Alvin and OOI to help larger numbers of students connected to real- time research and to facilitate the creation of new networks of researchers. GEO will work with its facilities and researchers to identify viable candidates for instrument deployment and support deployments of instrumentation for the primary purpose of education and outreach (e.g., EarthScope, transportable arrays, radars and aircraft).

Probing Outer Space for Data

This small satellite known as Firefly will be used to study gamma-ray bursts associated with lightning.

Obtaining observational data from space is essential to understand geospace and atmospheric systems. The CubeSat is a conglomerate of small satellites that are able to provide multi-point information important for comprehensive understanding of the
atmospheric sciences. The goal of the CubeSat program is to provide support for the construction, launch and data collection of small microsatellites. Additionally, CubeSat aims to train the future generation of experimental space scientists and aerospace
engineers.

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GEO Research Frontiers: Dynamic Earth

In addition to GEO Research Imperatives described earlier in this document, GEO has identified examples of emerging research frontier areas that it would like to support in the near future. These Research Frontiers reflect loci of growing interest and activity among GEO researchers that span multiple GEO divisions. GEO Frontiers represent advance planning efforts for areas of investment in the event that new resources become available. The Frontiers described in this document should be viewed as illustrative examples and not as exclusive targets for new funding. GEO will support Frontiers in the interest of advancing scientific knowledge but will not do so at the expense of core research. Supporting fundamental research is GEO’s number one priority.

The Frontiers described below were identified and refined through an annual science planning retreat of GEO program officers.  These program officers are GEO’s critical link to the research community. A crucial part of their job is to keep abreast of trends and issues in geoscience and related fields. They interact daily with researchers, professional societies and Federal partners among many others and keep informed of community reports and national studies such as those of the National Research Council. These are the inputs that they bring to the annual Program Officer Retreat. The annual retreat gathers staff from across GEO to focus on cross-divisional and inter-disciplinary activities, and is in addition to the discipline- and division- specific planning that takes place within GEO’s divisions. At the retreat, Program Officers focused on science challenges and opportunities that are forward-looking, scalable and of potential interest across GEO Division boundaries. The forward-looking topics could further develop existing programs by building connections and collaborations only possible through the inclusion of other divisions, directorates, agencies or countries.

As the geosciences continue to advance and investigator-driven research opens up new avenues in basic research, new Frontier areas will emerge and the examples listed below may change in emphasis or importance. Scientific advances and other external forces may cause some Frontiers to be re- categorized as a GEO Imperative. Thus, this document and the priorities described within will be revisited and revised as appropriate.

Earth Systems Processes that Cross the Land/Ocean Interface

Traditional disciplinary examinations of terrestrial processes and ocean processes have yielded significant advances in scientific understanding. GEO is interested in exploring the study of Earth system processes that cross the land-ocean interface to better understand the implications of process interplays on human populations, coastal resources and terrestrial resources. Geologic processes occurring across the land-ocean interface have clear implications for the sustainability of coastal resources, particularly those significantly impacted by concentrated population centers. GEO-supported sea level rise studies and the recent coastal disasters of Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy provide impetus for GEO to lead a strong and productive effort in this area.

NSF EarthScope plate Boundary Observatory GPS network

provides precise data for accurate observation and modeling

DynamicEarthFigure23.png

GEO anticipates the need for additional basic research support in these areas:

  • Response of marine ecosystems to climate change and variability as well as to anthropogenic economic activity, e.g., discharges, fishing pressure, non-renewable resource extraction.
  • Surface water-aquifer interactions, submarine groundwater discharge and salt water intrusion into coastal aquifers in response to sea level dynamics that have implications for coastal water resource management, fisheries and aquatic ecology.
  • Geodynamics at plate boundaries of active margins and resulting stresses that release energy within fault systems, rearranging topography and initiating high-energy events at the land-ocean interface; altered topography modifies wind and current patterns, sediment and atmospheric moisture transport and renewable marine and terrestrial resources.
  • Differentiation between regional and global sea level variability to better understand  and predict changes in sea level associated with melting and loss of major ice sheets.
  • Atmospheric interactions and effects on the land-ocean-hydrosphere interface.

High Latitude Ocean-Atmosphere-Ice-Ecosystem Interactions and Processes

Inter-agency and inter-governmental partnerships are forming that will enhance research opportunities in the Arctic and North Atlantic as well as in the Southern Ocean. One example is trans-Atlantic cooperation of NSF and NASA programs with Europe’s Horizon 2020 framework studies of the Arctic, sub-Arctic, and North Atlantic. In addition, the stability of ice sheets and ice shelves is of global importance, yet the Southern Ocean and Antarctica are especially remote and under-sampled.

Greenland Glacier

DynamicEarthFigure24.png

GEO is interested in enhancing research that will integrate observations, analysis, modeling and management and decision support for these ocean-atmosphere-ice-eco-systems in the areas of ocean circulation, climate, biogeochemistry, food web dynamics and community structure, and ecosystem health and diversity. Current areas of interest include increasing understanding and predictive capabilities of:

  • Variations in fresh water delivery to the surface waters of the North Atlantic and Arctic Oceans via export of sea ice from the Arctic, melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet, periodic releases of fresh water hydrologic cycle.
  • Feedback within the non-linear climate system as the atmosphere responds to and drives changes in the ocean, particularly within the Southern Ocean.
  • Variations in ecosystem productivity and biodiversity (e.g., bloom dynamics and impact on carbon dioxide (CO2) sequestration), as productivity is involved in climate regulation and is a primary source of resources that sustain natural ecosystems and human populations.
  • Exchange of CO2 and heat; carbon cycle sources, and sinks.
  • Climate change; ocean acidification; community and ecosystem change.
  • Better process models at multiple scales for aerosols, clouds, radiation, and precipitation.​

Urban Geosystem Science

Rapid changes in land use result in complex and poorly understood interactions between air, water, soil and surface characteristics. A need exists for additional research to understand the interactions and feedbacks between urban and climate systems such as the influence of waste heat on regional circulation patterns, urban outflow on ocean systems, urban albedo effects on climate systems on various spatial scales and how sea level  rise and storm surge impact coastal cities.

Scientists will explore interconnectivities between the natural and built environments

DynamicEarthFigure25.png

GEO is interested in supporting broad areas of study related to urban geosystem science and other “human system” issues (e.g., suburban sprawl, parklands, recreational and tourism activities). Potential partners with GEO include the NSF BIO, ENG, SBE, and MPS Directorates and other federal agencies with complementary interests such as the Department of Energy, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, NOAA, the National Institutes of Health and USDA.

NSF is currently supporting two long-term studies of urban ecology in the cities of Phoenix, Arizona and Baltimore, Maryland through the LTER program. Such research will inform GEO-supported research in urban geosystem science. Additionally, GEO and other NSF Directorates issued a solicitation in 2014 for Sustainability Research Networks (SRN) that support multidisciplinary teams of researchers, educators, managers, policymakers and other stakeholders to conduct collaborative research that addresses fundamental challenges in urban sustainability. Networks will be organized around relevant issues such as coastal urbanization, urban heat islands, food systems, energy, biodiversity, essential ecosystem services, transport, or governance.

Early Earth

GEO would like to accelerate advances in the understanding of fundamental areas of inquiry related to the Early Earth. The 2008 NAS report entitled “The Origin and Evolution of Earth: Research Questions for a Changing Planet” identified key scientific questions worthy of additional exploration.

  • When and why did Earth’s core form and the geo-dynamo originate?
  • Why does Earth exhibit plate tectonics while other planets do not?
  • How important is a magnetosphere for preservation of atmospheres and oceans?
  • What planetary processes could have occurred on a pre-Plate Tectonics Earth?
  • How were early Earth’s oceans and atmosphere formed and subsequently influenced by biotically mediated and pre-biotic chemistry?
  • How was the origin of life constrained by the timing and nature of early Earth’s atmosphere, oceans and tectonics? Understanding when and how plate tectonics began and impacts of transition to plate tectonics on ocean chemistry, climate and life evolution.
Chu Research Group, Chinese Academy of Sciences

dig into a shale exposure North China to explore how early life evolved

DynamicEarthFigure26.png

GEO has a standing Early Earth Discussion Group that has reached out to the academic community and agency partners through discussions, workshops and other mechanisms. GEO could expand its work in partnership with other NSF Directorates and federal agencies to study how early Earth and solar system processes contributed to the development of a habitable environment with ocean, atmosphere and a life-preserving geo-dynamo. This research would provide additional insights and understanding of Earth-core formation processes, geomagnetic field evolution, evolution of the Earth’s atmosphere, and emergence of microbial life and diversification.

Acknowledgements

The committee is grateful to the staff of the NSF Geosciences Directorate who assisted in preparation of this report. In particular, the leaders of the four thematic teams—Shemin Ge (Research), Rose DuFour (Community Resources and Infrastructure), Eva Zanzerkia (Data and Cyberinfrastructure), and Jill Karsten (Education and Diversity)—gathered Program Officer and community input throughout the process that was crucial to the development of the document.

Melissa Lane, the Executive Secretary of AC-GEO, Beth Zelenski, and Neysa Call were instrumental in managing and completing this project. Craig Robinson managed the GEO Program Officer Retreat that served as the forum for developing the GEO Research Frontiers. In the NSF Office of Legislative and Public Affairs, Adrian Apodaca and Trinka Kensill provided support for the cover and graphic content of the report.

We also wish to thank Roger Wakimoto (Assistant Director for Geosciences) and Marge Cavanaugh (Deputy Assistant Director for Geosciences), as well as the GEO Division Directors who provided the leadership and momentum to move this report forward.

Special thanks are due to GEO Program Officers who took the time to attend meetings, to distribute the draft document for external review, and to provide critical insights, input, and feedback. The Committee received extensive feedback from the scientific community—over 100 email messages, and many other informal communications—that shaped, refined, and clarified the final product.

Image Credits

Introduction

p. 3, Toolik Research Station. Retrieved November 2014 from Toolik Field Station website http://toolik.alaska.edu/about/photo_tour.php?s=aerials.  Images courtesy of Institute of Arctic Biology.

Research

p. 7, Erupting Kilauea - Tom Pfeiffer (http://www.decadevolcano.net/VolcanoDiscovery.com)

p. 9, Lightning Strikes -- DoD photo by Tech. Sgt. Cherie A. Thurlby, U.S. Air Force.

p. 10, Sustainable Water Management, Michael Mahaffie

Community Resources and Infrastructure

p. 12, R/V Sikuliaq -- Karen Pearce, NSF

p. 14, OOI -- University of Washington

p. 15, McMurdo Station -- http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Fi...do_Station.jpg. Gaelen Marsde, University of British Columbia Vancouver

p. 16, CCMC -- http://ccmc.gsfc.nasa.gov/

Data and Cyberinfrastructure

p. 17, Earth Cube --EarthCube

p. 18, UCERF3 -- Kevin Milner, University of Southern California

p. 18, NWSC -- UCAR. Photo by Carlye Calvin. Image on supercomputer by Michael Medford, licensed to National Geographic.

p. 19, CZO -- Southern Sierra Critical Zone Observatory

p. 19, NCAR CISL – UCAR. NCAR.

Education and Diversity

p. 21, PIs -- UCAR. NCAR.

p. 22, “M’RAJE” -- Peter West, National Science Foundation

p. 23, JOCMS -- http://www.kutztown.edu/jocms2011/images/24wk_mag01.jpg

p. 24, Beyond Penguins and Polar Bears -- Copyright 2008-2011 – The Ohio State University.

p. 25, CZO –National Science Foundation

p. 25, CubeSats -- Zina Deretsky, National Science Foundation

Frontiers

p. 27, EarthScope – UNAVCO. http://www.earthscope.org

p. 28, Greenland Glacier – Konrad Steffen, CIRES/University of Colorado

p. 29, Urban Geosystem Science – Ryan Rodgers, University of Minnesota

p. 30, Shale –Chu Research Group, Chinese Academy of Sciences

Advisory Committee for Geosciences (2012-2014)

Dr.  George M. Hornberger, Chair (2014), Vanderbilt University

Dr. Louise H. Kellogg, Chair (2012-2014), University of California, Davis Dr. M. Lee Allison, (2012-13), Arizona Geological Survey

Ms. Vicki Arroyo, Georgetown Climate Center, Georgetown University Dr. Daniel N. Baker, (2012-13), University of Colorado, Boulder

Dr. Jillian Banfield, (2012-13), University of California, Berkeley

Dr. Mary C. Barth, University Corporation of Atmospheric Research Dr. Paul Bierman, University of Vermont

Dr. Cecilia Bitz, University of Washington

Dr. Mary-Elena Carr, Columbia Climate Center at the Earth Institute Dr. Chihing Christina Cheng, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign Dr. Margaret L. Delaney, (2012), University of California, Santa Cruz Dr. Donald J. DePaolo, (2012), University of California, Berkeley

Dr. Scott C. Doney, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Dr. Karen M. Fischer, Brown University

Dr. Steven D. Gaines, (2012-13), University of California, Santa Barbara Dr. Linda Green, University of Arizona

Dr. Linda Hayden, Elizabeth City State University Mr. Orville H. Huntington, City of Huslia, Alaska Dr. John Isbell, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Ms. Jeanne Kosch, Occupational, Safety, Health and Environment Dr. M. Susan Lozier, (2012-13), Duke University

Dr. Dennis McGillicuddy, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Dr. Norine E. Noonan, (2012), University of South Florida St. Petersburg Dr. Jordan G. Powers, National Center for Atmospheric Research

Dr. Walter A. Robinson, (2012), North Carolina State University Dr. Roberta L. Rudnick, (2012-13), University of Maryland

Dr. David S. Schimel, (2012), Jet Propulsion Laboratory Dr. John T. Snow, (2012), The University of Oklahoma Dr. Harlan Spence, University of New Hampshire

Dr. Brian Taylor, University of Hawai'i at Manoa

Dr. Orlando Taylor, (2012), The Chicago School of Professional Psychology Dr. Joseph A. Whittaker, Morgan State University

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