E2SIP – an Australian community of practice in earth and environmental science informatics

Dr Simon Cox1, Dr Erin Robinson2

1Csiro Land And Water, Clayton South, Australia,

2Earth Science Information Partners, Boulder, USA


A critical part of effective Earth science data and information system interoperability involves collaboration across geographically and temporally distributed communities. The Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP) is a broad-based, distributed community of science, data and information technology practitioners from across science domains, economic sectors and the data lifecycle primarily based in the United States. Over the last twenty years, ESIP’s open, participatory structure has provided a melting pot for coordinating around common areas of interest like data citation, experimenting on innovative ideas and capturing and finding best practices and lessons learned from across the network.

Building on this experience, a number of research groups have initiated an Australian offshoot or sibling, known as E2SIP, being kicked off at a workshop at this conference. The workshop is structured as a mixture of presentations, panels, discussions and tutorials on data science, and new earth and environmental science enabled by data, covering topics from drones, through cloud services and service discovery to vocabularies. The leadership of E2SIP is currently primarily from key NCRIS facilities and commonwealth agencies. Moving forward, we hope E2SIP can provide a broad community of practice for informaticians in the earth and environmental sciences, with regular face-to-face events in conjunction with the key Australian informatics conferences, together with other forums and technical resources.


Simon has been researching standards for publication and transfer of earth and environmental science data since the emergence of the world wide web. Starting in geophysics and mineral exploration, he has engaged with most areas of environmental science, including water resources, marine data, meteorology, soil, ecology and biodiversity. He is principal- or co-author of a number of international standards, including Geography Markup Language, and Observations & Measurements, that have been broadly adopted in Australia and Internationally. The value of these is in enabling data from multiple origins and disciplines to be combined more effectively, which is essential in tackling most contemporary problems in science and society. His current work focuses on aligning science information with the semantic web technologies and linked open data principles, and the formalization, publication and maintenance of controlled vocabularies and similar reference data.


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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