Sunday, June 24, 2012

Our vision for EarthCube

 AZGS is leading the effort to create a comprehensive plan for building and deploying a national cyberinfrastructure.  [Right, AZGS-led governance team at the NSF charrette earlier this month.   Research Assistant Genevieve Pearthree in the foreground with her back to the camera.  Credit, KnowInnovation and NSF]

"EarthCube is a collaborative endeavor between NSF and the community of geoscientists and cyberscientists" as a prototype for implementing it across all the sciences and IT fields as a component of the NSF's Cyberinfrastructure for the 21st Century (CIF21) and the White House "Big Data" and Digital Government initiatives.

"The goal of EarthCube is to transform the conduct of research by supporting the development of community-guided cyberinfrastructure to integrate data  and information for knowledge management across the Geosciences" according to Tim Killeen and Alan Blateky at NSF.

AZGS is the prime contractor on an NSF grant as the head of the Governance Roadmap Work Group to develop a governance plan for management and organization of EarthCube.

AZGS was selected by an ad hoc coalition representing 60+ national organizations to serve in this role.     We had 3 months from the launch by NSF to write the funding proposal, get it approved, hold a series of virtual community workshops, and use that input to prepare a comprehensive roadmap to deliver at a national workshop outside Washington DC on June 12.   We were successful.

There were about 10 roadmaps being developed in parallel, the rest are all technically oriented.   Our 218-page report is posted online at

We envision an evolutionary process that accommodates any of seven different governance models to carry out any single function of EarthCube depending on what is most appropriate, and a system of systems model for interaction among the components.    We based this by examining governance of all other national and global IT and infrastructure development such as the electric grid, the internet, transportation networks, etc. 

The next step is to implement the roadmap in cooperation with NSF and support of the geoscience community so that an operational governance structure is in place by year end.  We have a target of Aug 15 to give NSF specific recommendations on how to set up the management and organizational structure and get it in place quickly, since so many of the other components of cyberinfrastructure are dependent on the governance.

1 comment:

  1. Dang. Too bad you guys aren't in charge of the national budget, etc. If you were, things might actually work.