Conference Agenda

Overview and details of the sessions of this conference. Please select a date or location to show only sessions at that day or location. Please select a single session for detailed view (with abstracts and downloads if available).

Session Overview
15.1-1 Working on the roads: Improving the infrastructure for research into geo-societal challenges
Wednesday, 22/Sept/2021:
1:30pm - 3:00pm

Session Chair: Kirsten Elger, GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences

Session Abstract

In response to the growing geo-societal challenges of our densely populated planet, current research frequently requires convergence of multiple research disciplines, and optimized use of openly available data, research facilities and funds. Especially the Earth and environmental sciences play a significant role in addressing these challenges, but require the integration of scientific data, software and tools from multiple, globally distributed resources to unlock their full potential to contribute. In addition, the number of Earth and environmental research data repositories and data portals has increased markedly, and so has their range of maturities and capabilities to integrate into the ecosystem of modern scientific communication. Efforts such as the FAIR Data Principles, the CoreTrustSeal Certification for the trustworthiness of research data repositories, and the Enabling FAIR Data Commitment Statement have raised our expectations towards the capabilities of research data repositories and infrastructures. Now we need to ensure that these expectations are met at all levels, from individual researchers, to data repositories, to research infrastructures. What are the challenges and appropriate strategies?This session invites contributions from different fields of expertise, including research infrastructure or data repository managers, data scientists, interdisciplinary researchers and policy makers. Our aim is to discuss perspectives, experiences, current or future challenges and potential solutions related to creating an effective infrastructure for the environmental and earth sciences. 

1:30pm - 1:45pm

Out in the Field - Digital Documentation from Dirt to Desktop

Jens Klump1, Shawn Ross2, Nathan Reid1, Brian Ballsun-Stanton2, Steve Cassidy2, Penny Crook2, Ryan Noble1, Adéla Sobotkova3

1CSIRO, Perth, Australia; 2Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia; 3Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark

Documentation of sample collection and instrument deployment in the field is time-consuming, error-prone and laborious. Even though best practices in research data management suggest that data should be captured in a structured digital format as early as possible in the data life cycle, fieldwork often suffers a digitisation bottleneck.

Mobile applications are one solution to overcome the digitisation bottleneck. They allow data capture in the field, including automatic capture of contextual data like campaign information, operator, date and time, geographic position, etc. On the other hand, systematic field campaigns commonly follow specific workflows and no single application can cover all requirements. Development costs of creating a new software package for each field campaign are also prohibitive.

Instead of a specific mobile application, we use the FAIMS application framework that allows fast production of mobile data acquisition applications that are tailor-made for their intended use cases. In field deployments, we demonstrated that in combination with machine-readable sample labels the sample documentation workflow could be streamlined and the time needed could be reduced by 50%.

The FAIMS application framework allows data, collected offline, to be synchronised between devices and a server, facilitating both data sharing between campaign participants and securing against data loss. The collation of data in this manner also allows data to be fed back into field operations to support decision-making, e.g., to optimise sampling strategies in a dynamic environment or based on newly acquired data.

1:45pm - 2:00pm

DIGIS: Digital Geochemistry Infrastructure for GEOROC 2.0

Marthe Klöcking1, Bärbel Sarbas2, Wolfram Horstmann3, Stefan Möller-McNett1, Jens Nieschulze4, Caroline Sporleder5, Matthias Willbold1, Gerhard Wörner1

1Geoscience Centre (GZG), Göttingen University; 2Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Mainz; 3Göttingen State and University Library Services (SUB); 4eResearch Alliance, Göttingen University; 5Institute of Computer Science & Göttingen Centre for Digital Humanities

GEOROC is a leading open-access source of geochemical and isotopic datasets and has facilitated thousands of peer-reviewed publications and new avenues of geochemical research. The new Digital Geochemistry Infrastructure (DIGIS) concept of GEOROC 2.0, an integral part of the NFDI4Earth initiative, will continue and enhance the existing data collection by generating a connected platform that meets future challenges of digital data-based research and provides advanced service to the community.

Our approach is to (1) realign GEOROC with current and future demands in digital geochemical research, especially regarding FAIR (findable, accessible, interoperable, reusable) principles; (2) provide this service with future-ready, adaptable IT infrastructure; and (3) identify, develop and recommend good-practice rules for the curation of physical samples linked to the GEOROC 2.0 platform. DIGIS will implement an interoperable metadata model as well as data and metadata exchange via standardised application interfaces (APIs). The scientific development of GEOROC 2.0 and the re-organisation of its IT infrastructure will enable a more diverse range of geochemical data, improving integration in other research disciplines such as soil science, remote sensing, and archaeometry. The DIGIS concept for GEOROC 2.0 includes open access to end-to-end text and data mining, integration of IGSNs and data DOIs, multi-way data harvesting capabilities, and state-of-the-art connectivity to other databases. By ensuring continued open access to a FAIR database, DIGIS aims to facilitate sustainability in future Environmental and Earth Science research.

2:00pm - 2:15pm

Authority, Identity and Ethics of Data Re-publication and Duplication

Lesley Wyborn1, Kirsten Elger2, Jens Klump3, Kerstin Lehnert4, Mingfang Wu5

1Australian National University, Australia; 2GeoForschungsZentrum, Germany; 3CSIRO, Australia; 4Columbia University, USA; 5Australian Research Data Commons, Australia

Today, research data is widely available in digital form, datasets are easily accessible online and the dataset creator should consider it advantageous as this leads to greater uptake. However, the downside is that digital datasets can be easily copied, duplicated in multiple places, and re-published through more than one repository or service. Particularly with web services, mirroring resources is a common practice, especially in online GIS packages and dashboards. ‘Copy WMS link’ buttons are common, but these often only provide access to the service endpoints: any information about the owner, licence, accreditation, citation etc is not carried with the data. Increasingly poor practices in republication and duplication are leading to exactly the same versions of data/metadata being available in multiple places: some replications are assigned new DOIs, without cross-referencing the original DOI.

Increasingly funders ask for information about usage and impact of datasets/data acquisition campaigns they funded. Journal publishers now require that appropriate credit be given to whoever collected, curated and/or preserved the data in a publication. Best practices are currently poorly defined: researchers are raising issues on ethics and asking if we need to rethink data licencing.

There is clearly a need for community agreed documentation of best practices for the identification of data aggregations, data re-publication and mirroring of data to multiple sites. For ethical scientific research there is an urgent need to be able to identify the authoritative or canonical version of a dataset and ensure correct attribution and citation of any data source.

2:15pm - 2:30pm

The Australian AuScope Virtual Research Environments (AVRE): a Flexible, Service-Oriented Geoscience Platform to Empower Researchers for the Global Challenges of Today and Those of the Future

Jens Klump1, Tim Rawling2, Carsten Friedrich3, Ulrich Engelke3, Vincent Fazio1, Lesley Wyborn4

1CSIRO Mineral Resources, Australia; 2AuScope Ltd, Australia; 3CSIRO Data 61, Australia; 4Australian National University, Australia

AuScope is Australia’s National Geoscience Research Infrastructure Program and seeks to provide a world-class research physical and digital infrastructure to help tackle Australia's key geoscience challenges. Launched in 2007, AuScope’s data-generating infrastructures range from VLBI telescopes to geochemistry/geochronology laboratories and geophysical data acquisitions. To utilise data collected by these infrastructures and equivalents elsewhere, the Australian Geoscience Research and Government communities have collaborated on building a suite of data portals, tools, software and virtual laboratories that enabled discovery of data and tools and process them using online workflows.

Over time, it was recognised the nature of research was changing - it has become more transdisciplinary and data-intensive. Processing and storage capacities have multiplied enabling processing of higher resolution datasets, new tools like notebooks and containerisation have become available, and the demand for mobile solutions is growing. Online portals with prefixed workflows no longer supported research innovation: researchers wanted greater flexibility to discover their own data sources and combine them with tools of their choice and process where most optimal.

In 2017, the AuScope Virtual Research Environment (AVRE) was launched to support these new ambitions. The aspiration was to realise a service-oriented science platform that will allow users to choose their own data sets and tools and empower next generation data assimilation and modelling. Through using international standards and protocols, AVRE will ensure connection with equivalent infrastructures in the marine, bio, environmental, geospatial, etc communities, as well as seamlessly integrate with relevant international research infrastructures such as ENVRI, EPOS, EarthScope, etc.

2:30pm - 2:45pm

Data Journals - Bridging the worlds of data and research

David Carlson1, Kirsten Elger2, Jens Klump3, Ge Peng4, Johannes Wagner5

1Carlson Works, Bozeman, MT, USA; 2GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, Potsdam, Germany; 3Commonwea lth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Kensington WA, Australia; 4North Carolina Institute for Climate Studies, North Carolina State University, NC, USA; 5Copernicus Publications, Göttingen, Germany

In less than one decade the open-access data journal Earth System Science Data (ESSD, a member of the Copernicus Open Access Publisher family) grew from a start-up venture into one of the highest-rated journals in global environmental science. Stimulated by data needs of the International Polar Year 2007-2008, ESSD now serves a very broad community of data providers and users, ensuring that users get free and easy access to quality data products and that providers gain full scientific credit for preparing, describing and sharing those products via a peer-reviewed data description article. Adopting technology and practices from research journals,

ESSD moved data publication from an abstract concept to a working enterprise, bridging the worlds of data and research; several publishers now support data-sharing journals. ESSD serves as a prominent voice for, and useful example of, emphatic fully-free fully-open global data access. ESSD publishes comprehensive data descriptions, certifying quality and ensuring accessibility of the described data or database and allowing users to pursue subsequent analysis and interpretation with confidence. As ESSD works with data providers and data repositories to confront challenges and barriers, increasing submission numbers indicate that the concept of sharing data through formal publication meets a strong community need.

2:45pm - 3:00pm

The EXCITE-network: providing access to leading-edge electron and X-ray microscopy facilities for geo-materials research

Oliver Plümper1, Veerle Cnudde1,2, Geertje ter Maat1, Sylvia Walter1, Richard Wessels1, the EXCITE network1

1Department of Earth Sciences, Utrecht University, The Netherlands; 2Department of Geology, Ghent University, Belgium

Understanding earth materials is critical to creating a sustainable, carbon-neutral society due to their involvement in many vital processes. Earth materials control the feasibility of subsurface energy storage, geothermal energy extraction, and are a source of critical elements. However, perturbations to geological systems can also result in hazards, such as human-induced earthquakes. If we want to tackle current, pressing scientific questions related to sustainable development for a circular economy, there is an urgent need to make multi-scale, multi-dimensional characterisations of earth materials available to a broad spectrum of earth-science disciplines. In addition to the society relevant topics, the properties of earth materials determine how the Earth works on the most fundamental level.

To overcome this challenge, 15 European electron and X-ray microscopy facilities join forces to establish EXCITE (Electron and X-ray microscopy community for structural and chemical imaging techniques for earth materials;

EXCITE enables access to high-end microscopy facilities and to join the knowledge and experience from the different institutions.

EXCITE develops community-driven technological imaging advancements that strengthen and extend the current implementation of leading-edge microscopy for earth-materials research.

EXCITE integrates joint research programmes with networking, training, and transnational access activities, to enable both academia and industry to answer critical questions in earth-materials science and technology.

As such, EXCITE builds a community of highly qualified earth scientists, develops correlative imaging technologies and provides access to world-class facilities to new and non-expert users that are often hindered from engaging in problem-solving microscopy.