2015-2020 Strategic Plan

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Contents

Preamble

The ESIP Federation’s mission is to support the networking and data dissemination needs of our members and the global community by linking the functional sectors of observation, research, application, education, and ultimate use of Earth science. Previous strategic plans reflected the evolving nature of the ESIP Federation. To accomplish that mission, the ESIP Federation strategic plan vision for 2015-2020 is to be a leader in promoting the collection, stewardship, and use of Earth science data, information, and knowledge that is responsive to societal needs.

The 2015 strategic plan recognizes that the ESIP Federation is uniquely positioned to respond to the growing need for information to solve the Earth’s pressing environmental problems and to support the public’s interest in making better use of science information. The ESIP Federation’s strength continues to come from its diverse partner organizations, including all NOAA, NASA and USGS Earth observing data centers; government research laboratories; research universities; nonprofits; and commercial enterprises.

To achieve the ESIP Federation’s mission, the 2015-2020 strategic plan identifies four primary goals:

  1. Increase the use and value of Earth science data and information.
  2. Strengthen the ties between observations and user communities (e.g. technologies, research, education and applications).
  3. Promote techniques to articulate and measure the socioeconomic value and benefit of Earth science data, information, and applications.
  4. Position ESIP to play a major role in Earth science issues (e.g. addressing effects of climate change mitigation, adaptation and supporting sustainable science data infrastructure).

This document outlines strategic themes for each goal, with specific objectives and actions detailed in a dynamic implementation plan document. The implementation plan will be a living document that is updated frequently, responding to community input throughout its life and reflecting the priorities set by partners who participate in ESIP Federation activities.

Strategic Plan Process

Community Input into 2015 Strategic Plan

Strategic Plan Roadmap

Strategic Plan Roadmap

Vision

To be a leader in promoting the collection, stewardship, and use of Earth science data, information, and knowledge that is responsive to societal needs.

Mission

To support the networking and data dissemination needs of our members and the global community by linking the functional sectors of observation, research, application, education, and ultimate use of Earth science.

Goals and Objectives

GOAL 1: Increase the use and value of Earth science data and information.

Key strategic themes:

  • Data discoverability and interoperability
  • Capacity building and education
  • Product usability
  • Curation of Earth science data
  • Information sharing
  • Organizational Development / Communications / Community Engagement


GOAL 2: Strengthen the ties between observations and user communities (e.g. technologies, research, education and applications).

Key strategic themes:

  • Technology innovation and transfer
  • Organizational Development / Communications / Community Engagement


GOAL 3: Promote techniques to articulate and measure the socioeconomic value and benefit of Earth science data, information and applications.

Key strategic themes:

  • Impact metrics
  • Organizational Development / Communications / Community Engagement


GOAL 4: Position ESIP to play a major role in Earth science issues (e.g. addressing effects of climate change mitigation, adaptation and supporting sustainable science data infrastructure).

Key strategic themes:

  • Organizational Development / Communications / Community Engagement
  • Impact metrics
  • Technology innovation and transfer


Historic Overview (1998-2014)

The Federation of Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP Federation) is a broad-based community drawn from agencies and individuals who collectively provide end-to-end handling for Earth and environmental science data and information. The ESIP Federation was founded in 1998 by NASA in response to a National Research Council (NRC) review of the Earth Observation System Data and Information System (EOSDIS). The NRC called on NASA to develop a new, distributed structure that would be operated and managed by the Earth science community that would include those responsible for all elements of Earth observation, including observation, research, and ultimately, application and education.

Beginning with 24 partners that were funded by NASA, the ESIP Federation's purpose was to experiment with and evolve methods to make Earth science data easy to preserve, locate, access and use by a broad community that was intended to include research, education, and commercial interests. NASA adopted a deliberate and incremental approach in developing the Federation by starting with a limited set of working prototype projects called ESIPs, representing both the research and applications development communities. These prototype projects were joined by the NASA data centers to form the core of the early ESIP Federation and were responsible for creating its governing structures and the collaborative community it is today. The ESIP Federation began as a distributed organization that is linked primarily by the Internet (i.e., a virtual organization), continuing successfully to this day to provide an evolving mechanism by which the community could voluntarily come together and act to define and serve their collective best interests.

By 2001, the ESIP Federation created a nonprofit corporation called the Foundation for Earth Science (Foundation). Through a Memorandum of Understanding with the ESIP Federation, the Foundation provided management support to the ESIP Federation as it moved from an operational prototype to an independent organization. In 2002, Foundation staff was hired to support the work of the ESIP Federation. The Foundation helped create operating policies for the ESIP Federation and facilitated the development of its first strategic plan, adopted by the ESIP Federation’s Assembly in 2004.

The 2004 strategic plan reflected the evolving role that the ESIP Federation sought to play in the ensuing years, reflecting the broadening of the ESIP Federation’s base from its original core to its then 75 partners. NOAA’s data centers joined the ESIP Federation, further broadening its scope and position as a growing community voice. The 2004 Strategic Plan was intended to raise the visibility of Earth science information and position the ESIP Federation to improve its data and information delivery infrastructure. The 2004 Strategic Plan conveyed a vision that served as an important rallying point around which the ESIP Federation sharpened its focus and continued its growth.

As the ESIP Federation entered its second decade, it became obvious that, as a consequence of its continued evolution, it was time to revisit the strategic planning process. Beginning in July 2007 in Madison, Wisconsin, a Strategic Planning Working Group was formed to develop a new vision of the ESIP Federation in its second decade. This decade will capitalize on the growth of the ESIP Federation and its concomitant diversification of its funding.

The 2009 strategic plan celebrated the special status the ESIP Federation occupied as a 10-year old organization, having employed a variety of tools to facilitate communication and interaction using both traditional and virtual tools. The 2009 strategic plan recognizes that the ESIP Federation is uniquely positioned to respond to the growing need for information to solve the Earth’s pressing environmental problems and the public’s interest in making better use of science information. The ESIP Federation’s strength continues to come from its more than 100 partner organizations, including all NOAA, NASA and USGS Earth observing data centers, government research laboratories, research universities, modelers, education resource providers, technology developers, nonprofits and commercial enterprises. The organization will rely on its internal communities to set priorities for the implementation of the ESIP Federation’s strategic plan.

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