ESIP Update: We are Hiring, Call for Community Fellow Applications, and more

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ESIP UPDATE: 09.08.2020

Good Morning ESIP,

Labor day weekend marks the unofficial end of Summer for my region. I hope that it was a wonderful weekend for you and that, even as time is passing and things may (or may not) be changing, you see possibilities ahead that you find motivating. Here at ESIP, this is a very busy season and we hope that you see promise in the many current ESIP opportunities, including running for ESIP Leadership and nominating others for ESIP Awards.

ESIP is HIRING: Just announced last week, ESIP is seeking a detail-oriented team player to join our organization in the position of ESIP Operations Director. The ESIP Operations Director will be a full-time exempt member of the team who will lead the operational aspects of the organization including: bookkeeping, contracting, human resources and meeting planning roles. More details can be found here. If you know of anyone who you think would be excellent in this role, feel free to forward the opportunity or to let us know.

Another important opportunity we want you to know about and appreciate your help in promoting is the Call for 2021 ESIP Community Fellow Applications, which is detailed below in the ESIP News section. Applications are due by 10/9 for a start date of December 1st.

I can't mention the call for 2021 Community Fellows without also noting that, as I'm sure we all agree, the 2020 ESIP Community Fellows have been phenomenal. Far beyond the requirements of the fellowship, our 7 Fellows have made meaningful contributions to the collaboration areas they support, to the ESIP Meetings, and to the broader organization. We look forward to seeing how they will continue to contribute to ESIP through the rest of their Fellowship and beyond and we look forward to welcoming the next class in December.

Have a wonderful week,

Megan Carter Orlando
ESIP Community Director

This Week's Collaboration Area Telecons:

  • Tuesday: Semantic Tech Fed
  • Wednesday: Semantic Harmonization; Community Data
  • Thursday: Marine Data; IT&I Tech Dive
  • Friday: Sustainable Data Management

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


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

Call for ESIP Leadership Nominations
We are at the time of year when we begin accepting nominations for ESIP leadership positions. There are many different positions that you can be nominated (or nominate yourself) 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, you can also also write to the Nominations Committee (chaired by Karl Benedict) at

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.

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.

IT&I Tech Dive: SELFIE (9/10 at 3 pm ET)
During the next IT&I Tech Dive Webinar, the Committee Chair, Dave Blodgett (USGS) will provide an update on the outcomes of the Second Environmental Linked Features Interoperability Experiment ( and a project using the SELFIE outcomes, The SELFIE project explored a Web architecture for linking environmental features and observational data with a focus on adoptability and W3C spatial data on the Web best practices. It is wrapped up and in review with the OGC Geosemantics Domain Working Group., US-focused effort being developed by the Internet of Water Project at Duke and USGS Water Mission Area, is building on the outcomes of SELFIE to build a system of linked data and knowledge network of earth science data. Learn more and 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.

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

NASA Space Technology Graduate Research Opportunities – Fall 2021 (NSTGRO21)
NASA's Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD) seeks to sponsor U.S. citizen, U.S. national and permanent resident graduate student research that has significant potential to contribute to NASA’s goal of creating innovative new space technologies for our Nation’s science, exploration, and economic future. NASA Headquarters has released a solicitation, titled NASA Space Technology Graduate Research Opportunities – Fall 2021 (NSTGRO21). Please note that this solicitation replaces the NASA Space Technology Research Fellowships (NSTRF) solicitation. Proposals in response to NSTGRO21 must be submitted electronically through NSPIRES and are due on November 2, 2020, by 6 PM ET/3 PM PT. Learn more by visiting the following URL:

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.

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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