ESIP Update: ESIP Executive Director Job Opportunity, Risk Assessment for Scientific Data, and more

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ESIP UPDATE: 03.23.2020

Good morning, ESIP – 
I hope all of you are dealing with the unprecedented disruptions we are experiencing with the COVID-19 crisis safely. As a virtual organization, ESIP members have a lot of practice in distributed collaboration, which I hope we can utilize in the coming days and weeks.
I have been involved in ESIP for many years and became President of ESIP this past January with great anticipation of helping ESIP extend its mission of “making data matter” into new communities for which Earth science data is essential for sound decision making.
As announced in our FY19 Annual Report and at the 2020 Winter Meeting, Erin Robinson will be stepping down as Executive Director at the end of her 2nd term in October 2020 after 10 years as ESIP staff and over 15 years as part of the ESIP community. Hiring the Executive Director is ultimately the responsibility of the ESIP Board. I was on the ESIP Board and part of the Search Committee that hired Erin in 2014, so I am ready as ESIP’s President this year to lead ESIP through this next transition.
Starting with this update, I will utilize quarterly Monday Update letters to provide regular transition updates to keep the broader ESIP community informed. In January, the Board formed the Executive Director Search Committee, chaired by Rebecca Koskela, ESIP Treasurer and Board Member, Mark Parsons and Lesley Wyborn, ESIP Board Members, Tracey Pilone, Element 84, at-large member and Yuhan Rao, early career member. In addition, to effectively support the Executive Director search process, the Board has engaged the executive search firm, Higher Talent Executive Search. The Search Committee has developed a job prospectus and I am excited to announce that they are actively accepting applications for the Executive Director position:
Thank you for your contributions to ESIP. I look forward working together over the rest of this year. If you have ideas, questions or concerns, please reply to this note or email me directly at at any time.
Tamara Ledley, ESIP President


This Week's Collaboration Area Telecons:

  • Monday: Cloud Computing; Documentation; Partnership
  • Tuesday: Information Quality; Semantic Tech
  • Wednesday: Community Resilience
  • Thursday: Marine Data;; Air Quality

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

Call for Sessions NOW OPEN: Learn more at


A Message to Our Community About COVID-19
We would like to acknowledge the uncertainty and disruption going on across the country and across the world as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. In moments of crisis, people and communities are our greatest assets. As a virtual organization, ESIP is skilled at supporting our distributed community remotely and we are happy to be a resource and offer up the ESIP platform as you navigate increased remote participation and try to turn in-person activities into virtual ones. Read the full post.

Risk Assessment for Scientific Data
A paper entitled “Risk Assessment for Scientific Data,” led by Matt Mayernik and a team of ESIP participants in the Data Stewardship Committee has just been published. It “presents an analysis of data risk factors that scientific data collections may face, and a data risk assessment matrix to support data risk assessments to help ameliorate those risks.” The authors wish to thank all those who have participated in various ESIP in-person and virtual meeting sessions that have contributed to the final product. Read the full text here.

Machine Learning Cluster Newsletter
ESIP's Machine Learning Cluster (led by chair Anne Wilson and Community Fellow Yuhan Rao) has released their second quarterly cluster newsletter, discussing recent Machine Learning activities in and around ESIP. Take a look here.

2020 ESIP Summer Meeting: Call for Sessions OPEN NOW through 4/17
The session proposal portal for the 2020 ESIP Summer Meeting (July 14th-17th, 2020 in Burlington, Vermont) is open now through 4/17. For over 20 years, ESIP meetings have brought together the most innovative thinkers and leaders around Earth observation data, thus forming a community dedicated to making Earth observations more discoverable, accessible and useful to researchers, practitioners, policy makers, and the public. For this meeting, we especially welcome session proposals related to ESIP's 2020 theme: Putting Data to Work: Building Public-Private Partnerships to Increase Resilience & Enhance the Socioeconomic Value of Data. Sessions that discuss technical examples of how data can be put to work to address science use cases are strongly encouraged. Sessions are generally 1.5 hour blocks and can follow a number of different formats. Learn more and submit a proposal by 4/17 here. Questions? Send them to

More News

Research Data Alliance (RDA) Virtual Plenary 15 Continues through 4/10
With the recent cancellation of RDA Plenary 15 in Melbourne, Australia, the local organizing committee, RDA Technical Advisory Board and RDA Secretariat announced RDA Virtual Plenary 15 (VP 15), which began on 18 March and will continue through 10 April 2020. VP 15 will offer remote access to many of the sessions that were planned to take place in Melbourne. Learn more and view the schedule here.

The programme for VP 15CODATA Webinar on Smart and Resilient Cities (3/31 at 11:00 UTC/7:00 am ET)
The horrific bushfires experienced recently in Australia have laid bare both ecological and urban vulnerabilities. The impact on Australia’s unique flora and fauna is profound. For the communities affected by these fires, the long road to recovery is physical, economic and emotional. While metropolitan Sydney was spared from the most cataclysmic of the firestorms, the fallout of smoke, haze, and ash shrouded the city and surrounding communities for weeks on end, leading to this region having some of the worst air quality on the planet during that period. And as the summer heat persisted, water catchments already strained by years of drought were stretched further by the fire crisis and communities found themselves facing severe water restrictions. In the aftermath of the fires, drought and economic impact, the resilience of both the community and the land is already apparent. But there is no denying that the impacts of these ecological disasters of recent times have accelerated calls for fresh thinking about ways to prepare for and stave off similar crises in the future. Calls for community co-design initiatives and sustainable practices have also gained greater traction as Sydney-siders used to blue skies and cool ocean breezes during the balmy summer months, unexpectedly found themselves on the front line of a climate crisis. Has this most recent disaster introduced greater urgency for active community engagement in urban planning? Is there a greater climate of readiness to deliberately and collectively pursue sustainable development goals? Learn more and register to attend the webinar 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” (5/11-5/15 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 register by 4/6 here.

Arctic Data Center Data Science Training
The Arctic Data Center will host a 5-day data science training workshop October 19 – 23, 2020 at NCEAS in Santa Barbara, California. This 5-day workshop will provide researchers with an overview of data management practices, data science tools, and concrete steps and methods for more easily documenting and uploading their data to the Arctic Data Center. Both early career and established researchers from the Arctic research community are encouraged to apply. Participants will be selected on the basis of their current research or work activities; their previous experience with open science practices, data management techniques, and analysis methods; and their current or former opportunities to access training in these areas. We will prioritize applications from individuals currently funded through the NSF Polar Programs. Participants will receive support to cover the cost of airfare and accommodations for the duration of the course. See more info and apply by 4/24 here. For questions, contact

2020 Gateway Focus Week Applications are Now Open!
The Science Gateways Community Institute offers two Focus Weeks per year. The 2020 sessions are: 

  • June 1-5, Columbia University, New York, NY (apply by March 27)
  • Nov. 30-Dec. 4, San Diego Supercomputer Center, La Jolla, CA (apply by Sept. 25)

Gateway Focus Week is a five-day intensive workshop that has been carefully designed to benefit teams who want to ensure the sustainability of their gateway projects. Teams engage in hands-on activities that help them articulate the value of their work to key stakeholders. Participating teams produce a strong development, operations, and sustainability plan with a corresponding pitch deck that includes actionable goals. By working closely across teams, participants have the opportunity to learn from each other’s experiences and challenges. Teams also learn how to access consultations, engagement opportunities, and other resources from the SGCI. Apply now!

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





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