June 2020
Join us on Twitter - let us know what you're up to!  @EarthCube

In This Issue:

EarthCube Virtual Annual Meeting
NSF Funding in CI
EarthCube Project Highlights
Onboarding: Usability+Outreach 6/9

EarthCube Virtual Annual Meeting

Schedule Highlights:

  • On-demand access to meeting content (Posters, Notebooks)  -- begins Monday, June 15th
  • A concise one-day live plenary -- Thursday, June 18th
  • One bonus day for working sessions -- Friday, June 19th

If you have not registered yet, it's not too late. Please register by June 11, 2020.
This year's virtual meeting is FREE.  However, registration is required to receive the Zoom information.  We are taking extra security precautions to ensure a pleasant meeting for all.

NSF Funding

New opportunities in cyberinfrastructure


New Dear Colleague Letters may be of interest:

  • Pilot Projects to Integrate Existing Data and Data-Focused Cyberinfrastructure to Enable Community-level Discovery Pathways (NSF 20-085)
  • Cyberinfrastructure Centers of Excellence (NSF 20-082)
  • Enabling Quantum Computing Platform Access for National Science Foundation Researchers with Amazon Web Services, IBM, and Microsoft Quantum.  (NSF 20-073)

Deadlines for these are coming up quickly.

EarthCube Project Highlights

Recommended Standards and Specifications for EarthCube Projects

Many groups and individuals in EarthCube have worked on a set of standards and specifications over a very long time. A definitive version has been arrived at and approved by governance.

From the introduction:

"This living document describes minimal and optimal recommended practices for NSF EarthCube projects, proposed in 2020 and beyond, with the hope that prior funded EarthCube projects voluntarily conform too.... Standards and Specifications for cyberinfrastructure to support cross-disciplinary science will continue to change as technologies evolve and new science domains join the effort. The ideas expressed here focus on current and future NSF-funded efforts to create new EarthCube and related cyberinfrastructure that promotes interoperability, sustainability, usability and repurposing (often via open-source software)."

A supportive feature of these specifications is a table outlining Minimum, Ideal, and Optional Next-Level specifications. While the document is being archived in the new EarthCube collection at the UC San Diego Library Digital Collections, download the final 4-page document here.

Citation: Rubin, K.; Daniels, M.; Fulker, D.; Brown, J.; RIchard, S.; Meier, O.; Zaslavsky, I.; Willis, C.; McHenry, K.; Kirkpatrick, C. (2020). Recommended Standards and Specifications for EarthCube Projects. EarthCube Leadership Council: 7 May 2020. In EarthCube Organization Materials. UC San Diego Library Digital Collections.

Data and Metadata Guides for the Tephra Community

Stephen Kuehn shares that a set of five tephra community data and metadata templates are now open access on Zenodo, released 30-May-2020, DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.3866267
These are the product of a 15-person team that has been working since a July 2019 workshop held in Dublin, Ireland, and features a cohesive set of templates for Collection, Chemical Analysis, Physical Analysis, Physical Microanalysis, and Correlation. They are presented as comprehensive tephra domain-specific improvements in the data gathering framework, consisting of standardized field data collection, laboratory analysis, and correlation. The framework will provide tools for consistent evaluation of tephra deposits on a global scale and across scientific disciplines. Tephra community feedback is invited, and widespread adoption is encouraged.
A companion paper is in development for Nature Scientific Data. The description and resource link are also available as a project update on Researchgate. The templates are practical tools for scientists. Development was partially supported by NSF EarthCube [Award].

Citation: Abbott, Peter, Bonadonna, Costanza, Bursik, Marcus, Cashman, Katherine, Davies, Siwan, Jensen, Britta, Kuehn, Stephen, Kurbatov, Andrei, Lande, Christine, Plunkett, Gill, Smith, Victoria, Thomlinson, Emma, Thordarsson, Thor, Walker, J. Douglass, and Wallace, Kristi. (2020). Best practice templates for tephra collection, analysis, and correlation (Version 1.0.0) [Data set]. Zenodo.


Some Highlights harvested from Twitter:

Open Topography @OpenTopography shared a blogpost highlighting a new accomplishment in measuring earthquake shifts with their tool: On-demand vertical topographic differencing tool that starts w/ raster datasets. Image shows example from 2019 M7.1 Ridgecrest, CA, EQ - difference between pre-event stereogrammetric DSM & post-event #lidar. More details & more examples here: [tweet]

Here are twittered highlights from two projects, both featuring netCDF data files;
A CyberConnector COVALI instructional video was freshly uploaded to YouTube, featured by Ziheng Jinson Sun @jensensunny - it demonstrates for users how the COVALI software tool can be used to compare netCDF data side by side in a browser. [tweet]
When a Pangeo @pangeo_data community member sough instruction on Pangeo's Discourse, the ensuing discussion, led by Ryan Abernathey @rabernat , became a sort of tutorial: Best Practices to go from 1000s of NetCDF files to analyses on an HPC cluster. [tweet]. Pangeo also shared a new blogpost by team and community members: Deep Learning with GPUs on Pangeo.



Send us more!

Does your EarthCube funded project, team, or community have tangible progress to report? We'd love to highlight it! Email us the details, or tag @EarthCube if you tweet about it!

User Onboarding as Usability + Outreach


Improving All The Interfaces:
Tuesday, June 9, 11 am PT

You're invited to a special webinar and discussion organized by the EarthCube Council of Funded Projects (CFP)  with Science Gateways on Tuesday, June 9, 11 am PT / 2 pm ET.

Successful user onboarding is a primary challenge when building a software tool. The challenge applies as well to other public interfaces with technology, such as a website, repository, or interactive information resource. Thinking of user onboarding as a combination of usability and outreach challenges may be helpful, as potential solutions are available in usability design and testing, and in communication strategies that connect well with users and audiences.

This online event addresses these high priority challenges; we'll hear quick practical guidance as well as pointers to longer-term solutions. From the Science Gateways Community Institute (SGCI), Dr. Paul Parsons will speak about usability issues, especially those specifically related to onboarding, with some guidance about how to do usability testing. Nayiri Mullinix will talk about strategies projects can use for effectively communicating information about the tools they've developed with their users / audience, and give a brief overview of SGCI's services and resources (still no-cost to NSF-funded projects for now).

Almost any science-technology product - software, websites, repositories, other interfaces - is likely to have inherent user onboarding challenges, which can be assisted by good usability design and communication strategies. This event is free and open to all - it will be a very valuable hour, so please join and feel free to share the opportunity! Get to a meeting link and resources here.

Jumpstart Your Sustainability Plan


Free Virtual Mini-Course for All

Interested in developing a sustainability strategy for your gateway? Sign up now for the Jumpstart Your Sustainability Plan mini-course! It’s free, and we’re offering it virtually.
Tuesday-Thursday, June 16-18, 2020
With main presentations that will take place 12-1:30 pm ET each day, and optional office hours and special topics presentations from 2-5 pm ET

Gateway Focus Week is one of the Science Gateway Community Institute’s most popular programs, providing five days of in-person, intensive learning for gateway projects (also known as virtual labs, portal, digital initiatives, virtual research environments, citizen science, eScience). Given that COVID-19 has, for now, limited our ability to travel and gather in-person, we're making the best of the situation and are instead offering a reimagined and free virtual mini-course.

Jumpstart Your Sustainability Plan will focus solely on offering practical and effective steps for developing a sustainability strategy. The mini-course offers PIs of research and teaching-focused gateways and their teams the perfect way to kick off sustainability planning, whether you are writing a new grant or ready to get to the next level with a more mature project.

More information, the full agenda, and registration are available here:

Questions? Email

Earth Science meets Data Science - Workshop June 22

To see more Goldschmidt Virtual Conference events June 21-26, visit worshop featured below is free.


Methods, Tools, & Best Practices to Find-Access-Mine-Analyze-Publish-Cite Data

Goldschmidt Virtual Workshop: "Earth Science meets Data Science - Services & Systems, Policies & Procedures, Tools & Techniques for Geochemistry"

10 AM – 3 PM ET on June 22, 2020   (as 4 virtual 1-hr sessions)

Free to all participants. Details and Registration:
This workshop will provide researchers, especially early career scientists, a forum to learn about and discuss methods, tools, and best practices for finding and accessing, mining and analyzing, publishing and citing data. The workshop is intended to help researchers take advantage of the growing number and volume of geochemical, petrological, and mineralogical datasets, as well as data science methodologies and visualization tools (Python, Jupyter) to empower their research.
We will invite participants to think creatively about new ways to interact with the data and develop research applications, and encourage them to contribute scientific use cases. A second goal of the workshop is to help researchers navigate and comply with data policies of funding agencies and journals, which now require researchers to openly share and archive their data in community data repositories. We will provide practical advice on how to compile, format, and document samples and data for submission to data repositories.
The workshop will be moderated by Dr. Kerstin Lehnert, Lucia Profeta (Columbia University) and Dr. Shaunna Morrison (Carnegie Earth and Planets Laboratory).

For questions or comments, please contact

Working from Home: Resources & Opportunities

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With so many working from home during the pandemic, we're featuring remote opportunities for growth, learning, skill building, and collaboration. Everyone's situations, demands, needs and interests vary - consider and use as you see fit.

Please share additional opportunities: email Ouida Meier (, Tweet @EarthCube, share in Slack, or use this form.

COMMUNICATE. You're invited to converse in EarthCube's Slack team, Please email to join. It's a convenient way to discuss issues, ask questions, crowdsource answers, share opportunities, and catch up when YOU have time. This will be especially useful during the EC2020 Virtual Annual Meeting - jump in now.
WEBINAR at ESIP. Usability: How Usability Techniques Can Support Your Scientific Communities. Sophie Hou, Wed. June 24th, 2:00-3:00 PM ET. Join via ESIP Telecon Calendar. USGS: It is critical that scientific research and products are provided in a useful way to our communities. The USGS Community for Data Integration (CDI) Usability Collaboration Area focuses on usability challenges when serving scientific data and identifying strategies to improve data usability for end users.
LEARNData Curation Primers for archiving usable code, produced by the Data Curation Network, including guidance for Geodatabase, GeoJSON, netCDF, R, Jupyter notebooks, and more.. "Really worth a read if you write scientific code for tips on making your code more robust/ reusable!"
WORKSHOP.  IWSG 2020:  International Workshop on Science Gateways. June 10-11, 2020 - Online Event.  Talks on science gateways, AI, eLearning, and much more. Registration is free, and needed to set up a zoom password. See the full schedule and registration. Co-chaired by Iain Barclay, Cardiff University, UK, Ian Taylor, University of Notre Dame, USA, and Sandra Gesing, University of Notre Dame, USA.
DEVELOP.  To improve your EarthCube tool, interactive website, or data repository, consider the Science Gateways Community Institute's resources for usability, outreach, and more. SGCI's remote consulting engagements are free for active NSF projects. Apply for assistance, make use of online resources, or apply for Gateway Focus Week in Dec. 2020.

PUBLISHING opportunity from CODATA: Special Issue publication in Remote Sensing in Earth Systems Science. This issue is dedicated to ‘Earth Observation Information Application in the West Africa Sub-region’. Papers from other parts of the African continent are also welcome and may also be considered. Deadline: July 31, 2020. Remote Sensing in Earth Systems Sciences

POSTDOC Position at UC Berkeley: Data Science, Earth Science with a Cryosphere emphasis and Open Source Software. Geo + Data Science + Jupyter + OSS with Dr. Fernando Pérez (@fperez), UC Berkeley Department of Statistics. Get in touch! 
SHARE more remote opportunities with the EarthCube community - and thanks in advance. Please stay in touch during these challenging times - we're thinking of you. Be well.

Reminder - EarthCube Nominations Close June 10


EarthCube seeks nominees for 3 governance positions!

  • Leadership Council At Large member - Early career representative (up to 5 years beyond their most recent degree)
  • Science and Engagement Team (SET) Representative to Leadership Council
  • Science and Engagement Team (SET) Co-Chair

Nominations and Self-nominations will be accepted prior to the election. All nominations will be evaluated by the Nominations Committee prior to being placed on the ballot.

By June 10, 2020 please send nominations to Lynne Schreiber and include a brief biographical sketch, a statement of intent, and a photo.

Election period: June 15-26, 2020
Two-year Terms: July 1, 2020 - May 31, 2022

Call for Nominations & Position Descriptions

Team Mtgs & Upcoming Events

In EarthCube Teams:
Funded Projects: Tu Jun 9 Onboard
Data Facilities: Fri Jun 12 CoreTrust
Tech/ Architecture: Mon Jul 6
Science & Engagement: Tue Jul 7

More listings:

Let us share your success with the community! 

Has your participation in EarthCube benefited your research or helped you meet a particular challenge? Email ECO so we can promote your success.

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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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