Friday, January 25, 2013

EarthCube Workshop Summary

This week, the National Science Foundation, in conjunction with Critical Zone researchers organized the EarthCube Workshop: Engaging the Critical Zone Community to Bridge Long Tail Science with Big Data. The workshop focused on data integration and how it can help scientists working in geology, hydrology, biology, ecology and other Earth Sciences in their work to better understand the Critical Zone. The Critical Zone is the area around the Earth's surface, from the upper edge of bedrock to the top canopy of vegetation. This is where water circulates and it is essential to life on Earth.

One of the Critical Zone researchers who helped organize the workshop is Dr. Tarboton, who is also a co-Principle Investigator (PI) for the CI-WATER EPSCoR grant and a professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering  at Utah State University.

“Highlights from this workshop included the presentation by Sue Brantley that examined the variety of data types present from critical zone studies and identified progress in the cyberinfrastructure systems that make this data available and accessible,” Dr. Tarboton said in an email correspondence.  “Another good talk was by Roy Haggerty who spoke of the need to shed light on "dark data", data that is buried in the files of researchers, often in paper form, and inaccessible to others, and in danger of being lost when the scientist involved retires.”

By Kali S. McCrackin

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