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Award Abstract #1343811

EarthCube Building Blocks: Earth System Bridge: Spanning Scientific Communities with Interoperable Modeling Frameworks

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Initial Amendment Date: August 26, 2013
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Latest Amendment Date: March 9, 2015
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Award Number: 1343811
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Award Instrument: Standard Grant
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Program Manager: Eva E. Zanzerkia
GEO Directorate For Geosciences
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Start Date: September 15, 2013
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End Date: August 31, 2017 (Estimated)
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Awarded Amount to Date: $1,699,997.00
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Investigator(s): Scott Peckham Scott.Peckham@colorado.edu (Principal Investigator)
David Gochis (Co-Principal Investigator)
Cecelia Deluca (Co-Principal Investigator)
Richard Hooper (Co-Principal Investigator)
Anna Kelbert (Co-Principal Investigator)
Jennifer Arrigo (Former Co-Principal Investigator)
Gary Egbert (Former Co-Principal Investigator)
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Sponsor: University of Colorado at Boulder
3100 Marine Street, Room 481
Boulder, CO 80303-1058 (303)492-6221
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NSF Program(s): EarthCube
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Program Reference Code(s): 7433
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Program Element Code(s): 8074


This EarthCube project possesses deep, disciplinary and interdisciplinary expertise in the development, implementation and support of geoscientific modeling architectures and in the promotion and utilization of community standards in model development and in data management. Combined, this team will integrate existing model architectures, model coupling standards and data standards into a set of open source Earth System Bridge building blocks that will transform the process of Earth system model coupling and bridge the present technological gap. In collaboration with the community of framework developers, the team will create a Framework Definition Language (FDL) which characterizes Earth system coupling technologies in terms of their metadata usage, architecture, protocols for interaction, and implementation, and use this as a basis for understanding potential framework inter-connections. They will use the FDL to develop a set of ?bridges? that connect leading software frameworks from the federal modeling enterprise and from the academic geoscientific modeling enterprise, for the sake of creating seamless environmental and impacts prediction tools, and develop new services to improve the integration of inter-agency, four-dimensional databases with more heterogeneous academic databases for use in earth system models and by modeling groups. Demonstration of the new modeling and data integration architecture will be in two case studies: the first, prediction of the local impacts of the Hurricane Sandy landfall; and the second, the integration of deep Earth process with surface dynamics. These problems span disciplines, agencies, and research and operational communities, and require addressing scientific, technical, and cultural issues.

The overarching goal is to bridge this present technological gap in Earth System modeling, thereby illustrating how a common cyberinfrastructure can be used in different Earth science disciplines and communities, and how improved cyberinfrastructure can directly address pressing cross-disciplinary science questions.

The tools developed by the Earth System Bridge have the potential to serve many different disciplinary communities. A more interconnected and capable modeling community will significantly increase the speed at which knowledge is currently transferred between the research and operational communities, Connecting the academic and operational infrastructure will reduce inefficiencies and gaps that exists in the system today. The technology developed will place increased capabilities in the hands of a broader set of geoscientists, lowering the barriers to more scientists participating in multi-disciplinary research that is needed to address today?s policy issues and increase our national resilience to a wide variety of natural hazards.


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A. Kelbert. "Science and cyberinfrastructure: A chicken and egg problem," EOS Trans. AGU, v.94(49), 2014, p. 458. 

Fan, Y., S. Richard, R.S. Bristol, S.E. Peters, S.E. Ingebritsen, N. Moosdorf, A. Packman, T. Gleeson, I. Zaslavsky, S. Peckham, L. Murdoch, M. Fienen, M. Cardiff, D. Tarboton, N. Jones, R. Hooper, J. Arrigo, D. Gochis, J. Olson, D. Wolock. "DigitalCrust ? A 4D data system of material properties for transforming research on crustal fluid flow," GeoFluids, Special issue on Crustal Permeability, 2014.


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