​Statement from the ESIP Federation at the GEO Plenary, 9-10 November 2016, St. Petersburg, Russia

Technical Reports: 

 Statement by Emily Law, President of the Federation of Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP Federation) 

I would like to first thank the chair of this meeting and I would like to express our thanks to our Russian hosts, Roscosmos and Roshydromet, for their kind hospitality and this wonderful meeting venue here in St. Petersburg. 


The Federation of Earth Science Information Partners, known as ESIP, seeds innovation, develops best practices and advances technologies across broad-based, distributed communities of science, data and information technology practitioners. ESIP’s status as a leading United States-based collaboration network and neutral convener has made it the go-to place to forge consensus on emerging data-related topics. ESIP became a participating organization in 2013 as one way for to extend our reach to international partners. Beyond GEO, ESIP is engaged worldwide with related efforts through CODATA, WDS and RDA to improve the creation, management, distribution, use, and citation of scientific data.


As GEO entered it’s second decade this past year, we felt it was important to more actively support the GEO effort. ESIP was represented on the Programme Board this year, which provided valuable insight into the numerous initiatives, flagships and other projects that are currently ongoing. I would like to highlight some of the recent ways in which the ESIP Federation community has contributed to the success of GEO, with a focus on climate change, disaster response and resilience, and Earth science data stewardship. 


ESIP has several thematic areas of focus. Over the last year, our Energy & Climate Working Group, chaired by Richard Eckman, NASA and Erica Zell, Battelle, has supported the GEO work plan task, GI-10 EO data and renewable energies. In addition, this group is also supporting the emerging GEO Vision for Energy initiative (VENER). 


We appreciate that GEO is taking a proactive role in furthering data stewardship in Earth observations and that the topic has high visibility at this meeting beginning with the Side Meetings, Monday and Tuesday. ESIP has worked to improve data practices and promote open data on a number of fronts for many years. ESIP’s Data Stewardship Committee, chaired by Justin Goldstein, USGCRP, supported the GEO work plan subtask of GD-07, ‘Advancing the GEOSS Data Sharing Principles’. The GEO Data Sharing Guidelines are aligned with the ESIP’s Interagency Data Stewardship Guidelines (http://commons.esipfed.org/node/419). The Data Stewardship Committee looks forward to continuing to support this task in 2017. 


Looking ahead for contributions in the coming year, there are two notes. One of ESIP’s strategic goals is to: “Strengthen the ties between observations and user communities (e.g. technologies, research, education and applications).” As part of that work, we are pleased to be recognized as a committing organization in an initiative launched by the U.S. White House in September, Partnership for Resilience and Preparedness (PREP), I look forward to the engagement and commercial sector discussions to share more on our work with PREP. 


The ESIP Federation is also engaged in improving response to natural disasters through the ESIP Disaster Lifecycle Cluster, which formed in 2014. This group facilitates the identification and testing of ESIP member data sets, such as those from the NOAA, NASA and U.S. Geological Survey Earth observing data centers, that may be certified as trusted data sources for agencies and organizations responding to disasters. We look forward to learning more about GEO flagship, GEODARMA. 


These are just a few examples of the contributions the ESIP community has made to GEO’s objectives. As part of its commitment to open initiatives that enable the use of Earth science data, the ESIP community invites contributions from individuals and organizations with similar interests to improve practices for enabling the development and use of science data. I look forward to continuing ESIP support for GEO and congratulate GEO on its progress and the collaborative environment that GEO promotes.