Draft Excom Minutes

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Draft Minutes for 9/10/2009

ESIP Federation Executive Committee September 10, 2009

Participants: Karl Benedict; Steve Berrick; James Frew; Danny Hardin; Patricia Huff; Marilyn Kaminski; Tamara Ledley; Carol Meyer; Margaret Mooney; Rob Raskin

Adoption of Minutes

The minutes were presented as drafted and no discussion ensued. A motion was made (and seconded) to adopt the minutes as drafted. The motion carried by acclamation.

Legal Review

The draft policy for how Committees and Working Groups request funding was reviewed by an attorney. The attorney reviewed the policy in the context of other governance documents (e.g. Constitution, Bylaws, Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)). She made a few minor language edits but the substance of the policy appeared to be solid. One item that will require attention is the MOU between the Foundation and the ESIP Federation and the reporting requirements therein. The reporting requirements in the MOU are not consistent with the new policy. The MOU will be reexamined at a later date and an adjustment to the reporting schedule will be recommended. With no further discussion, the Executive Committee adopted the draft policy by acclamation.

Carol Meyer also requested an informal opinion from the attorney regarding the hosting/management of other organization’s meetings. A request had been made from an ESIP Federation partner who would like for the Foundation for Earth Science/ESIP Federation to host an annual gathering that has been running the past ten years. Concerns were raised about risk and liability. The attorney suggested that at minimum, the Foundation for Earth Science would need to be indemnified by the other organization. A quest was raised related to the co-location of ESDSWG meetings and if indemnification was necessary. The Executive Committee felt that this was not the same case, rather, these two meetings are merely co-located and run by NASA as a separate set of activities. The hosting/management arrangement above could operate under a contract for services

Website Content Policy

One of the FUNding Friday winners has requested to retain copyright to work he is undertaking related to his mini-grant award. At this time, the ESIP Federation does not have any policy for governing contributed content for its website.

The Executive Committee discussed a number of scenarios for contributed content and drew a line between ‘final’ or ‘mature’ content and ‘developmental’ content. The Executive Committee stated that mature content should reside on the website while developmental content should be on the wiki.

A question about how content migrates from the wiki to the website was posed. At this time, no policy exists. Some of the wiki activities are inherently developmental (e.g. testbeds) and other activities might reach some mature conclusion (e.g. ontology development, community standards adoption). A resources section on the website might be created to highlight some of the community-decided actions of the ESIP Federation.

The question before the Executive Committee now is related to the intellectual property rights of content producers. Is the content funded through the ESIP FEderation property of the ESIP Federation? Should we be hosting people’s copyrighted material?

Until a policy can be put in place, the Executive Committee decided to allow contributed content that provides for attribution but which allows for full use of the posted material.

Steve Berrick was looking for clarification about Bruce Barkstrom’s request. Carol Meyer stated that Bruce has created a couple static web pages that provide analysis to comparing approaches to metadata. This is the work Bruce has copyrighted. .

Jim Frew proposed that the Executive Committee should adopt a copyright policy that is open and allows for reuse, but covers attribution. Meanwhile, we will suspend any postings of restrictive copyrighted material until it can be discussed by the full ESIP Federation.

Karl Benedict suggested that we need a clarification of reuse. What provisions are there for it? Until a policy is in place, we will only consider postings that have no limitations of reuse except for basic copyright. In the interim, staff will examine the Creative Commons license approach for its needs.


Brian Rogan explained that a newsletter is in development. It was suggested that the newsletter use RSS feeds as a way to enhance its distribution.

DC Trip

Frew and Carol summed up their DC trip this past week.

The meetings in DC were spread over 2 weeks. The first week Chuck Hutchinson and Carol Meyer visited NASA Data Systems and USGS. At NASA, they met with Martha Maiden, Steve Berrick and Ernie Hilsenrath. The focus of that discussion was on the importance of metrics and the status of the Air Quality Working Group. NASA stressed the importance of briefing the agency on the ESIP Federation’s progress. Carol and Brian will work to develop a more proactive system and make it a point to debrief people more regularly.

Steve Berrick noted that Ernie Hilsenrath expressed concerns about the progress of the Air Quality Working Group. He was disappointed that it didn’t seem to be going anywhere, though acknowledging that these things take time. . Ernie also felt the Working Group was too tech oriented, with not enough users involved in the activities. The Working Group’s own internal governance is not mature and given their voluntary nature, without any carrot and stick, we have hit a wall to take it to the next level.

Steven Falke and David McCabe reported this as well and are committed to making the Working Group move ahead. Carol Meyer reported that there are some opportunities to make global connections that are intended to move the work forward.

Carol Meyer reported that the USGS meeting was very positive. Carol and Chuck met with Greg Withee, who is not a special advisor for international programs at USGS. Greg was willing to help get the ESIP Federation connected to key people within USGS, including helping to get some people to the Winter ESIP Federation meeting..

Jim Frew, Chris Lenhardt Chuck Hutchinson and Carol Meyer met with Chet Koblinsky and David Herring at the NOAA Climate Program Office. Basically, there was a lot of enthusiasm about potentially partnering. The Climate Program Office is very interested in end user engagement for climate services and would like to get involved. All in attendance were pleased at the meeting’s tenor and recognized the opportunity to improve the ESIP Federation’s exposure in NOAA, in addition to that we’ve enjoyed with NESDIS.

The team met with Pai Yee Whung (Chief Scientist), Gary Foley, Steve Young, Ming Chang and Linda Lassiter of EPA. They were very engaged and interested in the ESIP Federation as a means to broaden EPA information dissemination. A big problem with EPA is the diffuseness of its organization, however, Pai Yee could help to make it much easier to bring the organizations together. Pai Yee really appreciates and understands the role the ESIP Federation plays with data and views herself as a pragmatist. She very much wants to serve up science information to the decision making community.

The team had a second meeting with EPA consisting of Gary Foley (OSA), Bill Sontag (OEI) and Lisa Matthews (EPA GEO). The meeting focused on understanding EPA’s goals for GEO and understanding Bill Sonntag’s vision for the ESIP Federation Water Cluster, which he co-chairs. Jim Frew gave a presentation about the ESIP Federation to the EPA GEO team as a follow on to this meeting.

Chuck Hutchinson, Chris Lenhardt and Carol Meyer met with Lawrence Friedl and Brad Doorn to discuss some approaches to work on getting involved with GEO. It was a very positive discussion.

Other Business

Michael Goodman recently took a position with NASA’s Applied Sciences program at headquarters.

Tamara Ledley reported that the Climate Literacy Network was funded to create a pathway for the NSDL. She would like to have a presence at the Winter ESIP Federation meeting.

The meeting adjourned at 2:33 p.m.