Earth, Space, and Environmental Sciences IG Charter

28 Dec 2017

Earth, Space, and Environmental Sciences IG Charter

** Please Note - the following text has been deprecated in favor of the revised Charter Statement in the attached document - 7 June 2018 **



Introduction (A brief articulation of what issues the IG will address, how this IG is aligned with the RDA mission, and how this IG would be a value-added contribution to the RDA community):

The Earth, space, and environmental science communities are developing, through multiple international efforts, both general and domain-specific leading practices for data management, infrastructure development, vocabularies, and common data/digital services. This Interest Group will work towards coordinating and harmonizing these efforts to reduce possible duplication, increase efficiency, share use cases, and promote partnerships and adoption in the community.


User scenario(s) or use case(s) the IG wishes to address (what triggered the desire for this IG in the first place):

This Interest Group builds on the BOF specific to EarthCube held at the RDA P10 meeting.  Results from that session showed strong interest in intenational collaboration for Earth, space, and environmental infrastructure concerns that are currently be addressed in RDA across all the sciences and external to RDA across many geographically oriented efforts. 

Key participating groups and their use cases include:

1. The Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP) is expanding to include communities outside of the United States.  Specifically the next area of growth is Australia.  ESIP is an independent forum used to address topics of interest to the Earth science data and technology community, such as data management, data citation and documentation. The work of the ESIP community is advanced through our collaboration areas, where participants contribute their expertise toward resolving common problems of the Earth science data and technology community.

2. The Australian AuScope program provides research infrastructure to the Earth and Geospatial Science research communities with a focus on data discovery, delivery and interoperability with an increasing focus on FAIR data principles.  AuScope has been developing related data and interoperability platforms for the last decade and is currently focusing on increased international collaboration.  AuScope is Federally funded by the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure (NCRIS) program.

3.  The European Union funded European Plate Observing System (EPOS) is in the midst of its implementation phase, with increasing interest to be interoperable with their international counterparts. EPOS, the European Plate Observing System, is a long-term plan to facilitate integrated use of data, data products, and facilities from distributed research infrastructures for solid Earth science in Europe.

4.  The American Geophysical Union (AGU) is leading an international community-driven effort, Enabling FAIR Data, to adopt existing and develop new leading practices that result in data supporting a publication to be preserved in an appropriate repository with proper data citations placed in the reference. Data will no longer be in the supplement of the paper. This effort seeds to coordinate across similar and supporting efforts. Partners include RDA, ESIP, ANDS, NCI, AuScope, Nature, Science, PNAS, and the Center for Open Science.

5. The Environmental Data Initiative (EDI) is an NSF-funded project meant to accelerate curation and archive of environmental data, emphasizing data from projects funded by the NSF DEB.  Programs served include Long Term Research in Environmental Biology (LTREB), Organization for Biological Field Stations (OBFS), Macrosystems Biology (MSB), and Long Term Ecological Research (LTER).

6.  The U. S. National Science Foundation’s EarthCube effort is moving into implementation phase and reaching out internationally to be informed and coordinate efforts. EarthCube, initiated by the National Science Foundation (NSF) in 2011, transforms geoscience research by developing cyberinfrastructure to improve access, sharing, visualization, and analysis of all forms of geosciences data and related resources.  

7. The Open Geospatial Consortium has a series of Domain Working Groups including Earth Systems, Geoscience, Hyrdology and Marine. These Domain Working Groups provide a forum for discussion of key interoperability requirements and issues, discussion and review of implementation specifications, and presentations on key technology areas relevant to solving geospatial interoperability issues. However, their supporters come mainly from the Government and Industry Sectors, and it is hoped by linking through this interest group there will be greater connectivity to those equivalent activities in the academic/research sector.


Objectives (A specific set of focus areas for discussion, including use cases that pointed to the need for the IG in the first place.   Articulate how this group is different from other current activities inside or outside of RDA.):

This Interest Group will focus on awareness and coordination where applicable of dependent efforts across the international Earth, space, and environmental science communities.


This group is different from other current activities as it is focused on the scientific domains specific to the Earth, space, and environmental sciences.  Some overlap potentially exists with interdisciplinary work in the biological community and social science community.


Within RDA, we will leverage the existing working groups and interest groups to help integrate and coordinate the needs of the Earth, space, and environmental sciences with the objectives and deliverables across those related efforts. 


Participation (Address which communities will be involved, what skills or knowledge should they have, and how will you engage these communities.  Also address how this group proposes to coordinate its activity with relevant related groups.):


External (to RDA) Communities Include:


Council for Data Facilities (part of EarthCube, specific to digital repositories)



European Plate Observing System (EPOS)


Enabling FAIR Project (AGU)

Earth Space Information Partners (co-manage the group)

ICSU CODATA (e.g. Science Unions)

IGSN e.V. (International Geo Sample Number)

Environmental Data Initiative


RDA Communities:

RDA Working Groups:

Data Citation WG

Data Usage Metrics WG

DMP Common Standards WG

Metadata Standards Catalog WG

Persistent Identification of Instruments 

RDA/WDS Publishing Data Workflows WG

RDA/WDS Scholarly Link Exchange (Scholix) WG

Research Data Repository Interoperability WG


RDA Interest Groups:

Active Data Management Plans IG

Big Data IG

Chemistry Research Data IG

Data Discovery Paradigms IG

Data Foundation and Terminolgy IG

Data Policy Standardization and Implementation

Disciplinary Collaboration Framework 

Domain Repositories Interest Group

From Observational Data to Information

Geospatial IG

Global Water Information IG

Long tail of research data IG

Mapping the Landscape

Marine Data Harmonization

Physical Samples and Collections in the Research Data Ecosystem


Quality of Urban Life IG

RDA/CODATA Legal Interoperability IG

RDA/WDS Certification of Digital Repositories

RDA/WDS Publishing Data IG

Reproducibility IG

Software Source Code IG

Virtual Research Environment IG

Vocabulary Services IG

Weather, Climate and Air Quality IG


Outcomes (Discuss what the IG intends to accomplish.  Include examples of WG topics or supporting IG-level outputs that might lead to WGs later on.):


Improved awareness, sharing, leveraging synergies, and coordination on projects that have dependencies, overlap, or multiple stakeholder communities.


Mechanism (Describe how often your group will meet and how will you maintain momentum between Plenaries.):


The group will meet quarterly with two of the yearly meetings at the RDA Plenary. Between plenaries, the IG will maintain momentum with face-to-face meetings at domain events: AGU, EGU, ESIP Winter, ESIP Summer, and EarthCube All Hands.  Virtual task force and planning meetings will support objective needs.


Timeline (Describe draft milestones and goals for the first 12 months):

Milestones and Goals

1.  Communicate with Earth, space, and environmental science communities not yet part of the Interest Group; invite them to join.

2. Establish mechanism to share project information and assess any dependencies, overlaps, and gaps. This needs to include allowing multiple efforts that are similar to proceed.

3. Co-chairs will reach out to RDA Working Groups and Interest Groups to determine potential collaboration.


Potential Group Members (Include proposed chairs/initial leadership and all members who have expressed interest):







Proposed Chair



Proposed Chair



Proposed Chair



Proposed Chair



Proposed Chair























































Ari Asmi  
Jens Klump  
Mark  Parsons  
Martina Stockhause  
Steve Diggs  
Tobias Weigel  
Ben Evans  
Jingbo Wang  
Clare Richards  
Ted Haberman  
Jane Wynngaard  
Ruth Duerr  
Denise Hills  
Sophie Hou  

  Add more lines as needed by hitting the ‘tab’ key at the very end of the ‘Title’ line.




Review period start: 
Thursday, 28 December, 2017 to Sunday, 28 January, 2018
  • Martina Stockhause's picture

    Author: Martina Stockhause

    Date: 09 Jan, 2018

    Thanks for the initiative to form an ESS IG within RDA. It is a good idea to bring the solution of various communities within the Earth Sciences together similar as in the ESSI sessions at AGU and EGU.

    At the moment the modeling community is missing in the scenarios/use cases and in the participation section, which has sometimes different approaches and solutions compared to observations. Therefore I suggest to add ENES (European Network for Earth System Modelling; The infrastructure development is carried out by IS-ENES, which is currently between its 2nd and 3rd funding phase. In the 3rd and last phase IS-ENES will concentrate on the consolidation of the developed services and therefore can make a valuable contribution to the ESS IG.

  • Lynn Yarmey's picture

    Author: Lynn Yarmey

    Date: 29 Jan, 2018

    I will make sure your points are considered in the final charter review. Thanks again, Lynn

  • Mustapha Mokrane's picture

    Author: Mustapha Mokrane

    Date: 26 Jan, 2018

    Thanks for this interesting initiative. I have added my name to the group on behalf of the ICSU World Data System (WDS) which bringsg together and coordinates activities involving a significant number of trustworthy data repositories and data services in the field of Earth, Space, and Environmental Sciences. WDS could contribute to this group.

  • Lynn Yarmey's picture

    Author: Lynn Yarmey

    Date: 29 Jan, 2018

    I will make sure your points are considered in the final charter review. Thanks again, Lynn

  • Rebecca Koskela's picture

    Author: Rebecca Koskela

    Date: 21 Mar, 2018

    The Metadata IG should also be added to the list of Interest Groups and DataONE ( should be added to the list of External Groups.


  • Shelley Stall's picture

    Author: Shelley Stall

    Date: 25 May, 2018

    Rebecca, we will be pleased to add in your suggestions. 

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