Environmental Observatories

Background

Establishment of an Environmental Observing System requires the allotment of a substantial amount of funds for capital investment and subsequent resources for operations and maintenance of the system, including provisions for the research community to conduct research within the observatories. The number of Environmental Observatories currently under consideration, as well as the level of funds required, makes it very difficult for NSF to support the initiatives out of the Research and Related Activities (R&RA) budget. Investment levels are high, prompting the NSF to push for coordination wherever possible in order to maximize investment and return across the national environmental observatories.

The observatory systems share common challenges that need careful consideration. Some of the key issues concern the need for community building, outreach for K12 and higher education, management of the initiative, community involvement, and CyberInfrastructure (CI) development. Because CI is very expensive to implement and subsequently keep current, NSF has voiced the need to carefully look into the possibility of coordinating the CI challenges among the various environment observatory systems, to avoid duplication of efforts and investment into redundant technologies. To this end, a NSF sponsored workshop on CI coordination among these systems was held on Dec. 6-7, 2004 at NSF headquarters in Arlington, VA. The workshop was attended by domain experts as well as representatives from the CI community.

This Site

As one result of the workshop, this collaboration space has been established. It is hosted by the Marine Metadata Interoperability Project, a non-profit effort dedicated to increasing collaborative advancement of marine metadata knowledge. The Environmental Observatories Collaboration Project hopes to carry that vision of collaboration to the next level, supporting collaborations in all facets of data management for the national environmental observatories.

The Environmental Observatories Data Management Collaboration Initiative (EODCMI -- sorry!) is using this site as its collaborative framework, allowing the members of the Initiative to work together and provide public information about its goals and direction. If you are interested in contributing to this initiative, please click on the "Contact us" link in the footnote below to send a message to the initiative organizers.

Membership

The initial membership list includes representatives of the major NSF-funded environmental observatories in the US, as well as the Marine Metadata Initiative.

Communications occur via an internal mailing list.

If you are interested in becoming a member or being on the mailing list, send a comment via the "contact us" link at the bottom of the page, or contact Michael Piasecki directly.

Collaborative Plans

In its initial efforts, the EODMCI is evaluating collaborations around the topic of metadata. We will be documenting our goals, and the reasons behind this choice, in the coming weeks. Please return to this site regularly to see how this collaborative effort is going!