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HydroShare Article Discusses FAIR Principles

July 1, 2021

By: Kimberly Mann Bruch


CUAHSI’s HydroShare was recently discussed in the Environmental Modelling and Software journal. The findings in the paper suggest ways to make computational systems more easily reproducible and reusable.

Hydrology researchers throughout the U.S. recently teamed to publish their study entitled Toward Open and Reproducible Environmental Modelling by Integrating Online Data Repositories, Computational Environments, and Model Application Programming Interfaces. Featured in the Environmental Modelling and Software journal, the article included details about HydroShare, a web-based platform for finding and sharing water-related data, funded in part through EarthCube.


“Much of the thrust of prior reproducibility research has focused on the FAIR principles, Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable,” said co-author David Tarboton, professor of civil and environmental engineering at Utah State University and director of the Utah Water Research Laboratory. “Repositories meet the Findable and Accessible elements, but we have argued, in this research, that to achieve Interoperable and Reusable for computational models, it is necessary to  encapsulate the computational environment and provide programmatic access through an application programming interface (API) to fully meet FAIR principles.”  


Lead author Young-Don Choi, a doctoral student at the University of Virginia, agreed with Tarboton and explained that he and Professor of Engineering Systems and Environment Jon Goodall worked closely with Tarboton and several other hydrology researchers as well as computer scientists to complete the study. “We greatly benefited from collaborations with computer scientists who have helped domain scientists, like us, understand and apply containerization, JupyterHub, and high performance technologies,” explained Choi. “Specifically, we worked closely with Tanu Malik and her Sciunit team at DePaul University.”


Malik, who is an assistant professor at DePaul’s College of Computing and Digital Media, led the study’s efforts for containerizing software components in hydrologic modeling. Sciunit work has already significantly advanced containerization technology and funding has been continued by NSF EarthCube to further encapsulate the software components used toward the goal of further streamlining the reproducible sharing of hydrologic simulations.


“There are now domain scientists much more versed in computer science concepts, such as containers and APIs, and computer scientists much more versed in domain science challenges,” said Tarboton. “The emergence of NSF EarthCube as an interdisciplinary funding opportunity and community brought disciplines together, enabling recognition of the generality of solutions and their transfer across domains.”  


HydroShare is operated by the Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Science, Inc. (CUAHSI). Funding for HydroShare was provided by the National Science Foundation (1928369). Other NSF awards include 1148453, 1148090, 1664018, 1664061, 1338606, and 1664119. 

About EarthCube

EarthCube is a community-driven activity sponsored by the National Science Foundation to transform research in the academic geosciences community. EarthCube aims to create a well-connected environment to share data and knowledge in an open, transparent, and inclusive manner, thus accelerating our ability to better understand and predict the Earth’s systems. EarthCube membership is free and open to anyone in the Geosciences, as well as those building platforms to serve the Earth Sciences. The EarthCube Office is led by the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) on the UC San Diego campus. 


Media Contact: 

Kimberly Mann Bruch, San Diego Supercomputer Center Communications,


Membership Contact:

Lynne Schreiber, San Diego Supercomputer Center EarthCube Office,


Related Links:



San Diego Supercomputer Center:

UC San Diego:

National Science Foundation:

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