RDAP14: EarthCube test enterprise governance: collaborative approaches to building community-led cyberinfrastructure for the geosciences

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Research Data Access and Preservation Summit, 2014 …

Research Data Access and Preservation Summit, 2014
San Diego, CA
March 26-28, 2014
Lightning Talks

Rachael Black, Arizona Geological Survey

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  • EarthCube is a community driven effort to develop cyberinfrastructure to serve the needs of the entire academic geoscience community. EarthCube seeks to facilitate research on the Earth System by providing simple and easy access to data, information, tools and services.EarthCube seeks to reach these goals trough flexible and community driven development.
  • EarthCube is a collaboration among researchers across the geosciences. And funded by the NSF GEO Directorate and office for advanced cyberinfrastructure.
  • In September 2013 NSF awarded funds to 15 projects. Categorized into:Research Coordination networks: advancing community building exemplars in geosciences and Building Blocks: to develop initial software componentsConceptual Designs: Broad architecture design white papersAnd Test Governance.
  • The Test Governance team is tasked with developing and testing a prototype system of governance during the 2 year term of the grant.We did not propose any single system of governance.Instead looking to the community for guidance.
  • To that effect, In the last 3 months we have brought together 6 initial stakeholder assembly groups in 4 venues.At the beginning, we expected that each group would create a charter for how their group would govern themselves within the context of EarthCube, Then select representatives for an assembly advisory council. That would then come to terms on an overarching charter to be vetted each group.This didn’t go exactly as planned.
  • At our first workshop, we learned that when people hear the term “governance” they often think the imposition of unwanted commands and controls.We learned that individual participants weren’t all ready to self organize for governance.Because this was not the intended outcome of our project, we reworked our messaging and approaches to the workshops to encourage discussions around similarities and differences of individuals and organizations represented. And recognized and encouraged discussion of the uniqueness of each organization or domain represented at the workshops.We also realized that we could not force workshop participants to come to terms on charters for governance if they were not yet ready to do so, and allowed participants to choose how they would or could interact with EarthCube.
  • So, Instead of 6 individual charters, and a cohesive assembly advisory council, outcomes of the workshops included Several short term, medium term, and longer term working groups coming together to tackle common issues relevant to their communitiesSome of these even included groups interested in formalizing their roles in EarthCube through the formation of chartered groups. Having just completed the last workshop, we are left with a sense that stakeholders are starting to get on the same page in terms of what EarthCube will become. And we are seeing Progress towards a cohesive community vision.We will also form a version of an Assembly Advisory Council consisting of champions from each workshop.
  • So, what comes next? We are beginning an analysis, review and synthesis of workshop resultsIdentifying common goals, visionWe are thinking of this as sort of the Development of a “rubric” for community successWe will then present this analysis to the Assembly Advisory Council in late April.With their input and guidance we will draft a charter to be presented to the the broader geosciences community, crowd sourced for community response, and then revised as necessary.Following another presentation to the community, the charter will then be presented to NSF for review.
  • So, what does a successful end to this process look like? For the Test Governance Team we will consider this process a success if at the end of year 1, the community and NSF accept the charter. At which point we will be move into year establish a demonstration system, and then evaluate results as a basis for a long term organization.


  • 1. EarthCube Test Enterprise Governance A community approach to developing cyberinfrastructure for the geosciences Rachael Black, Lee Allison, Kim Patten, Anna Katz, Kate Kretschmann, Genevieve Pearthree Arizona Geological Survey/ EarthCube Test Governance RDAP March 26, 2014
  • 2. Imagine a World…. A future state of geosciences cyberinfrastructure that serves the entire academic geosciences community – facilitates science on the Earth System – simple and easy access to data and information – seamless connection to tools and services – flexible and community-driven development
  • 3. EarthCube is a Collaboration • Among Earth, atmosphere, ocean, polar, computer, infor mation, and social scientists • Jointly funded by the NSF GEO Directorate and Advanced Cyberinfrastructure (ACI)
  • 4. Funded Projects
  • 5. Let’s Talk Governance! EarthCube governance is a blank canvas We are looking to the community to paint the future
  • 6. Intended Outcome Assembly Advisory Council Industry & FOSS: Instrumentation, Software, and Technology Developers Data Facilities & Users Professional Societies IT/CS/ Information Scientists End-User Communities & Workshop Participants EarthCube Awards Research Science Communities
  • 7. Messaging Issues Software Data People Hardware
  • 8. Actual Outcomes Industry & FOSS: Instrumentation, Software, and Technology Developers Data Facilities & Users Professional Societies IT/CS/ Information Scientists End-User Communities & Workshop Participants EarthCube Awards Research Science Communities Assembly Advisory Council
  • 9. Next Steps “Rubric” Cube * Concept and image by Charles Meertens • Synthesis, Analysis, and Review • Assembly Advisory Council Workshop • Release of Governance Charter v 1.0 • Crowd sourced response • More review and synthesis • Presentation to community • Presentation to NSF
  • 10. What Does Success Look Like? Establish Organizational Demo Facilitate convergence on system design, data standards Evaluate results: basis for long term organization
  • 11. Thank you to the EarthCube Test Enterprise Governance Team and everyone who participated in the Stakeholder Assembly Workshops. This presentation would not be possible without all your hard work.