ESIP Update: Virtual Data Help Desk is Open, Welcome New Partners, and more

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ESIP UPDATE: 05.04.2020

Good morning, ESIP,

Today is the first day of the Virtual #DataHelpDesk during EGU2020: Sharing Geoscience Online. We are addressing data-related questions and pointing to demos of tools and resources throughout the week on Twitter. Thanks to those who have volunteered as data experts! We welcome others to jump in and add their perspectives as well! You can follow the action here and learn more about the event in this EGU Blog. The Virtual Data Help Desk is being held in partnership with EGU, AGU, and EarthCube. 

Speaking of partnerships, we would like to give a warm welcome to ESIP's 3 new partner organizations approved by the ESIP Board in late April. Each of these groups has already contributed to ESIP, so we are excited to formalize these partnerships:

As you may know, in collaboration with his family, ESIP remembers Rob Raskin and his dedication to support the next generation of Earth science data and technology leaders each year through the Robert G. Raskin Scholarship. Jackie Guz, a PhD candidate in the Graduate School of Geography at Clark University, has been selected as the 2020 Raskin Scholar. Jackie's research focuses on developing predictive models to understand how climate change will impact at-risk communities under future climate conditions. She also has a long record of community outreach and service that exemplifies values that are important to ESIP. You can read more about Jackie here and also hear more about her research at the upcoming ESIP Summer Meeting. Please join us in congratulating, Jackie!

Looking for some great reads this week? The ESIP Figshare Portal has seen a few recent contributions, including a presentation given in last week's Air Quality Cluster telecon from Chaowei Phil Yang entitled, “Taking the Pulse of COVID-19: A Rapid Spatiotemporal Response.”

Hope to see you online this week,
Megan Carter Orlando
Community Director


This Week's Collaboration Area Telecons:

  • Monday:
  • Tuesday: Ag & Climate; Envirosensing, COR
  • Wednesday: Information Management Code Registry
  • Thursday: Disaster Lifecycle
  • Friday: Sustainable Data Management

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


Envirosensing Cluster Tech Teasers (Tuesday May 5th at 5 pm ET)
The ESIP Envirosensing Cluster invites you to join them for their monthly telecon tomorrow, Tuesday May 5th at 5 pm ET, for a series of “Tech Teasers,” which will highlight some new and interesting projects that cluster participants are working on including:

  • Martha Apple, Montana Tech: ESIP Lab Project Update “Sensors & Microclimate in Snowy Alpine Environments”
  • Andrew Rettig, University of Dayton: IoT Workflows
  • Scotty Strachan, University of Nevada Reno: Adding long-distance telemetry to a remote station

Please join the telecon if you are interested. You can find connection details at

Next Putting Data to Work Webinar: CUAHSI HydroShare (Thursday 5/14 at 3:00 pm ET)
The IT&I Committee will host ESIP's next Putting Data to Work Webinar, which will feature HydroShare, a platform for sharing hydrologic resources (data, models, model instances, geographic coverages, etc.), enabling the scientific community to more easily and freely share products, including the data, models, and workflow scripts used to create scientific publications. HydroShare also includes a variety of social functions, such as resource sharing within a specified group, publication with a DOI, and support for integrating external applications to view and use resources without downloading them. The presentation will provide an overview of HydroShare, details of CUAHSI Compute resources which can be accessed through HydroShare or in a standalone mode, and the metadata model used in HydroShare, as well as describe some community resources held by HydroShare, including comprehensive information on recent hurricanes and the complete Critical Zone Observatory data library. Check the ESIP Telecon Calendar for connection info.

Virtual Data Help Desk THIS WEEK (5/4-5/8)
The Virtual Data Help Desk during EGU2020: Sharing Geoscience Online (May 4th-May 8th, 2020) is off and running. The event is being hosted by ESIP, EGU, AGU, and EarthCube. Just like the in-person events, this virtual event connects researchers with informatics experts familiar with their scientific domain to share skills and techniques that will help further research and make data and software open and FAIR. We have recruited a team of data experts who can address data questions via Twitter (#DataHelpDesk). We hope you'll follow the conversation and jump in where you can here.

More News

NASA Space Apps COVID-19 Challenge: Subject Matter Experts Needed
On 5/30-5/31, NASA, along with the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), are inviting coders, entrepreneurs, scientists, designers, storytellers, makers, builders, artists, and technologists to participate in a virtual hackathon. During a period of 48 hours, participants from around the world will create virtual teams and use Earth observation data to develop solutions to issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Challenges will range from studying the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 and its spread to the impact the disease is having on the Earth system. Learn more about the challenge here.

All NASA, ESA, and JAXA civil servants, contractors, and current and past awardees and their teams are eligible to serve as subject-matter experts for the challenge. Personnel from other US government agencies are also eligible. You are invited to participate in the following ways: 1) Engage with participants in the chat rooms over hackathon weekend (May 30-31); 2) Judge project submissions (June to mid-July, exact dates TBD). The Space Apps team will offer the following information sessions:
Thursday, April 30, 3pm ET and Tuesday, May 5, 12pm ET
* Join by Webex:
* Join by phone: +15404436236 (access code: 644 448 419)

Please contact Sarah Hemmings ( and Julie Chamberlain ( with questions.

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.  

NASA EarthData Webinar: Let It Snow! Accessing and Analyzing Snow Data at the NSIDC DAAC (5/6 at 2 pm ET)
Speakers: NASA NSIDC DAAC's Amy Steiker (Data Services Lead) & Dr. Walter Meier (DAAC Scientist)
The NASA National Snow and Ice Data Center Distributed Active Archive Center (NSIDC DAAC) continues to expand its collection of snow data, including through NASA’s recent SnowEx campaign, the AirBorne Snow Observatory (ASO) mission, and ongoing global snow cover products from the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) and Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) missions. Join a livestream demonstration about these snow-focused NASA missions and products, which will show how to discover, access, and couple NSIDC DAAC snow data across various geospatial scales. Learn more and register here.

Trustworthy Data Working Group Survey
You are invited to complete a short survey about scientific data security concerns and practices. The working group is a collaborative effort of Trusted CI, the four NSF Big Data Innovation Hubs, the NSF CI CoE Pilot, the Ostrom Workshop on Data Management and Information Governance, the NSF Engagement and Performance Operations Center (EPOC), the Indiana Geological and Water Survey, the Open Storage Network, and others. The goal of the working group is to understand scientific data security concerns and provide guidance on ensuring the trustworthiness of data. The purpose of this survey is to 1) improve broad understanding of the range of data security concerns and practices for open science; provide input and help shape new guidance for science projects and cyberinfrastructure providers; serve as an opportunity to consider local data security concerns during a voluntary, follow-up interview. Please visit to complete the survey. Please visit for updated information about the study. Questions: contact Jim Basney at

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.

Earth School for Students, Parents, and Teachers
In response to the COVID-19 crisis, an unprecedented coalition has come together to launch “Earth School,” a free, high quality educational portal to help students, parents and teachers around the world who are currently at home to explore the science and beauty of planet Earth. Launched on the 50th anniversary of Earth Day by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), TED-Ed, and supported by more than 30 other collaborators including the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) and over 100 individual contributors, Earth School is a new educational platform available to teachers, students, and curious global citizens. Find more details here.

CIRES Education & Outreach: Biweekly Webinar Series for Children and Families
These 30 minute webinars feature CIRES/NOAA scientists talking about what they do as scientists, how they got into science, what they are researching, and a Q&A session. At the end of each presentation will be a list of recommended activities that can be done from home and while physical distancing. Register here for the upcoming webinars below. Contact with any questions or for more information.

5/5 at 11:00 MT: Lincoln Pitcher (Topic: Ice Sheets)
5/7 at 13:00 MT: Rick Saltus, Manoj Nair, Neesha Schnepf (Topic: Geomagnetism)

SEDAC Global COVID-19 Viewer
A new mapping tool shows the density of population in relation to reported coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases at country and sub-national levels, and lets users obtain estimates of the number of people by age and sex in an area of interest, including areas not currently reporting large numbers of cases. Developed by the NASA Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC), the SEDAC Global COVID-19 Viewer: Population Estimates by Age Group and Sex has the unique capability of letting users retrieve age and sex structure data for any area, including across country boundaries or within countries. Learn more here.

Making Innovative Use of NASA Satellite Data to Address Environmental, Economic, and/or Societal Impacts of COVID-19
NASA's Earth Science Division would like to call the attention of the Earth Science research, applications, and data systems communities to Program Element A.28 “Rapid Response and Novel Research in Earth Science” (RRNES) of Research Opportunities in Space and Earth Sciences (ROSES) 2020 as an opportunity to propose investigations making innovative use of NASA satellite data to address regional-to-global environmental, economic, and/or societal impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Potential proposals may address R&A-related topics more fundamental in underlying physical and/or biological sciences (including possible connections to socioeconomic activities) and/or ASP-related topics characterizing impacts of decisions or efforts to inform decision makers on regional-to-global levels in their responses to mitigate the impacts of the disease. While proposed studies must use NASA satellite data and information products as a primary source of information and research tools, they may also utilize remote sensing data and products from government agencies, international, or commercial sources.  Studies utilizing Artificial Intelligence (AI) techniques including Machine Learning (ML) and Deep Learning (DL) are encouraged. For any questions about this opportunity, please contact Dr. Laura Lorenzoni of ESD at (202) 358-0917 or by Email at

Science Gateways Community Institute (SGCI) Summer 2020 Student Interns
SGCI welcomes organizations interested in hosting an intern to do gateway-related development during the summer of 2020 to submit an application to request an intern ( by May 29, 2020. Due to COVID-19, all internship placements will be virtual this summer. SGCI's Workforce Development service area can either select an intern for you, or you can recommend a student that you'd like to work with. If you decide to recommend a student, you'll need to provide their details on the form. In order to accommodate as many students as possible, full or partial funding through the host institution is requested but not required. Questions? Send them to or

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.

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





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