ESIP Update: ESIP Leadership Opportunities, Call for Award Nominations, and more

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ESIP UPDATE: 08.31.2020


We are at the time of year when we begin accepting nominations for ESIP leadership positions. The ESIP Nominating Committee is beginning the process of preparing for our next leadership elections for the 2021 year. I ask all of you to think about the value you place on the ESIP community and where you can give more of your time and talent to make this the best community for Earth science data professionals and user community. A diverse board is a strong board. This includes racial and gender diversity, technical specialty diversity, age and geographic diversity and seniority. 

There are many different positions that you can be nominated for – see between now and October 31, 2020. Send nominations (self-nomination is encouraged) to Multiple nominees for each position are welcome and encouraged. We want to grow the ranks of our leaders and encourage the leadership-curious among you!

If you have questions about where your skills would be best used or want to learn more about various positions please reach out to me (, Erin, Susan, or Karl Benedict (Nominating Committee Chair). In these crazy times I can promise you this: the more you give, the more you will get in return. If you are missing connections with your peers, ESIP leadership is the place for you! 

ESIP also strives to recognize exceptional work done by our individual participants and partner organizations. In January 2021, we will share these awards during the Peer Recognition Ceremony at the ESIP Winter Meeting. Two important opportunities for which nominations are due by 10/31 are:

Martha Maiden Award – A lifetime achievement award to recognize outstanding service by an individual to the Earth science information community.

Partner of the Year – An award for a partner organization that has exemplified the spirit of ESIP in one or more ways. Winners receive two free registrations to the next meeting! 

Tamara Ledley, ESIP President

This Week's Collaboration Area Telecons:

  • Monday: Meetings Committee
  • Tuesday: Ag & Climate; Envirosensing; Community Ontology Repository
  • Wednesday: Information Management Code Registry
  • Thursday: Disasters

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


Call for Nominations for the 2020 Partner of the Year Award
The ESIP Partner of the Year Award honors an ESIP Partner Organization that exemplifies the spirit of ESIP in one or more areas, through the sharing of a success story. This year, we are looking for partner organizations that have supported the 2020 ESIP theme of Putting Data to Work: Building Public-Private Partnerships to Increase Resilience and Enhance the Socioeconomic Value of Data. We are looking for ESIP partners who have:

  • Been involved in an activity or interacted with ESIP in a manner that has improved the use and value of Earth science data and information, or
  • Helped the Earth science community put data to work, using and reusing data in new and creative applications, creating derived products and showcasing examples of data integration in order to enhance the resilience and enhance the socioeconomic value of data, or
  • Formed or strengthened a public-private partnership that supports the goals above.

This award will be given annually at the Winter Meeting. The partner organization will receive a plaque and two free ESIP meeting registrations for an upcoming meeting. Learn more and nominate an organization here by 10/31.

Please Share: Call for 2021 ESIP Community Fellow Applicants
ESIP Community Fellows are graduate students and post-docs (<2 yrs since graduation) interested in bridging the gap between informatics and Earth Science. This fellowship provides fellows with a chance to work closely with professionals in an interdisciplinary, cross-sector group (ESIP collaboration area) on current Earth Science problems. Community fellows become engaged in ESIP collaboration areas as rapporteurs, documenting group activities on monthly telecons and at ESIP’s semi-annual meetings. As fellows become more familiar with collaboration-area activities, they may choose to integrate their own research, which can result in publication and additional funding opportunities. Fellows receive a stipend of $2000 and paid participation in the 2020 ESIP Winter and Summer Meetings. Fellows must be able to attend both meetings to participate in the fellowship. You can learn about the 2020 Class of Community Fellows here. Learn more about the opportunity and apply by 10/9 here

2021 Martha Maiden Award: Call for Nominations
In honor of Martha E. Maiden’s leadership, dedication and tireless efforts to nurture ESIP into a vibrant and mature organization, the Martha Maiden Lifetime Achievement Award for Service to the Earth Science Information Community award was established in 2009 to recognize outstanding service to the Earth science information community. This award honors individuals who have demonstrated leadership, dedication and a collaborative spirit in advancing the field of Earth Science information.

This award is named for Martha E. Maiden, NASA Program Executive for Earth Data Systems. Ms. Maiden is widely credited for nurturing the ESIP Federation in its infancy and has overseen its growth and maturity. This award is presented annually at the January meeting. Learn more and nominate an individual here by 10/31.

Envirosensing Cluster Guest Presentation: Prototyping an Innovative Plot-scale Precision Soil Water Balance Lysimeter (9/1 at 5 pm ET)
Join the Envirosensing Cluster telecon tomorrow to hear from guest presenter Brad Lyles, Research Hydrologist at the Desert Research Institute, as he and the rest of the cluster discuss complex sensor design, unsaturated soil zones, soil water flux, and much more. Find connection info here.

Ag & Climate Cluster & the Sustainable Development Goals (Next Telecon: 9/1 at 3 pm ET)
Join the Ag & Climate Cluster telecon tomorrow to participate in an important discussion about how to relate their ideas in future and existing concept maps to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and targets using knowledge graphs that are partially machine-readable. You may want to take a look at this article prior to joining. Find connection info here.

Biological Data Standards Cluster Kickoff Telecon (9/23 at 1 pm ET)
Following on the heels of the Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS) – ESIP Biological Data Standards Workshop in July, the Biological Data Standards Cluster has been initiated, chaired by Abby Benson (USGS). The group will have it's first telecon on 9/23 at 1 pm ET and welcomes your participation. Below is a description of the cluster including goals. Join the cluster mailing list to get updates on progress.

Biological sciences intersect with the Earth sciences in understanding processes that cross domains and provide a robust picture of our dynamic and changing planet. Biological data are heterogeneous and uniquely organized on a per project basis. As noted by an attendee of the IOOS-ESIP Biological Data Standards Workshop “The diversity of biological data, and (seeming) lack of overarching community standards makes working with biological data challenging.” Several standards do exist for biological data, however these different data, metadata, and taxonomic standards are confusing for data managers and data users to navigate. The biological data community in the US could benefit from guidance, best practice documentation, training, and community building. Ultimately, the goal is to maximize data relevance and utility for understanding changes in biodiversity over time. The Biological Data Standards Cluster will coordinate and, where possible, use outputs from existing clusters such as the Marine Data Cluster and the Cluster. The Biological Data Standards Cluster will also engage with the Biodiversity Information Standards (aka TDWG) community to ensure approaches adopted by the US community align with those of the global community and to foster increased interaction between the two communities.

More News

Webinar: Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning for Environmental Research and Applications (9/3 at 12 pm ET)
The American Meteorological Society (AMS) Committee on Open Environmental Information Services and the Committee on Artificial Intelligence Applications for Environmental Science will host this webinar, which will explore specific use cases for leveraging AI/ML technologies for weather and climate research and applications. The speakers will also discuss challenges related to information services that feed these use cases. Learn more and register here. This webinar will feature:

  • Amy McGovern, Presidential Professor at Univ. of Oklahoma
  • Marie Colton, Founder at Hydros, LLC
  • Sid-Ahmed Boukabara, Principal Scientist at NOAA Center for Satellite Applications and Research

OGC Considering Zarr as Community Standard: Seeks Public Comment by 9/11
The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) is considering the Zarr v2 Storage Specification for adoption as an official OGC Community Standard. A new Work Item justification to begin the Community Standard endorsement process is available for public comment. Zarr is an open-source specification for the storage of multi-dimensional arrays of data (also known as N-dimensional arrays, ND-arrays, or tensors). Such arrays are ubiquitous in scientific research and engineering. Zarr stores metadata using .json text files and array data as (optionally) compressed binary chunks. Zarr can store data into most storage systems, including databases, standard ‘directory based’ file systems, and cloud object stores, such as Amazon S3. This flexibility allows implementations to experiment with novel storage technologies while maintaining a uniform API for downstream libraries and users.

Because it can represent very large array datasets in a simple, scalable way, and is compatible with cloud object storage, Zarr is an ideal format for analysis-ready geospatial data in the cloud. Indeed, Zarr has already been adopted by several OGC communities as a format for cloud-optimized, analysis-ready geospatial data. The proposed Zarr community standard work item justification is available for review and comment on the OGC Portal. Comments are due by 11th September, 2020, and should be submitted via the method outlined on the Zarr community standard work item justification’s public comment request page.

Webinar Series: Serving Society with Space Data
Co-hosted by the Space Enabled Research Group (MIT Media Lab) and the Secure World Foundation, this virtual series engages a multi-sector audience in discussions on how space technologies and geospatial applications contribute to better outcomes in critical fields around the world, such as energy, food security, poverty, and governance. Held twice a month, the events bring together stakeholders working in companies, nonprofits, academia, and government to highlight initiatives taken to progress toward the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) using a truly transformative multi-stakeholder approach. The series highlights real-world case studies as well as opportunities and challenges for expanding the use of satellite data in efforts to achieve the SDGs.  This series seeks to look at ongoing work by a variety of actors, with a special focus on development and humanitarian projects. Learn more here. Upcoming webinars include:

  • 9/2  (10:00-11:30am ET) ALL SDGs: Monitoring and Evaluation

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

LTER Network Synthesis Working Group Proposals
With 28 active research programs going back 40 years and more, the Long Term Ecological Research Network (LTER) has generated a rich trove of data (including over 7000 publicly available long term datasets housed at the Environmental Data Initiative (EDI). To encourage reuse, synthesis, and integration of these data, the LTER Network Office is funding 2-4 new synthesis working groups for up to 2 years and up to $55K/year.  Proposals emphasizing LTER's core thematic areas are encouraged, as are novel applications of LTER data. Proposal PIs do not need to be current LTER investigators, but synthesis teams should involve some LTER researchers and must draw on data from at least 2 LTER sites. Proposal deadline is October 14, 2020, with decisions in early January 2021. Full details at

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

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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