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Awards Announced for Governance Committee Projects

Earlier this year, the EarthCube Office received $100,000 from the National Science Foundation for Governance Committee activities. The Leadership Council has recently finished application review and announced awards for 2022.

“We had an array of excellent applications this year,” said Mike Daniels, Leadership Council chairperson. “The selected projects allow us to continue our efforts in providing opportunities for early career scientists, continue the excellent work related to embracing Notebooks as research artifacts and investigate EarthCube sustainability for funded projects and the data facility community. We are eager to support and work with these teams in accomplishing their outcomes.”

EarthCube Early Career Travel Grant Program

Description: We propose to offer travel grants of up to $1500 for early career researchers (defined as 10 years out from their PhD or currently in graduate school or undergraduate) in the geosciences to attend conferences or workshops either virtually or in-person where they will be presenting material related to the goals of the EarthCube program. Examples of EarthCube related activities that align with the goals of the EarthCube program could be presenting a poster or talk that is about science that is intersecting with cyberinfrastructure or big data with a component that leverages new or existing cyberinfrastructure in some way.

In addition, this award will be designed to recognize that underrepresented groups within the geosciences may face greater barriers to retention and advancement within the field. In an effort to provide support that would recognize this fact, we will offer a total of up to $2000 to researchers who self-identify as members of an underrepresented group within the geosciences.

Awardees would be required to submit a report about their experience in collaboration with ECO, and the report would be published on the EarthCube website and communicated more broadly through social media.

Team Lead: D. Sarah Stamps, Virginia Tech

Science and Engagement Team

Project sustainability models for integrated digital Earth Science beyond EarthCube

Description: This project aims to address core issues of project sustainability relevant to EarthCube by examining similar projects which have demonstrated success by outlasting their initial funding and period of inception. This effort builds from our prior funding in which we invited a select group of four (4) individuals who have led successful projects. We will choose projects and people who are closely tied to the EarthCube community and thus who are likely to understand the issues it is facing.

During this part of the project we will evaluate the initial four webinars and identify gaps that can reasonably be filled by additional presentations (including from the initial group of leaders). We will then invite six additional people. The webinars will be summarized and form the basis of a NSF report and published paper, providing more approachable forms for the project results. The ultimate goal is to produce a lasting record of successful approaches to sustainability that are clearly relevant to EarthCube and its funded projects.

Team Lead: Basil Tikoff, University of Wisconsin – Madison

Council of Funded Projects

Developing EarthCube-related notebook-construction workshops/hackathons

Description: Recent EarthCube TAC priorities have included fostering the creation and dissemination of (mostly Jupyter) notebooks a) as citable, publishable artifacts of geo-/ data-science advances and b) as aids for learning about EarthCube (EC) tools, datasets and outcomes. We propose supporting EC projects by organizing EC-related notebook-construction virtual workshops/hackathons with the goal of 1) providing an educational opportunity to communities that can benefit from the use of EC tools ready to onboard users; 2) creating educational materials and workshop/hackathon templates that can be used in years to come to learn about best practices in software development and what EC tools have to offer, effectively showcasing how worthwhile the NSF investment in EarthCube is.

As part of this initiative, up to four EC projects (ready to onboard users) will be selected and supported to organize a virtual workshop/hackathon with focus on 1) educating the community on best coding practices, including the importance of artifacts (like notebooks) to ensure reproducibility of research projects following the FAIR (Findability, Accessibility, Interoperability, and Reusability) data principles, 2) creating and extending notebooks that leverage the tool each NSF EC project is developing to accelerate time to scientific discovery, and 3) improving materials projects are developing to onboard users and providing examples of the utility of EC tools.

Team Lead: Donata Giglio, University of Colorado-Boulder

Technology and Architecture Committee

Data Facilities Task Force to Identify Pathways for a Proposal to Define the Future of the CDF

Description: The Data Facilities Task Force will explore and envision elements for inclusion in a project proposal that can facilitate transition of the EarthCube Council of Data Facilities (CDF) from a platform for exchange of experience and discussion to a resilient, collaborative, and sustainable initiative that serves the data facilities. The task force, through listening and guided brainstorming sessions will identify a variety of common needs and opportunities for collaboration among data repositories. These activities will lead to developing recommendations for inclusion in a proposal to seek funding to deepen such collaborations and that can lead to the establishment of an initiative that supports the goals of a variety of data repositories that would include current CDF members as well as other data repositories. Recent discussions in the CDF have shown that ideal initiatives should include a variety of methodological approaches, synergistic scenarios, project outcomes, and potential impacts of a collaborative project that has the potential to redefine the CDF in a sustainable manner so that it can continue to meet the needs of the community of data facilities.

Directive for the Data Facilities Task Force Commence activities to organize thematically defined small group meetings.. Envision pathways for identifying the future of the EarthCube Council of Data Facilities (CDF). Explore and discuss various approaches that could be proposed to establish sustainable support for data facilities. Review approaches, elements, outcomes that have been used to successfully redefine community-based initiatives.Create an outline for the report that would describe recommendations. Share successful and unsuccessful approaches, elements, and outcomes with the EarthCube Sustainability Panel. Create a draft report of recommendations for oral presentation to the CDF for discussion. Provide the CDF Executive Committee with a report of its recommendations.

Team Leads: Kerstin Lehnert, IEDA (Integrated Earth Data Applications) and Steve Diggs, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UCSD

Council of Data Facilities

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