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EarthCube Initiative Develops Tool to Study Greenland and its Melting Ice Sheet

Greenland melting glacier

International Geoscientists Unite to Create Open-Source GIS Tool Coined QGreenland

Greenland, the world’s largest island, has long been known as a sparsely populated, ice-capped home for polar bears, reindeer, and Arctic foxes. The Greenland Ice Sheet covers more than 80 percent of the island – stretching some 1500 miles long by 460 miles wide. However, conditions in Greenland are changing rapidly. According to NOAA’s Arctic Report Card, last year’s ice melt was similar to the alarming ice loss of 2012, and the ice sheet has lost ice every year for the last two decades.

To better understand the issues surrounding Greenland’s declining ice sheet and how these changes are connected with land, people, plants, and animals, EarthCube has funded an international team of scientists ranging from ecologists and geologists to climatologists and software developers to create QGreenland, a free mapping tool to support interdisciplinary Greenland-focused research, teaching, decision making, and collaboration.

Researchers involved in the project are combining key datasets into a unified, all-in-one GIS analysis and visualization environment for offline and online use. A beta version has been released for testing and is available for download on the QGreenland Explore webpage. Led by Twila Moon, a research scientist at the University of Colorado at Boulder, QGreenland was created for researchers, educators, policy makers, and citizen scientists.

“We designed QGreenland so that everyone from a glacier researcher in the Arctic to a middle school teacher in the U.S. can explore data about Greenland, visualizing how Greenland is changing and see how elements across the system interact,” said Moon. “Education is key for informing both the academic community and the general public about rapid changes in the Arctic, and thanks to EarthCube, our QGreenland project will be able to provide data to all.” Photo credit: Twila Moon. Full article.

New EarthCube Peer-Reviewed Jupyter Notebooks Now Available

A novel element of the EarthCube 2020 Annual Conference was a call for notebooks, which led to twelve peer-reviewed Jupyter notebooks that encompass an array of geoscience data tools, software, services, and libraries. Each notebook was reviewed by scholars within the geoscience and cyberinfrastructure community at the EarthCube 2020 Annual Conference. These notebooks are now available on GitHub for interested researchers to view and execute, and they will soon be published in the Earth and Space Science Open Archive (ESSOAr).

“Open-source technologies such as these Jupyter notebooks allow the EarthCube community to create and share valuable insights with one another,” said Kenton McHenry, associate director for software at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA). “We received more than 20 great submissions in response to our Call for Notebooks and selected these twelve for publication.”

“These notebooks represent a new element in the scholarly publishing system: they provide us with a means to easily share tested, user-friendly, and interactive workflows,” said Daniel S. Katz, NCSA chief scientist. “Further Calls for Notebooks are now underway and we encourage the community to participate, as well as to provide feedback about how we can better support notebooks in the peer-review and publishing systems.”

See the article for links to these twelve Jupyter Notebooks.

FAIR dataSeeking community input for new FAIR data training materials


Which training topics would be most valuable? Tell us!

Building on the EarthCube Leadership Council's interest in promoting FAIR Data and Resources for the Geosciences Community, we have started an initiative to develop tutorials and informational briefings to increase awareness and facilitate activities to improve the FAIRness of EarthCube-related data, tools, and services. The FAIR Principles offer guidelines for improving the value of research data by making it more “Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable.”

The EarthCube Office seeks your help to identify priorities for creating new resources to support implementation of the FAIR data principles. We invite you to contribute through this very short survey: Topics for FAIR Data Training Resources.
Please feel free to contact Melissa Cragin and/or Nancy Hoebelheinrich if you have any questions or would be interested to have a conversation about this effort or the FAIR Principles. Read the blogpost. Take the survey.

AGU 2020 ONLINE: Dec 1-17

agu 2020

AGU 2020 At a Glance


EarthCube Projects Presenting

With nearly 40 EarthCube-related presentations scheduled for AGU 2020, keep an eye out for events featuring these projects: AMGeO, BALTO, CCHDO, CSDMS, Data Discovery Studio, EarthChem, GeoCODES, GeoDeepDive, GeoSciCloud, iSamples, Jupyter meets the Earth, LinkedEarth, MagIC, Pangeo, QGreenland, StraboSpot, and more.

Look for two short bonus EarthCube mailings on Dec. 7 & 14 to help spotlight some of that week's events at AGU. Here are a few of these featured highlights:
Find more EarthCube at AGU highlights here.

AGU Data Help Desk


Data Questions & Tool Demos

The Virtual Data Help Desk, sponsored by EarthCube and further supported by AGU and Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP), provides researchers with opportunities to engage 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. The Virtual Data Help Desk will be staffed with experts from the Earth science informatics community to answer data-related questions and to demo useful resources.

When: December 7-11 & 14-16, 2020 during #AGU20 Fall Meeting
Where: Online. Follow the #DataHelpDesk on twitter. Learn more:

During the Virtual Data Help Desk, YOU can:
Ask Data Questions: Share your questions any time during the event via Twitter using the hashtag #DataHelpDesk or submit your question via a form HERE. Our team of Earth science data professionals has decades of experience in informatics and in many scientific domains and specializes in topics like finding, sharing, analyzing, publishing, and citing data.
Watch Tool Demos & Tutorials: We will direct you to helpful tutorials and demos throughout the week that will highlight tools and resources you can use to manage your data and enhance your research. Follow #DataHelpDesk to hear about these!

You need not be registered for AGU20 to access the Data Help Desk. Questions? Contact



SGCI Focus Week

Gateway Virtual Teamwork

Virtual: Nov 30 - Dec 10, 2020. Strategies for Developing and Maintaining Your Gateway. Attend select sessions, or the full workshop with instructor feedback on sustainability strategies. No cost.

Missed registering? Try the open 90-min hands-on webinar on marketing for science gateways, Dec 9, 10am PT.

3D Data Viz Challenge

Digital Rocks Portal

Reuse 3D data from the EarthCube Digital Rocks Portal to create graphic, video, or 3D printed visualizations, and compete for cash prizes up to $1,000 thanks to event sponsors: South Big Data Innov. Hub, Object Research Systems, Kitware, & Dassault Systèmes. Entry deadline extended to Dec. 10, 2020. Details & training resources.

AMS Annual Meeting

American Meteorological Society

The AMS theme this year is: Strengthening engagement with our communities through our science and our service.

AMS with Virtual option: Jan 10-15, 2021

NSF EarthCube

Informational Webinar on EarthCube Solicitation

On Jan 15, 2021 at 1pm EST, NSF will host a webinar providing an overview of the EarthCube solicitation and program, NSF 21-515. The solicitation will support science-enabling Data Capabilities and supplements. Full details & Zoom link.
earthcube focus

ESIP Winter Meeting

Leading Innovation in Earth Science Data Frontiers

Virtual: Jan 26-29, 2021. Propose a poster or recorded demo for the Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP) Research Showcase at registration.

EarthCube scholarships are available! Apply here by Fri, Dec 18.



EarthCube Leadership Council Announces Four Awards for Governance Committee Projects

Earlier this fall, the EarthCube Office received $150,000 from the National Science Foundation for Governance Committee activities. Applications for projects have recently been reviewed by the Leadership Council with the following awards being announced:

Developing EarthCube Virtual Training Workshops

Team Lead: D. Sarah Stamps, Virginia Tech
Science and Engagement Team

Neutral Party Reporting for Unacceptable Behavior as Defined under the Community Participation Guidelines

Team Lead: Denise Hills, Geological Survey of Alabama
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; Science and Engagement Team; and Leadership Council

Sustainability Models for Integrated Digital Earth Science beyond EarthCube

Team Lead: Basil Tikoff, University of Wisconsin – Madison
Council of Funded Projects

Developing EarthCube Learning Communities Surrounding Notebooks

Team Lead: Emma Aronson, University of California, Riverside
Leadership Council

“We are happy to approve the funding of these projects as they truly exemplify important goals of the Governance Committees,” said Leadership Council Chairperson Mike Daniels. “The projects will address diversity, learning and sustainability as key priorities moving ahead into next year. I am very pleased with the quality and timeliness of the proposals and we look forward to working with the teams to accomplish the goals they have articulated.”

For descriptions of the projects, read the announcement.

EarthCube's Collective Values and Aspirations for Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in the Geosciences

An EarthCube working group on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the Geosciences has been charged by the Leadership Council to examine current practices, offer recommendations and education, develop a Code of Conduct, and create a safe venue to support concerns. We would like to share with you this consensus statement that we believe represents the EarthCube community's collective values and aspirations with regard to justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion.

JEDI: Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. The heart of EarthCube is people. We put people first and do our best to recognize, appreciate, and respect the diversity of our global contributors. EarthCube welcomes contributions from everyone who shares our interests and wants to contribute in a healthy and constructive manner within our community.

EarthCube Team Meetings

Council of Funded Projects (CFP)  -  Thu Dec 3, 9:30 am PT
Technology & Architecture Committee (TAC)  -  Mon Jan 4, 11 am PT
Science & Engagement Team (SET)  -  Tue Jan 5, 1 pm PT
Council of Data Facilities (CDF)  -  Fri Jan 8, 12 pm PT

Learn more on the EarthCube Governance page
or email us to join any of these groups:


NSF Opportunities NSF



2020 Winter ESIP Lab - Request for Proposals

Seeking innovative project ideas in earth science technology

The Earth Sciences Information Partners (ESIP) Lab supports the Earth science community in building innovative, applied technologies through funding and community input. We seek proposals that include both learning and technology objectives. Proposal teams should be explicit about a skill they want to learn or expand during the course of their project. Available support includes technology and data mentors as well as cloud credits in addition to direct funding. Through this Request for Proposals (RFP), the ESIP Lab seeks projects that last 6-8 months, with a maximum budget of $10,000. Due Jan 29, 2021. Full details here.


What We Wish We Had Learned in Graduate School

A data management training roadmap for graduate students

Three ESIP Community Fellows recently presented this DataONE webinar, available now as a one-hour video. Data management training for graduate students is a very important but often undervalued area of graduate school education. Many graduate students will go on and become professionals who are using, producing, and/or managing data that have tremendous benefits for both the research community and society, but data lifecycle and management are not part of the core curriculum. Presenters: "As Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP) Community Fellows, we understand that data management is a critical skill in earth science and we all wished we had an opportunity to integrate it from the beginning in our graduate school experience." Read more and access the video.


Environmental Data Initiative (EDI) Summer Fellowship Program

Request for Applications to Host a Fellow

EDI is now accepting applications from research projects and field stations interested in hosting a fellow from mid-June to mid-August 2021. The application deadline is 12/14/20 with 10 total fellowships likely to be supported. The fellows will have the opportunity to work remotely, though EDI would prefer in-person training at the host site if circumstances allow. The fellowships are intended for undergraduate, graduate and recent postgraduate students. EDI will train each fellow, who will then gain hands-on experience by participating in data preparation and publication with scientists and information managers from specific host research sites, with EDI support. Note that the application process for potential fellows begins in March of each year. EDI expects that 10 fellows will be trained and will join 10 institutions in the summer of 2021. Read more here.


University of Colorado Boulder

Postdoctoral Position bridging data science and geoscience

We invite applications for a postdoctoral research associate position at the Department of Geography, University of Colorado Boulder (CU Boulder), with a flexible starting date of 1/7/2021 and possibility for remote work. The postdoctoral scholar will primarily work on a recently funded NSF EarthCube project (Data Capabilities: Enabling Analysis of Heterogeneous, Multi-source Cryospheric Data, Award #2026962) under the supervision of principal investigator, Dr. Morteza Karimzadeh.

The project is focused on creating software systems and cyber-infrastructure for harmonizing heterogeneous big data products (including satellite imagery and in situ observations) in a cloud environment for various downstream tasks. The technologies developed are expected to be extendable to a variety of applications, but for this project, the focus will be on classification and mapping of sea ice. The postdoctoral position will be homed in the Geography Department at CU Boulder and will actively collaborate with the co-PIs, scientists and students in the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) and CU Denver’s Department of Computer Science. Full job details.
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EarthCube is a collaboration between the Division of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure (ACI) and the Geosciences Directorate (GEO) of the US National Science Foundation (NSF). For official NSF EarthCube content, please see: This newsletter originates under NSF EarthCube Office Award #1928208.
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