University of Colorado at Boulder
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The grand challenges of geoscience require working across traditional disciplinary
boundaries. Scientists are being called upon to find, access, and use diverse and voluminous
data types that are described with semantics. The BCube project has put together a strong
team of geoscientists, cyberinfrastructure experts and social scientists to address these
interoperability challenges using a maturing Brokering Framework for discovery, access, semantics,
web crawling, workflows and enhanced user services. The first three have been explored for
geoscience and are mature enough to provide near term engagement of geoscientists in a test
bed environment. Crawling, workflow and services will be developed during the project. The
geoscientists, (including early career scientists) from the domains of hydrology, oceans, polar,
weather, will compile community needs and assess broker capabilities in an increasing complex series of user scenarios.
To address the cultural barriers, BCube includes social science and education in the project team. BCube engages five major
repositories (DataOne, OOI, USGS, NCAR/RAL, NSIDC) to test and demonstrate interconnections
with the Broker Framework, with extension to international repositories in the second year.
The broker discovery and access modules have two important and unique characteristics: a design
that builds interoperability without putting a burden upon either users or providers and an
interfaced web crawling capability to find new data, models and services. New capabilities
also come as the Broker translates cyberinfrastructure research in areas such as semantics
and workflow into a user-oriented capability for cross-discipline geoscience research. An
agile development process will support rapid adaptations to changing user needs. Since not
all needs can be anticipated, the Broker will also have APIs for scientists to write modules
for their own applications. BCube will look at the cultural issues in cross-discipline research
to improve acceptance and use of the broker. Both the technical and cultural broker attributes
will be exercised through user scenarios that start with individual geoscience research issues
and move to more complex cross-discipline research studies. This will develop reference cases
for metrics, monitoring and validating progress as the Broker Framework evolves and matures.
To address the grand challenges facing society, geoscientists need a sustainable and evolvable
cyberinfrastructure supporting cross-discipline research with powerful interoperability. Success
in addressing the project?s six diverse domains will demonstrate this and engender advancements
in the broader geosciences. The Broker module for web 2.0 will support use of crowd sourcing
and citizen science. BCube?s education analyses and early career scientists will consider
the best way to reach a new generation. Expansion to international data access will be demonstrated
through collaboration with the BCube?s international repository partners and a special interest
group of the international Research Data Alliance.
PUBLICATIONS PRODUCED AS A RESULT OF THIS RESEARCH
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Radcliffe, D.E., Reid, D.K., Blombäck, K., Bolster, C.H., Collick, A.S., Easton, Z.M., Francesconi, W., Fuka, D.R., Johnsson, H., King, K., Larsbo, M., Youssef, M.A., Mulkey, A.S., Nelson, N.O., Persson, K., Ramirez-Avila, J.J., Schmieder, F., Smith, D. R. "Applicability of models to predict phosphorus losses in drained fields: A review.," Journal of Environmental Quality, v.44, 2015, p. 614.