ESIP Update: A note from Erin on why she's leaving & what's next, EarthCube Scholarships for ESIP Meeting Registration & Putting Data to Work Webinar

ESIP is thriving and change is good. Erin shares a bit more about why she's leaving & what's next. 

Preview: 3 Weeks to go to Summer Meeting, Putting Data to Work Webinar, and more View this email in your browser

ESIP UPDATE: 06.22.2020

Dear ESIP, 

This past week ESIP participated in the 1-day EarthCube Annual Meeting. It was great. They kept things simple with three sessions: (1) Plenary update, (2) Notebook panel moderated by Dan Katz, University of Illinois and (3) a Poster panel moderated by Bonnie Hurwitz, University of Arizona. In addition to the live content, we created a video looking back on our Data Help Desk work over the last year. 

A key component of ESIP's engagement with the EarthCube office is to build bridges between ESIP & EarthCube. One way we are doing that is through ESIP Meeting registration scholarships to EarthCube members. Not yet an EarthCube member? Join the EarthCube newsletter/member list here. We will start reviewing applications on 6/30 and keep open with rolling acceptance until ESIP reg closes. 

Professional personal note from me: As you all know and was announced at the January Meeting and in my letter in the FY2019 Annual Report, I will be leaving ESIP at the end of our fiscal year on September 30, 2020. I have been receiving two questions regularly and wanted to share answers here with you.

1. Why are you leaving ESIP? 
I am at the end of my second 3-year contract as ESIP's Executive Director (ED) and before that I served four years as ESIP's Information and Virtual Community Director. When I signed the second ED contract in October 2017, I had done some reflection and felt that it would likely be my last term. There is no drama here. ESIP needs new skills & energy from its leader and I need to explore what is out there beyond ESIP.  

At the start of that contract in October 2017, I let the 2017 Board know it would be my last contract. Collectively, the Board, the staff and I have prepared for this transition over the last three years and I am so grateful for the support of all Board members who have served from 2017-present and the ESIP staff. We are dedicated to a smooth and productive transition.   

ESIP is in great shape. I set several goals for this three-year contract: 
(1) Continuing to professionalize ESIP as a 501(c)3 nonprofit, including building a reserve fund to ensure ESIP's long-term sustainability
(2) Expanding our funding from NASA, NOAA & USGS and 
(3) Developing the ESIP team to support the ESIP community, including developing the ESIP Lab with Annie Burgess and bringing on a great Community Director, Megan Carter. 

I met these goals. The fact that I made this decision to leave three years ago has allowed me to lead boldly because the clock has been ticking. I have championed data management professionals by building the partnership with AGU, expanded international participation with the founding of the Earth and Environmental Science Information Partners (E2SIP) in Australia and most recently, I led our pivot in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic to virtual conferences and I am so excited for you all to participate in the ESIP Summer Virtual Meeting and see those results. 

2. What are you going to do next?
You may not know that I have worked with ESIP since I was in graduate school, starting in July 2007. When I signed the 2nd contract, I knew I wanted to explore new adventures. I don't know what's next. I am not actively searching and I am keeping options open right now. I do know that I would like to champion Open Science, in the Earth science community and beyond, and continue to build communities and mentor community leaders. I am sad I won't see you all at the meeting this Summer, but I hope to continue to cross-paths with many of you. I am planning to take some time off starting in October, as a sabbatical and I will be available to the new Executive Director, as needed, to ensure a smooth transition.    

So long story, short – ESIP, organizationally, and I, personally, are both in great shape. There is no drama, it was just time for change. I love the ESIP team and community and am excited to see how ESIP and I thrive in our next chapters. You are part of that next chapter for ESIP. ESIP is everyone who contributes, as session convener, Community Fellow, Lab incubator project PI, cluster call attendee, FUNding Friday idea generator, meeting attendee or ESIP newsletter lurker. You make data matter and you make ESIP a powerful and productive community. 

I expect you all to keep doing great things!  

Next week, Tamara Ledley, ESIP President, will give a status report on the Executive Director search in the Monday Update.  

Finally, thank you all for supporting me over so much of my professional life. I am who I am because of the ESIP community. 

Erin Robinson
ESIP Executive Director 


This Week's Collaboration Area Telecons:

  • Monday: Cloud Computing; Meetings Committee; Documentation
  • Tuesday: Information Quality; Semantic Tech
  • Wednesday: Putting Data to Work Webinar; Community Resilience
  • Thursday: Marine Data;; Air Quality
  • Starting Tuesday, June 23 – Friday, July 10 Everyday: ESIP Meeting Virtual Office Hours (Session organizer support)

See the full telecon calendar here. Select the meeting you'd like to attend, login instructions are included in description.

Register NOW for the ESIP Summer Meeting (now 3 weeks away)!


Register NOW for the ESIP Summer Meeting (July 14th-24th, ONLINE)
The ESIP Summer Meeting is now just 3 weeks away! Have you seen the agenda at

  • 50+ Community-Contributed Breakout Sessions: jump in to learn and collaborate with others on numerous topics.
  • 6 Plenary Sessions, including Australia-friendly timeslots: check out some of our featured speakers here.
  • FUNding Friday: take part in this fast-paced mini-grant competition.
  • Research Showcase: share your work through brief recordings & live Q&A [spaces limited!]
  • …and more!

You can find the link to register and more info about the event here.

A note from Erin on what does registration cover in a virtual conference (if there aren't snacks)?
We know that ESIP meetings key value is in networking and professional development, so we are working to reimagine that in the virtual space using a platform called QiQoChat. As ESIP transitions to virtual conferences we are charging a registration rate because ESIP meetings support some of our operational costs in our annual budget. The registration rate was based on $25/hr of plenary content with over 9 hours of planned plenary and $35 for use of the QiQoChat platform. Registration to the meeting includes FUNding Friday eligibility and networking events associated with the live event. The meeting sessions will be recorded and immediately available to registrants and freely available to the entire ESIP community after the event ends.

Putting Data to Work Webinar – Usability: How Usability Techniques Can Support Your Scientific Communities (June 24th at 2 pm ET/ 11 am PT)
Presented by: Sophie Hou (Data & Usability Analyst, Apogee Engineering – Contractor to the USGS)

At the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), it is critical that our scientific research and products are provided in a useful way to our communities. The USGS Community for Data Integration (CDI) Usability Collaboration Area focuses on bringing the USGS community together to 1) discuss usability challenges when serving scientific data, and 2) identify strategies that can help improve data’s usability from an end-user perspective. As the current lead for the USGS CDI Usability Collaboration Area, Sophie will provide an overview of how the Usability Collaboration Area is providing usability resources to the USGS community. Sophie will also discuss a few use cases for how she is applying the usability resources to USGS projects. Finally, as a former co-chair of ESIP’s Usability Cluster, Sophie will share her lessons learned for how to collaborate with our communities to optimize the usability of our scientific data.
Find Connection Info and Learn More about ESIP's 2020 Putting Data to Work Webinar Series:

ESIP Lab Spring Request for Proposals OPEN Now (Due 7/1)
The ESIP Lab supports the Earth science community in building innovative, applied technologies through funding and community input. Through this Request for Proposals (RFP), the ESIP Lab seeks projects that lie in the realm of good ideas ready to be tried out. Projects should last 6 – 8 months, with a maximum budget of $10,000. Proposals that address the following needs in the Earth science community will be given priority:

  • Modernization of Earth science workflows using community-recommended best practices — the use of open-source software and cloud computing are encouraged.
  • Cloud computing use cases for Earth science — creation of well-documented notebooks showing how to collect, distribute, or analyze Earth science data in the cloud.
  • Extension of open source software critical to collecting, distributing, fusing, or analyzing Earth science data.
  • Comparison or assessment of Machine Learning or Deep Learning techniques with controlled datasets and/or using well-defined benchmarks.
  • Linked open data techniques and methods, particularly harmonization of disparate information about the same identified objects and entities.

Although this RFP will give priority to proposals addressing the bulleted topics above, other high-quality proposals will also be given consideration. Read the full RFP here.

More News

ESIP Summer Meeting Scholarships Offered Through EarthCube
EarthCube is excited to announce that scholarship applications are now being accepted for the 2020 ESIP Summer Meeting (, which will kickoff virtually on July 14th. EarthCube is committed to creating sustainable community connections. ESIP clusters represent a great way to sustain long-term connections in the geosciences. We also encourage EarthCube members to learn more about ESIP and to consider proposing sessions at future ESIP meetings as a path for outreach and engagement for EarthCube projects and products. Scholarships are open to EarthCube members. Priority with be given to students/Early Career and to those who have never attended an ESIP meeting. Learn more and apply now!

Help AGI Understand COVID-19 Impacts on Geoscience Workplace & Instructional Environments
The American Geosciences Institute (AGI) is conducting a year-long study to understand the impacts on geoscientists, employers and educational institutions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and to discover which of these changes will become permanent. Over the next 52 weeks, survey participants will be emailed a brief online status survey twice a month. The survey will only take a few minutes to complete. For more information about the survey, visit

SGCI Science Ambassadors Program
Are you interested in a) sharing with others how the use of a gateway has changed your work; b)Training others on the use of your gateway of choice; or c) Presenting your experience of using a gateway for education? COVID-19 is changing the ways we communicate about our science. Given that current outreach to communities is being done virtually or via publications, the Science Gateways Community Institute (SGCI) has redesigned the Science Ambassadors Program to provide funding of up to $1000 per year to scientists who have an appointment or affiliation with a US university. These funds can be used for virtual meeting registration costs, publication costs, and more. Learn more about this opportunity and apply on a rolling basis at the end of each month (starting 6/30) at

Essay Competition: Open Data Challenges to Address Global and Societal Issues
CODATA Connect Early Career and Alumni Network in collaboration with the CODATA Data Science Journal (DSJ) is organizing an Essay Competition for Early Career Researchers (ECR) on Open Data Challenges to Address Global and Societal Issues now through 6/30. Learn more here. Potential topics may include:

  • Participants interested in disseminating information on research data in the sciences, humanities and the arts using essays as the medium are welcome to apply.
  • Topics might include but not limited to human health, climate change, resilience, etc. 
  • Essays which discuss the necessary limits in openness are also in scope and are welcome (e.g. personal health information, indigenous sovereignty etc.)
  • Essays that discuss the challenges in making data as open as possible and how such data can be used to address global and societal issues (Crime, Disease, Governance, etc.)
  • Essays might discuss challenges at any point in the data lifecycle and in relation to any of a number of global and societal challenges.  
  • We discourage essays that simply present well known and generic arguments in favor of open data.   
  • Essays are encouraged to use local or specific examples for the benefits of open data and to discuss how challenges can be overcome in both specific circumstances and more globally.  

Earth Lab Professional Certificate in Earth Data Analytics
If you're looking to gain skills in earth data science and scientific programming, consider the Earth Data Analytics – Foundations professional certificate at the University of Colorado, Boulder. This 9 credit program can be completed entirely online or in person over a ten month period from August through June. Applications are currently being accepted for Fall 2020 (priority application deadline is 7/13). The certificate consists of three sequential courses. It provides you with the fundamental skills required to work in the rapidly growing field of earth data science. Graduates will be prepared to launch or advance careers as data scientists, data analysts, GIS/geospatial analysts, remote sensing scientists, or product managers, among other careers. The certificate is appropriate for recent graduates, experienced earth science professionals, and career changers. You can find the entirety of the content covered in the first two courses of the certificate on This content is completely free and available for you to work through on your own time. For more information, please visit this website.

Gateways 2020 Call for Participation
Call for Participation: Gateways 2020 (October 19–21, Bethesda, Maryland) is now accepting submissions of short papers, demos, panels, tutorials, and workshops on the topic of gateways for science, engineering, or other disciplines. Popular topics include: gateway design, use, impact, development processes, sustainability, or best practices, educational topics (tutorials, demos) directed toward the next generation of gateway creators as well as gateways used for education; Any other aspect interesting to fellow gateway creators or users, such as emerging capabilities, approaches or technologies; and Learning Labs (impromptu group discussions and gatherings) will also be welcoming early submissions as well as on-site proposed topics. See more details, including submission deadlines here.

NCEAS Training on Reproducible Research Techniques for Synthesis
Registration is open for a new intensive, five-day immersion course “Reproducible Research Techniques for Synthesis” (8/17-8/21 in Santa Barbara, CA). The course, which will happen quarterly, will enable environmental researchers across career stages and sectors to gain fundamental data science skills in support of open, reproducible research techniques. Major course foci will include managing data to enable better reuse, building reproducible workflows using R and git, and communicating results within the framework of synthesis science. This is an opportunity for students, researchers, data managers, and others to reinforce or expand their learning and become familiar with current best practices and tools in data science and open science. These skills will enable you to maximize your productivity, share your data effectively, and accelerate the scientific community’s ability to work together on solving important questions about the natural environment and our interactions with it. Learn more and apply by 7/20 here.

Questions/comments? Reply directly to this note or click the button below to email us at

ESIP is funded with support from NASA, NOAA, and the USGS. 





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