Brandon Whitehead Candidate Statement 2021

From Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP)

Back to 2021 Nominations and Ballot

Brandon Whitehead, Environmental Data Scientist at Manaaki Whenua -- Landcare Research, Candidate for Semantic Technologies Chair

Bio: Brandon Whitehead is an Environmental Data Scientist at Manaaki Whenua -- Landcare Research in New Zealand. His current work is focused on building vocabularies and semantic models striving to reflect domain knowledge of soil scientists as well as New Zealand land use and landcover categories and process models. He is passionate about capturing and applying rich Earth and Environmental domain models for machine aided reasoning and discovery, and feels oddly compelled to increase the utility of the SWEET ontology.

Statement of Interest: I am currently an Environmental Data Scientist at Manaaki Whenua -- Landcare Research in New Zealand. I have been involved with ESIP since 2015 when I was a Semantic Web Cluster Fellow and have continued my involvement, as time permits, with what is now the Semantic Technologies Committee as well as Semantic Harmonization Cluster and lurking on several other clusters. I am one of the original founders of EarthArXiv, and will serve as co-chair of the soon to be minted Soil Ontology and Informatics Cluster.

There is massive opportunity within ESIP to share knowledge and align seemingly disparate streams of work under a more holistic view of what we refer to, broadly, as Semantic Technologies. There is also a gap in some real practical aspects of semantic integration. It’s not only the engineering of artifacts which are both scientifically and technologically innovative, but also developing best practices, patterns, training and, if we are, as a community, going to advance beyond the current state of things, outreach.

In other words, the Semantic Technologies Committee should, in my estimation, provide the rug that ties the room together.

The previous chairs have laid the groundwork and built real momentum. The primary focus of the next chair will be to continue that path by fostering more awareness and engagement, both within ESIP and in the broader Earth and Environmental science semantics communities. I am confident I can serve well in this regard as well as potentially bringing more international appeal to the community.