Winter Plenary Planning 2018

From Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP)

Discovery Cluster Winter Plenary Planning 2018

Session Proposal

ESIP Discovery Cluster Winter Plenary 2018

Title: Wildfires, Hurricanes, and Drought Oh My! Evaluating the role of earth science data discovery and accessibility in evaluating socioeconomic impacts from severe weather events and climate change.

Scope: The ESIP Discovery Cluster proposes to host a plenary panel discussion on how to enable discovery of earth science data that support socioeconomic value and benefit of Earth science data. In this session, we will investigate the use of high value data sets that are incorporated into economic impact assessments with particular emphasis on severe weather events. This moderated discussion will focus questions to the panel on what earth science datasets are used to in their analyses, search techniques and tools used to locate relevant datasets, shortcomings with existing tools and potential solutions to improving the discoverability and accessibility of the data.


  1. Insight into how key datasets sourced from across a diverse landscape are used to mitigate against the impacts of natural disasters
  2. Understand, from a discovery and accessibility perspective, how IT infrastructure supports prevention and reaction scenarios

Meeting minutes

November 2, 2017


David Moroni, Erin Robinson, Ge Peng, Hampapuram Ramapriyan, Lewis McGibbney, Robert Downs. Annie Burgess, Dave Neufeld



Discuss the logistics of planning a plenary Erin and Lewis to carry this back to Data Discovery Committee


  • Discussion regarding Information Quality Cluster's sessions at Summer 2017 ESIP Meeting:
    • Focused discussion on uncertainty required experts. This topic seemed to always be difficult to engage with as it required expert input which was difficult to obtain.
    • List of experts was put together months before.
    • Information Quality Cluster held a vote. Votes were collected in a Google Spreadsheet with voting being anonymous. There was an concerted effort to invite panelists from different perspectives.
    • Invitations to the experts were sent out. Invitations included a clear indication of what the IQC members were hoping to get from the speakers and a set of key questions they were asked to address.
    • This resulted in 4 experts. The experts were from different sectors.
    • Three spoke at the plenary and the fourth at the breakout session (see below).
    • Speakers were contacted and a template was devised to communicate a clear message as to what was required for the plenary and from their background as an expert.
    • Two planning meetings took place prior to ESIP. The first planning meeting was 5-6 weeks prior to ESIP, the second was 2-3 weeks prior. The meetings enabled both organizers and panel members to contribute to content. Speakers were able to present ideas and receive feedback from organizers. The content worked best when it was tailored to non-experts in the topic area.
    • Support from ESIP: $5,000 was provided by ESIP to cover plenary speaker travel costs. Additionally, one day registration was covered or a discount towards registration if they planned to stay for the entire meeting. (Each of the plenary speakers chose to attend just one day of the meeting).
    • Plenary organizers coordinated introduction speeches so they were flowing smoothly and without too much overlapping; Plenary organizers also developed the social plans for introducing our two sessions and speakers to the ESIP community before and during the mtg/session(s).
    • 45 minute plenary with immediate follow-up session directly after (i.e., right after lunch). Having a lunch break between the plenary and breakout sessions was helpful in getting prepared for the breakout session by identifying key issues raised at the plenary to continue a productive discussion of the issues.
    • The two sessions resulted in action items which have resulted in a proposed session for ESIP Winter 2018 meeting. An additional output was that an agreement was reached to work on a white paper which covered a large breadth of Earth Science.

Discovery Cluster's Plenary

  • The original potential topic for the Discovery cluster’s plenary involves the selection of key datasets from ESIP constituent members and then focusing on discovery tools which make use of these datasets for some socioeconomic purpose.
  • Plenary Panel speakers for Wednesday, Jan 10
    • Confirmed Joshua Behr Virginia Modeling, Analysis and Simulation Center
    • Confirmed Megan Robinson - The Collider
    • Confirmed Jeff Chen - DOC Bureau of Economic Analysis
    • Confirmed Bob Downs - CIESIN - SEDAC

Plenary speakers for Tuesday (Jan 9)

  • Ann Bartuska, Resources for the Future (Plenary day before)
  • NOAA Chief Economist (DoC)

Other Q's and notes

  • Q: Is the reason for the plenary to understand difficulties people face when using tools?
  • It would be useful to get a scope statement together which summarizes the plenary
  • It would be good to provide the scope statement and expectations from the invited speakers while inviting them to speak
  • It would be useful to invite people together from both ends of the spectrum e.g. a problem person and a solutions person.

Action Items

  1. Scope statement needs to be produced which summarizes the plenary
  2. Clarify and formalize the list of speakers for the plenary