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National Data Infrastructure for Earth System Science. EarthCube and other efforts globally Clifford Jacobs, National Science Foundation Peter Fox, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Presented at the town hall meeting AGU fall 2011. Outline. Context Nationally Internationally

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national data infrastructure for earth system science

National Data Infrastructure for Earth System Science

EarthCube and other efforts globally

Clifford Jacobs, National Science Foundation

Peter Fox, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Presented at the town hall meeting AGU fall 2011

  • Context
    • Nationally
    • Internationally
  • EarthCube vision
  • Initial EarthCube efforts
  • Long-term vision
science foundations for earthcube

GEO Vision

Science foundations for EarthCube

“To understand more deeply the planet and its interactions will require the geosciences to take an increasingly holistic approach, exploring knowledge coming from all scientific and engineering disciplines.”

“Fostering a sustainable future through a better understanding of our complex and changing planet.”

CALL TO ACTION: “Over the next decade, the geosciences community commits to developing a framework to understand and predict responses of the Earth as a system—from the space-atmosphere boundary to the core, including the influences of humans and ecosystems.”

crossroad challenges of geovision
Crossroad Challenges of GEOvision

The Dynamic Earth




The Changing Climate

Geosphere-Biosphere Connections

Earth and Life


Research Vessel Sikuliaq

EarthScope Observatory Network

Arctic Sea Ice

Era of Observation and Simulation



Earth System Modeling


framing the challenge science and society transformed by data
Framing the Challenge:Science and Society Transformed by Data
  • Modern geoscience
    • Data- and compute-intensive
    • Integrative, multi-scale
  • Multi-disciplinary collaborations to address complexity
    • Individuals, groups, teams, communities
  • Sea of Data
    • Age of Observation
    • Distributed, central repositories, sensor- driven, diverse, etc
address in the challenge funding geo supports substantial ci
Address in the Challenge-Funding:GEO Supports Substantial CI
  • NSF Budget (FY 2010) $6,926.5 M
  • Geosciences (GEO) Budget $889.64 M
  • GEO 2010 investments in CI ~$103 M
  • New investment: Example
    • NWSC (NCAR-WY Super Computer Center)
    • FY 2012 With Partners in Wyoming:
    • Center Construction ~$70M
    • Computer Systems ~$30M
addressing the challenge support multiple modes of support a hallmark of success
Addressing the Challenge-SupportMultiple Modes of Support: A Hallmark of Success
  • GEO “modes of support” are and will continue to be essential
    • Focused grants to individual PIs or small groups
    • Focused programs that are community driven
    • Small centers
    • Large national centers
    • Cyber-enhanced field programs
    • Cyber-enhanced observing facilities and MREFC projects
    • NSF-wide initiatives
    • Education, outreach, and training activities (EOT)
  • Each mode supports both high-risk, transformative research and practical implementation
  • Although each mode contributes, the modes often work independent of one another
some international context
Some international context
  • Australia
  • Europe
  • UK
  • But there are more…
e g wirada
  • Australia Bureau of Meteorology (BoM, operational agency) and Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO, research and application organization)
  • Science Symposium (Aug, 2011) demonstrated significant progress
  • Scientists, engineers and informaticists working and meeting together from the start!
  • Cooperation for National Environmental Information System

Financed by the Education Investment Fund (EIF) A$47 million (2010 – 2013)

eu framework program 7 9 th 10 th calls
EU Framework Program 7 9th/10th calls
  • INFRA-2011-1.2.2: Data infrastructures for e-Science
  • Eu 43M
  • Closed Nov. 23, 2011
  • General objectives: Establish a persistent and robust service infrastructure for scientific data..
    • Deployment of generic services for persistent data storage, access and management that assure data provenance, authenticity and integrity and respond to the needs of advanced user communities
    • Development of an open access, participatory infrastructure for scientific information linking peer-reviewed literature and associated data sets and collections which can be open to non-scientists and to providers of value- added services
    • Scientific community-driven policy development and service deployment for data generation, provenance, quality assessment, certification, curation, annotation, navigation and management so as to promote the sharing of data and the development of trust
    • Development and deployment of tools and techniques for the provision of advanced data services notably for data discovery, mining, visualisation and simulation
  • JISC initiative (National Data Infrastructures Study): (led by Digital Curation Centre)
  • Managing Research Data (e.g. ADMIRE):
  • Data infrastructurEs for Supporting Information Retrieval Evaluation (DESIRE)
  • Environmental Virtual Observatory -Pilot (NERC)
what is earthcube
An alternative approach to respond to daunting science and CI challenges

EarthCube is an outcome and a process

EarthCube will require broad community participation

What is EarthCube?
goal of earth cube
Goal of Earth Cube

to transform the conduct of research in geosciences by supporting the development of community-guided cyberinfrastructure to integrate data and information for knowledge management across the Geosciences.

earthcube will
EarthCube Will:
  • Be a long-term transformation of the practices within the geosciences community spanning at least a decade
  • Provide unprecedented new capabilities to researchers and educators
  • Vastly improve the productivity of community and thus accelerating discovery in understanding and predicting the Earth system
  • Provide a uniform knowledge management framework for all of the geosciences
earthcube website
EarthCube Website
  • ~600 members to the EarthCube website
  • 114 white paper submission
  • 185 respondents to user survey
  • Unknown number of hours of pro bono contributions by community
  • Unprecedented view of the pulse of the geoscience community
charrette attendance
Charrette Attendance
  • On-site 146
    • Not all for the entire 3 ½ days
    • Attendance was high even on last morning
  • Virtual
    • Nov. 1      Virtual 139Nov. 2      Virtual 104Nov. 3      Virtual 63Nov. 4      Virtual 37 (preliminary estimate)
  • Broad representation of geosciences research community
    • Including several graduate and post-docs
  • Representation also included
    • Other federal agencies
    • International
    • Industry
    • Publishers
    • Societiesand science organizations
    • Organizational specialists
  • ~20 GEO & OCI POs (not at same time)
    • Representatives from BIO and CISE also in attendance
immediate outcomes
Immediate Outcomes
  • Identifying the most important capabilities to be embodied in EarthCube
    • Defining the initial view of EarthCube
  • Many “2-pager” papers on new capabilities
    • Resulted from work at the Charrette
  • New collaborations enabled by the Charrette
  • Instructions NSF’s interest in Eager awards post-Charrette
    • Strategic organizational framework
    • Development of new capabilities
    • Progress on critical milestone (developed at Charrette)
  • EarthCube website was and is an effective tool for community dialog
    • Labor intensive to monitor and maintain
  • Bottom line: a new starting place for creative and collaborative ideas, partnerships, and building CI for the geosciences
  • Release of first DCL June 2011
  • WebEx presentations June & July 2011
  • Establish EarthCube Social Network site August 2011
  • Charrette November 2011
  • Second DCL December 2011
  • EAGER and Supplement Submissions December 2011 – April 2012
  • Second Community event May 2012
  • Continued community opportunities May 2012 - ?
discussion points path to action
Discussion Points-- path to action --
  • Are there current synergies that can be built on with minimal/ modest investment?
  • Are there gaps in Data Infrastructures efforts world-wide that EarthCube could address?
  • What are viable means for international cooperation, collaboration, alliances, etc?
  • What are effective means to transformation the culture of geosciences?

Earth–System Knowledge Management System (EarthCube & similar activities)


Discovery Observing Simulating

Sharing Collaborating Training

 Learning  Informing Broadening Participation

schematic depiction of knowledge management
Schematic Depiction of Knowledge Management

Building Knowledge Intensity

Making Knowledge Visible

  • (community) Creation
  • Capacity Building
  • Face-to-face contact
  • Competence centers
  • Community of practices
  • Management of knowledge processes
  • Networking – incl. web
  • Easy Usability
  • Who knows what
  • Taxonomy of expertise
  • Yellow pages
  • Competence
  • Uniformity of access

Developing a Knowledge Culture

Building Knowledge Infrastructure

  • Global Access
  • Common communication infrastructure
  • Access to external /internal information /knowledge/sources
  • Use of modern methods and tools
  • Motivation Enablers
  • Value and culture
  • Rewarding
  • Sharing/exchange of knowledge
  • Shared mindsets and visions
  • Trust of each other
  • Bridging generations

From A. Boynton, “Exploring Opportunities in Knowledge Management: How to Get Started” Knowledge Management Symposium: Leveraging Knowledge for Business Impact, IBM Consulting, Sydney, 1996

a unifying architecture and technology advances will lead to strategic convergence on km

Modes of Support

A Unifying Architecture and Technology Advances Will Lead to Strategic Convergence on KM

Well-Connected elements of

KM through EarthCube

Loosely or Not Connected

building on the internet paradigm

The Internet provided a knowledge system that transformed the modality of science

    • Unanticipated Outcomes
    • NSF’s role included influencing the set of standards that were adopted
  • CIF21 investments must provide a framework of integrated and interactive services
Building on the Internet Paradigm

Internet for interoperability

Interworkability for collaboration

  • The challenges have been defined in countless reports
  • It is not about technology per say, but its effective use
  • Increase productivity and capabilities in our personal lives are not reflected in our research jobs
  • Future visions must focus on increased productivity and capability at end point of use
  • Affecting change within the current research paradigm