EarthCube Townhall


EarthCube is a bold new National Science Foundation (NSF) initiative to create a community-driven data and knowledge management system that will allow for unprecedented data sharing across the geosciences.  Most recently, the EarthCube All-Hands Meeting brought together project institutions, partners, collaborators, and scientists from across the globe to share their progress and experience with EarthCube thus far, determine the community guided demonstration governance for the pilot governance phase (Oct. 2014-Sept. 2015), and discuss and plan activities for the upcoming year.  This session will provide information on the community-driven and vetted structure and introduce mechanisms for participation in EarthCube governance during the pilot demonstration.


Transforming Geoscience Research


Lee Allison - lead PI on the EarthCube Test Governance

Vision - To transform, to be community driven, and to be interoperable across fields.

Think of wizard of OZ, and Dorthoy is the end user, with partners with their own desires and needs, but working together we can bring these communities together and get to the cyber city where we are all cyber enabled to do things we were never able to do before.

Started 3 years ago (see slides for major milestones).

Today they are working on demonstrating the test governance plan, which will take place over the next year.

Reviewed the current projects that have been funded through EarthCube (see slides for list).

Community engagement - broad effort to get the community to the table and have this be a community driven process.  The ESIP foundation has been a major partner in this.  There is a sub contract to the foundation.  And they have created a new website with work spaces for all the projects.

They have held a number of stakeholder workshops which lead to an outcome they will discuss later.  They brought together the funded projects to start working on infrastructure.  And IT/CS/IS/FOSS communities, and end users and professional societies.

Outcomes were crowdsourced and reviewed by the community.  (see slides for the three surveys and results).

All hands meeting in Washington last month.  goals - demonstration and next steps for governance, and coordination between projects.  Also became a forum for cyberinfrastructure conversations.

Looking at providing leadership and vision to the community.  One of the goals for the next year is to develop a convergence on the cyber infrastructure to use in the future.  And engagement to the rest of the community.  The end user scientists have been much less engaged in this process.  And reaching out beyond NSF to international communities and other groups that might not be core stakeholders in NSF.

Reviewed the structure and talked about the various committees and how to get engaged in EarthCube on different levels.  Looking to fill an office position.  Not sure how they will do this, with an RFP etc.

Next speakers:

Phil Yang of GMU will report on a conceptual design

Steve Richards will discuss the technical designs

Mohan Ramamurthy will report on the Council of data facilities.


Gave a quick overview of the project and provided a link for feedback on the outcomes of the ESIP pre-workshop


NSF vision of EC architecture based on a recent workshop.  Scope, challenges and strategies are listed on the slides.  Must consider working with legacy systems as well as developing with the end user needs in mind.  Are waiting for governance to be in place before making some decisions.

During the workshop there were many discussions on what is architecture.  And what fits or doesn’t fit within EarthCube.

There was a panel discussion with Ocean Link, iPlant, and GEOSS.

Went over preliminary guidelines and the charter of the Technology and Architecture committee.


Walked us through a draft charter for the Council of Data Facilities

One expected outcome is to provide a collective voice for data facilities.

Kim Patten will share the draft of the charter with the community, including attendees of this session.  As it has to be approved.  And will be submitted as part of the package Lee is submitting with the governance documents.

Next step is approaching the broader community and voting.  Once charter is adopted, there will be a general assembly meeting at AGU and in the future, at ESIP summer meetings.

Comment - lots of synergies to be found.  And beyond that we have to build on what exists already as far as certifications, perhaps ISO’s etc.  And maybe trying more lightweight certifications first.

The draft of the charter will be emailed out shortly, it is not up on the website yet.   More details will be posted soon,


Question - how do the RCN's etc. interact, in a more visual way to consider what is going on so we can think about the future as far as an architecture.  Steve - Today at 11 we will discuss this.

Allison, L.; EarthCube Townhall; Summer Meeting 2014. ESIP Commons , June 2014