Earth and Environment Science Information Partners – an Australia-US collaboration in Earth and Environmental Sciences Informatics

Simon Cox1Lesley Wyborn2Erin Robinson3Siddeswara Guru4Adrian Burton5Jens Klump1, Tim Rawling6Miles Nicholls7, Jonathan YuŒ

1 CSIRO, 2 NCI, 3 ESIP, 4 TERN, 5 ANDS, 6 AuScope, 7ALA


Addressing research problems in Earth and Environmental science commonly requires combining data from multiple sources. This is facilitated by the use of common practices, and with clear crosswalks between standard systems. However, earth and environmental science information is collected and maintained through many initiatives, agencies and projects, following a variety of application or domain specific practices, structures and formats. In Australia, multiple federal and state agencies, NCRIS facilities, Cooperative Research Centres (CRCs) and other institutions are involved.

The Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP) has addressed the issue in USA over the last 20 years, by building a formal community of practice, through regular meetings, workshops, and forums to discuss emerging technologies. Education and training are a key aspect of ESIP’s contribution. ESIP has been supported by NASA, NOAA, USGS and various foundations and scholarly organizations. Conventions, practices and standards developed through ESIP have also been influential internationally.

This workshop aims to facilitate the development of a similar community of practice in Australia, and transfer some of the technical and social techniques and achievements of ESIP into the Australian context. The program builds on a symposium on Linking Environmental Data and Samples hosted by CSIRO in Canberra, May 2017, and following that will be highly interactive, composed primarily of a set of thematic breakouts in which presentations are designed primarily to initiate a facilitated discussion, collaboration, shared view on future development and to explore international linkages with equivalent projects in ESIP.

Workshop Date: Monday 28 May 2018


Keynote speakers:

  1. Erin Robinson, Executive Director, ESIP, US
  2. Dr Jane Wyngaard, Centre for Research Computing, University of Notre Dame

Workshop Program


Plenary 0900 – 0915

Welcome: Setting the scene – E2SIP concept – why collaboration is a good idea.

Simon Cox, Research Scientist, CSIRO


0915 – 0940

How to build a community – lessons from ESIPKeynote: Erin Robinson, Executive Director, ESIP, USA


0940 – 1005

Earth and Environmental Science Informatics in Australia – speed dates with AuScope, ALA, IMOS, TERN, NCI and ANDS/NeCTAR/RDS

Tim Rawling (AuScope), Hamish Holewa (ALA), Roger Proctor (IMOS), Siddeswara Guru (TERN), Ben Evans (NCI), Glenn Maloney (ANDS/NeCTAR, RDS)


1005 – 1030

Globally bridging activities on drones to access Earth & environmental science data

Keynote: Jane Wyngaard, University of Notre Dame, USA


 Morning Tea: 1030 – 1100
Breakout* Data science thread New science thread
1100 – 1230

Earth and environmental science vocabularies and vocabulary services

• Vocabulary Levels (Simon Cox, CSIRO)
• Vocabulary Services (John Graybeal, Stanford University)
• Tools (Jonathan Yu, CSIRO)
• Vocabulary Governance (Lewis McGibbney, NASA/JPL)


Enabling new science & new science methods using Big-data/analytical capabilities

• GSKY: enabling real time analytics using server-side computing (Ben Evans, NCI)
• Digital Earth Australia: a high performance data kitchen (Leo Lymburner, GA)
• What the Vietnam Data Cube enables: science, capability & common approaches (Matt Paget, CSIRO)


Lunch: 12.30 to 13.30
Breakout* 1330 – 1500

FAIR Publishing in the Earth and Environmental Sciences

• Developing an international coalition of trustworthy Earth and environmental data repositories (Erin Robinson, ESIP)
• Linking data and literature and tracking those links (Adrian Burton, ANDS/NeCTAR/RDS)
• Towards building a distributed network of scholarly works (Amit Aryani, ANDS)
• FAIR-ing up publications for Australian Earth & environmental research (Keith Russell, ANDS/NeCTAR/RDS)


Cloud platform for Cross Domain Science Capability

• Overview of Australia’s science cloud (Glenn Moloney, ANDS/NeCTAR/RDS)
• The AuScope Virtual Research Environment (Tim Rawling, AuScope)
• Cloud Computing to enhance management of Marine ecosystems – Marine Pest Data sharing (Steffan Howe, Parks Victoria)
• Open spatial Analytics (Sam Amirebrahimi, CRCSI)


Afternoon Tea: 15.00 to 15.30


1530 – 1700

FAIR data services and software in the Earth and environmental sciences

• Improving Findability/Accessibility of OGC/OPeNDAP services (Adrian Burton, ANDS/NeCTAR/RDS)
• CSIRO Data Services Brokering (Jonathan Yu, CSIRO) and the Data Services in the Eco Cloud (Siddeswara Guru, TERN)
• International initiatives in making Software FAIR (Mingfang Wu, ANDS/NeCTAR/RDS)
• OGC/W3C service description open standards (Simon Cox, CSIRO)


Unmanned Aircraft Systems

• Opportunities, challenges, and progress in managing the sUAS/RPAS data (Jane Wyngaard, Notre Dame, USA)
• Overview of new opportunities relating to the applications of UAV’s in Earth science research (Stephen Mickelthwaite, Monash University)
• An Overview of UAV User Requirements in Australia and New Zealand (Sam Amirebrahimi, CRC SI)
• CSIRO update (Jens Klump, CSIRO)



1700 – 1800

Closing Session – Social architecture and community engagement models: how will ESIP Downunder Work?

Erin Robinson, Executive Director, ESIP, USA


* each of the breakout sessions will have a series of short presentations followed by discussion aimed to establish potential linkages and collaborations and a report back to the closing session.


AeRO is the industry association focused on eResearch in Australasia. We play a critical coordination role for our members, who are actively transforming research via Information Technology. Organisations join AeRO to advance their own capabilities and services, to collaborate and to network with peers. AeRO believes researchers and the sector significantly benefit from greater communication, coordination and sharing among the increasingly different and evolving service providers.

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