status: Recognised & Endorsed

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

Group Email: [group_email]

Secretariat Liaison: [field_secretariat_liaison]

The Earth, space (planetary), and environmental science communities are developing, through multiple international efforts, both general and domain-specific leading practices for data, software, and physcial sample 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 international partnerships and adoption in the community.


This Interest Group started with the BOF specific to EarthCube held at the RDA P10 meeting in September 2017 in Montreal.  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. Our charter was submitted and approved in 2018 and we have participated in every plenary (just about) since then. 


Key participating groups and their use cases include:

1. The Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP) has expanded to include international communities. ESIP is an independent forum used to address topics of interest to the Earth science data and technology community, such as data, software and physical sample management, data and physical sample citation, AI/ML, and Open Science. The work of the ESIP community is advanced through 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), through their Data Leadership program, is promoting Open Science through their publications, meetings, and learning initiavies. Additionally they are working with the broader community to 1) ensure data and software are properly cited in peer-reviewed publications; 2) develop AI/ML Ethics for the Earth, space and environmental sciences community; and 3) develop an approach to publish computational notebooks, in their native format, in peer-reviewed journals. 

5. The Environmental Data Initiative (EDI) is a trustworthy, stable data repository and data management support organization for the environmental sciences. EDI was built with the premise that freely and easily available data are necessary to advance the understanding of complex environmental processes and change, to improve transparency of research results, and to democratize environmental research. EDI provides tools and support that allow the environmental researcher to easily integrate data publishing into the research workflow.

6.  The PARSEC project, funded by the Belmont Forum, is a six-country project representing Brazil, Japan, France, the UK, Australia, and the United Status, exploring the socio-economic impact of protected areas with specific objectives developing resources that provide guidance to researchers on preparing a Data and Digital Output Management Plan (DDOMP), and Open Science practices.  

7. The Open Geospatial Consortium has a series of Domain Working Groups including Earth Systems Science, Geoscience, Hydrology, Marine and Planetary. 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 the ESES-IG will focus on awareness, and coordination where applicable, of independent 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 (planetary), 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 (planetary), 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 alist of vocabulary/semantic/ontology resources including repositories, cross domain vocabulary infrastructures, activities creating and aggregating semantic assets related to Earth, Planetary and Environmental sciences.

Past Plenaries:

21st RDA Plenary Salzburg (Hybrid,  October 2023): Where are the FAIR Earth, Space and Environmental Science Discipline Data Repositories?

20th RDA Plenary, Gothenburg (Hybrid, March 2023): Continuing the Circle of Life of Earth and Environmental Science Data Infrastructure Projects: Maturing PARSEC and ENVRI-FAIR, Beginning New Adventures

19th RDA Plenary South Korea (Hybrid, June 2022): Near and Far: Highlighting Emerging Earthbound and Planetary Data Informatics Systems

18th RDA plenary (Virtual, November 2021): New Developments in Earth and Environmental Science Data Infrastructures and Repositories

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

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

15th RDA Plenary Melbourne (Virtual, March 2020): Uniting Earth Space and Environmental Science Data from the Global North and the Global South to make valuable contributions to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

14th RD-A Plenary Helsinki (October 2019): Globally Networking within ESES data infrastructures, as well as beyond to those of other domains 

13th RD-A Plenary Philadelphia IG (April, 2019): Consolidating Connections and Collaborations.

12th RD-A Plenary Gabarone IG (November, 2018): Developing Global Connections and Collaborations 

11th RD-A Plenary Berlin IG (March 2018): Earth, Space and Environmental Interest Group Inaugural Meeting

10th RD-A Plenary Montreal BoF (September 2017): EarthCube International Partnerships



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