status: Recognised & Endorsed

Chair (s): Helen Glaves, Danie Kinkade, Shelley Stall, Pedro Corrêa, Lesley Wyborn

Group Email: [group_email]

Secretariat Liaison:

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.


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.


It is hoped that 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 hope to 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. 


The Catalogues: our Key Outputs: Please check if you group and/or artivities are in these catalogues and add yours if it is not! there!

  1. The Data Infrastrucuture catalogue is a list of Groups building Earth, Space & Environmental Science Groups building data, samples and software infrastructures. It is diviieded into two parts: the first is a list of groups that are exclusively within the Earth, Space and Environmental Science groups, whlst the second group is a list of interdisciplinary groups that also contain Earth, Space and Environmental science data.
  2. The Semantic Resources Catalogue is a list of vocabulary/ ontology repositories, cross domain vocabulary infrastructures, activities creating and aggregating semantic assets related to Earth, Planetary and Environmental sciences:

Past Plenaries:

19th RDA Plenary (virtual) Near and Far: Highlighting Emerging Earthbound and Planetary Data Informatics Systems

18th RDA plenary (Virtual) New Developments in Earth and Environmental Science Data Infrastructures and Repositories: 

17th RDA Plenary Edinburgh (April 2021) Making Global Connections in Earth and Environmental Science Data Infrastructures and Repositories. 

16th RDA Plenary Costa Rica (November 2020): Digging Deeper - how do we globally describe, store and interoperate Earth, Space and Environmental Science Data 

14th RD-A Plenary Helsinki IG Meeting:Globally Networking within ESES data infrastructures, as well as beyond to those of other domains  

13th RD-A Plenary Philadelphia IG Meeting: Consolidating Connections and Collaborations  

12th RD-A Plenary Gabarone IG Meeting: ESES IG: Developing Global Connections and Collaborations  

11th RD-A Plenary Berlin IG Meeting: IG Earth, Space and Environmental Interest Group Inaugural Meeting

10th RD-A Plenary Montreal BoF: EarthCube International Partnerships


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