Coral Reef Science & Cyberinfrastructure Network

We were very excited to host two intensive workshops focused on data training for coral reef researchers. Each 4-day workshop was two days of training plus two days of "workathon".

  • Data Science for Coral Reefs: Data Rescue teamed senior researchers with graduate students, postdocs, or data professionals to capture workflows and streamline methods to manage a range of data types, write metadata, and move data into repositories for curation and discoverability.
  • Data Science for Coral Reefs: Data Integration and Team Science offered training in RStudio, GitHub, and collaboration, then focused on integrating datasets in an exploratory way, drawing on multidisciplinary and multiscaled coral reef data at a focal location with rich historic and current data.
  • Both workshops addressed issues consistently identified by coral reef researchers as prime challenges. We are delighted to offer open access to both workshop agendas, including training resources and exercises. Special thanks to NCEAS, where the workshops were held, and to their trainers for generously sharing these materials. Each workshop group is preparing a paper for publication to convey lessons learned.

Go to to see a collection of 40 blog postings relevant to the coral reef and cyberinfrastructure communities, including the TOOLBOX series!

CRESCYNT-BLOG covers some general tools useful for any science discipline, like protocols, data repositories, disaster recovery, data discovery, and estate planning for your data!  Resources to help grow skills with open source tools like R are featured, with inspiration for better visualizations. We consider workbenches, workflows as collaboration space and in gritty execution, and platforms that support reproducibilitySome tools are specifically applied to coral reef research, like species database aggregators, techniques for 3D coral reef mapping, and software for image analysis of coral reefs using deep learning methods. Catch up on coral reef education and outreach: a detailed list of great education resources, some 360-degree images and reef videos for education, and the very powerful film Chasing Coral.


Wonder what CRESCYNT looks like as a group?

distribution of science and tech node choices by CRESCYNT members

We're very multidisciplinary in our research: the average enrolled researcher has selected 5 disciplines (33% of 15 available science nodes), with Ecology and Climate Change the two most-selected nodes (and we note that both of these are integrative disciplines). CRESCYNT members also expressed need or interest in 3.2 technological areas on average (45% of 7 available tech nodes), especially Data Management, then Statistical Tools & Analytics, followed by Imagery, then Visualization nodes.

The science nodes are assigned one color each, which feed into the tech nodes through researcher choice. Notice that each tech node hosts a full rainbow of science nodes - meaning that technological needs are not discipline-specific. Everyone needs everything!
Click the image to see a larger version.


Scope of Sciences within EarthCube

The Coral Reef Science & Cyberinfrastructure Network (CRESCYNT) is a multi-tiered and multidisciplinary network of coral reef researchers, ocean scientists, cyberinfrastructure specialists, and computer scientists, and we invite you to join us.

As an EarthCube Research Coordination Network, our goals are to foster a dynamic, diverse, durable, and creative community; to collectively consider and develop standards and resources for open data, research documentation, and data interoperability while making best use of work already accomplished by others; and to offer input to those groups within EarthCube who will ultimately create the data architecture for all of EarthCube. Along the way CRESCYNT expects to collect and share community resources and tools, and to offer training opportunities in topics prioritized by our members through widely accessible formats such as webinars and their recordings. We will also work to nurture unforeseen collaborative opportunities that emerge from our integrated collective work.

Because the coral reef community has exceptionally diverse data structures and analysis requirements needed to forward integrative science, it is an exemplar for cyberinfrastructure-enabled advances to other geosciences communities. The CRESCYNT network is working to match the data sources, data structures, and analysis needs of the coral reef community with current advances in data science, visualization, and image processing from multiple disciplines to advance coral reef research and meet the increasing challenges of conservation. The network has begun to assemble to coordinate, plan, and prioritize cyberinfrastructure needs within the coral reef community.

 participants to nodes to collective project outputsThe structure of CRESCYNT is a network of networks, currently including 15 disciplinary nodes and 7 technological nodes, where each network node represents an area or set of areas within coral reef science (disciplinary nodes: e.g., microbial diversity, symbiosis regulation, disease, physiology & fitness, reef ecology, fish & fisheries, conservation & management, geochemistry-biogeochemistry-oceanography, paleontology & paleoecology, remote sensing, education & outreach) or an area of computer science or technical practice (technological nodes: e.g., visualization, geospatial analysis & mapping, image analysis, legacy & dark data, database management). These nodes may further expand, coalesce, or divide to meet the needs and interests of the subdisciplinary communities, while maintaining connections to CRESCYNT through node coordinators and ongoing network activities. We invite you to become a member of CRESCYNT, join one or more nodes that would advance your own work, collaborate on shared resources and tools for the coral reef community to use now, and ensure that the data architecture and cyberinfrastructure of EarthCube will meet the needs of the coral reef community, and that broader data interoperability within EarthCube will benefit both coral reefs and our ability to answer complex questions.

Plug into EarthCube through CRESCYNT's active collaborations with other EarthCube elements including technical groups, science groups, research coordination networks, building blocks, working groups - each of these connections and learning opportunities helps grow the state of coral reef science and helps grow opportunities for coral reef scientists at any career stage.

OData Discovery Studione of our strongest EarthCube partners is Data Discovery Studio - where you can now access ~ 17.000 coral reef datasets!  We've worked extensively with this group, offering coral reef research as a multidisciplinary and multiscaled use case. This dataset search engine now offers links to 1,669,729 geoscience datasets from over 40 repositories and collections! Check them out - the work is part of how CRESCYNT's work lives on.



This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant Number 1440342. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.