EarthCube: A Community-Driven Organization for Geoscience Cyberinfrastructure
The National Science Foundation’s (NSF) EarthCube initiative is a community-driven approach to building cyberinfrastructure for managing, sharing, and exploring geoscience data and information to better address today’s grand-challenge science questions.
The EarthCube Test Enterprise Governance project is a two-year effort seeking to engage diverse geo- and cyber-science communities in applying a responsive approach to the development of a governing system for EarthCube. During Year 1, an Assembly of seven stakeholder groups representing the broad EarthCube community developed a draft Governance Framework. Finalized at the June 2014 EarthCube All Hands Meeting, this framework will be tested during the demonstration phase in Year 2, beginning Oct. 2014.
A brief overview of the framework: Community-elected members of the EarthCube Leadership Council will be responsible for managing strategic direction and identifying the scope of EarthCube. Three Standing Committees will also be established to oversee the development of technology and architecture, to coordinate among new and existing data facilities, and to represent the academic geosciences community in driving development of EarthCube cyberinfrastructure. An Engagement Team and a Liaison Team will support communication and partnerships with internal and external stakeholders, and a central Office will serve a logistical support function to the governance as a whole. Finally, ad hoc Working Groups and Special Interest Groups will take on other issues related to EarthCube’s goals.
The Year 2 demonstration phase will test the effectiveness of the proposed framework and allow for elements to be changed to better meet community needs. It will begin by populating committees and teams, and finalizing leadership and decision-making processes to move forward on community-selected priorities including identifying science drivers, coordinating emerging technical elements, and coming to convergence on system architecture. A January mid-year review will assemble these groups to analyze the effectiveness of the framework and make adjustments as necessary. If successful, this framework will move EarthCube forward as a collaborative platform and potentially act as a model for future NSF investments in geoscience cyberinfrastructure.