ESIP Update: WM21 Save the Date, Next Putting Data to Work Webinar, and more

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ESIP UPDATE: 09.21.2020

Good Morning ESIP,

This week, as is so often the case, is jam-packed with exciting opportunities and announcements. Here are some highlights:

  • Esri Chief Medical Officer, Estella Geraghty, will give our next ESIP Webinar: Putting Spatial Data to Work for COVID-19 Response and Recovery this Wednesday (9/23) at 1 pm ET. More info.
  • ESIP's newest cluster, Biological Data Standards (led by Abby Benson, USGS), will kick off this week on Wednesday (9/23) at 1 pm ET. Learn more in the ESIP News section below.
  • ESIP, along with EarthCube and the GSA Geoinformatics & Data Science Division, will host a Virtual Data Help Desk in conjunction with the GSA Annual Meeting (10/26-10/30). Learn more about how you can volunteer as a data expert here and in the ESIP News section below.

Finally, you will find the Save the Date below for the 2021 ESIP Winter Meeting, coming up in just 127 days! Although this might still seem to be off in the distance, you can expect the Call for Sessions to be released in the next week! 

Have a wonderful week,

Megan Carter Orlando
ESIP Community Director

This Week's Collaboration Area Telecons:

  • Tuesday: Information Quality; Semantic Tech
  • Wednesday: Public-Private Partnerships; Biological Data Standards; Putting Data to Work Webinar
  • 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.


ESIP Webinar: Putting Spatial Data to Work for COVID-19 Response and Recovery (Wed. 9/23 at 1 pm ET)
Dr. Estella Geraghty, Esri Chief Medical Officer and Health Solutions Director
Join: See connection details here. This webinar will also be recorded and shared on YouTube.
Abstract: The response to COVID-19 is providing significant insight into how to improve data, information products, and outcomes. With maps and spatial analysis, organizations are delivering deeper understanding of virus trends, increased awareness of impacted populations, insights about where resources are needed most, and transparent communications with community stakeholders and the public. Location intelligence helps communities ensure testing sites are accurately placed, personal protective equipment (PPE) inventories are tracked, communities adhere to social distancing guidance and surge management is optimized. From indoor space management to contact tracing and community resilience, Dr. Geraghty will highlight a range of applications and success stories from GIS users around the world who are putting spatial data to work to support their COVID-19 response and recovery efforts.  

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.

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.

Laying the Groundwork for Developing International Community Guidelines to Effectively Share and Reuse Digital Data Quality Information—Case Statement, Workshop Summary Report, and Path Forward
A recently published report in Open Science Foundation (OSF) Preprints, which stems from a pre-workshop held in July 2020 prior to the ESIP Summer Meeting, describes the approach that will be taken to develop community guidelines for preparing and sharing data quality information. The report was prepared by Ge Peng (lead author) along with other ESIP Information Quality Cluster leaders.

Virtual Data Help Desk at GSA20: Please Volunteer

Volunteer by 10/9 to be a Data Expert for the Virtual Data Help Desk at GSA 2020, to be hosted during the week of GSA 2020 Connects Online (October 26th-October 30th, 2020). This event, which is a program of EarthCube, ESIP, and the GSA Geoinformatics & Data Science Division) connects researchers with informatics experts familiar with their scientific domain to learn about skills and techniques that will help further their research and make their data and software open and FAIR. You can volunteer to take part in one or more of the following ways:

  • Answer data questions (monitor question forums and answer where you can during the week of October 26th)
  • Share a recorded demo of a tool or resource (ideally <5 min)
  • Share a one-pager about your tool or resource

To volunteer, please complete this brief form as soon as possible by October 9th. Learn more about specific options for participating here.

More News

New from the NASA Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC) managed by CIESIN:

  • The most recent update to the Global COVID-19 Viewer provides enhanced capabilities to visualize pandemic data and identify at-risk populations, via daily and 7-day trend charts, additional subnational data, and user-friendly mapping tools that let users define a custom area or focus on a location of interest. The Viewer was developed by the NASA Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC) managed by CIESIN.
  • Online training modules in English and Spanish on the fundamentals of spatial data integration for demographers have been released by the Population-Environment Research Network (PERN) hosted by CIESIN.  Developed by Susana Adamo, CIESIN research scientist and PERN co-coordinator, and Landy Sanchez, former PERN scientific committee chair, the modules include video tutorials that draw on pre-packaged data and open source geographic information system and Web-based tools. Production was supported by the International Union for the Scientific Study of Population (IUSSP) through a grant of the Hewlett Foundation.

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:

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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