ESIP 2019 Summer Meeting Attracts Top Science and Technology Leaders to Collaborate on How to Put Earth Science Data to Work

Attendees explore strategies to Cloud-optimize Earth science data and share innovative approaches to increase data accessibility and maximize data usability


BOULDER, Colo., July 31, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP), the global Earth science data community and platform for more than 20 years, recently hosted its 2019 Summer Meeting in Tacoma, Washington, which brought together the most innovative thinkers and leaders around Earth science data and provided a platform for geoscientists, environmental scientists, technologists and other earth science data professionals to share ideas, collaborate on specific topics and build connections across federal agencies, academia and the private sector.

The meeting was the largest ESIP gathering to date with more than 300 members and guests assembled to address the theme, Data to Action - Increasing the Use and Value of Earth Science Data and Information. Speakers and attendees converged from diverse organizations including: Amazon AWS, Esri, Google, Microsoft, Planet, Smithsonian Institution, Stanford University, UC Berkeley, University of Washington, NASA, NOAA, U.S. Geological Survey and the Washington State Government.

“The record attendance, significant number of new attendees and full agenda speaks volumes about the value that engagement with ESIP provides to our current and new partners,” said Karl Benedict, president of ESIP. “There was a palpable sense of things getting done and new connections being made, particularly in the breakout and un-conference sessions. I know many of the attendees have already started thinking about how to integrate the lessons, strategies and technologies into their work.”

“Relevant topics, inspirational speakers and quality content drove a highly engaged audience,” said Erin Robinson, Executive Director of ESIP. “Our first full track of Cloud computing topics showcased how the Earth science community is coming together to define and use Cloud-optimize data. We had fantastic sessions about GeoSemantics, and innovative methods to increase the discoverability of Earth science data collections.”

“Our annual FUNding Friday mini-grant competition associated with the summer meeting was a great success,” added Robinson. “We awarded one of three mini-grants to a Tacoma Public School Teacher for a project that will use Earth science data to prove the ocean environment is changing.” We also took the opportunity to introduce Earth and Environment Science Information Partners to attendees, which is an emerging Australian community being incubated by ESIP.”


Moving Earth Science Data to the Cloud
As the Earth science community takes on the task of Cloud-optimizing large-scale datasets, new approaches in the way the scientific community handles data preparation, organization, access, processing and analysis are necessary. The ESIP Summer Meeting provided a full track of cloud data topics with knowledgeable speakers, including ESIP Cloud computing partner, Amazon AWS. Attendees enjoyed a comprehensive range of topics from a Cloud computing introduction to technical instruction, best practices, case studies, and security and compliance sessions.

Applying GeoSemantics and to Earth Science Data
Coordinated efforts around data semantics and ontologies for Earth science data will drive interoperability and maximize usability. Leading this endeavor, the ESIP Semantic Technologies Committee hosted its annual GeoSemantics Symposium on the day before the ESIP Summer 2019 Meeting. The symposium investigated data semantics as a first-class citizen within the pervasive machine learning technology space. Other sessions during the week explored using to create, maintain, and promote schemas for structured data.

Increasing the Accessibility and Use of Earth Science Data Collections
The primary challenge for collections is getting the data in front of people who need it for research. Meeting attendees agreed that data digitization provides a significant payoff for both data managers and researchers, and persistent identifiers should be encouraged for all types of research objects including physical samples. Presentations discussing innovative approaches to Earth science data collection included: ‘Increasing the Impact of the Smithsonian’s Geological Collections,’ ‘Ease Leads to Exposure, Exposure Leads to Adoption,’ ‘New Approaches to Science Communication with Data Sonification’ and ‘Climate Change and the Ocean Impacts: Washington’s Use Case for Earth Science Data.’

ESIP FUNding Friday Mini-grant Award Winner
Mimi Walker, a public school teacher at Lincoln High School in Tacoma, Washington, won the ESIP FUNding Friday mini-grant competition. Walker’s project was to ‘Put Data to Action in the Classroom.’ Her students will use Earth science data to prove that the ocean environment is changing. The mini-grants are available to ESIP community members including students and to teachers who take part in the Education Committee Workshop hosted at the Summer Meeting each year.

Watch the Meeting Highlights Webinar
For those not able to attend the meeting or if you missed a particular session, you can find out how to join the ESIP Summer Meeting Highlights Webinar on August 8, 2019 and access presentations from each session at

About ESIP
Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP), is a Global Earth Science Data Community and collaborative platform for advancing the usefulness and impact of data necessary to address pressing global environmental challenges and fuel new discoveries. For the past 20 years, ESIP has driven its mission to support the networking and data dissemination needs of members and the global Earth science data community by linking the functional sectors of observation, research, application, education and use of Earth science. By encouraging open and FAIR data platforms for the global ecosystem of Earth science data stewards to share resources, ESIP facilitates collaboration and builds connections across federal agencies, academia and the private sector. To learn about ESIP, visit and follow @ESIPfed.

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Media Contact:
Barbara Reichert
Reichert Communications

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at

ESIP 2019 Summer Meeting