Energy and Climate Cluster Session Abstract

From Federation of Earth Science Information Partners

ESIP Energy and Climate Cluster Workshop

January 4-5, 2012, Washington, DC

“Dynamic Decision Tools Catalog and Community of Practice”

Shailendra Kumar, Northrop Grumman Corporation, shailendra.kumar@ngc.com

Richard S. Eckman, NASA, richard.s.eckman@nasa.gov


One of the challenges Federal agencies face when reviewing energy related projects (e.g. wind power site selection) is a method to assess risks associated with those projects. Project proponents and NGOs evaluating environmental impacts have similar concerns. There are a number of tools that can be used but they don’t have the transparency in terms of the models used, and the data that went behind the tools. What could help is a dynamic decision tools catalog and community of practice to build transparency of the decision tool architecture, data, and functionality. This would aid the decision maker in tool selection and use appropriate to their planning goals and help identify gaps and improvements needed to the kit of decision tools.

ESIP can play a coordinating role by engaging universities and industry along with the Federal agencies and NGOs in a cross-sector understanding of the needs, maintaining such a catalog of decision tools, engaging the community in a dialog and discussion, and facilitating partnerships in further tool development and application. Some of the Federal agencies that could have interest in this project and have related initiatives are Fish and Wildlife Service, USGS, DoE, NREL, and Bureau of Land Management. The purpose of this workshop at the ESIP 2012 winter meeting is to bring government agencies, researchers, and developers together to identify what the stakeholder needs are and discuss an approach we could take (as a group participating within ESIP) to address this problem. One of the targeted outcomes is a framework for ESIP to undertake this project. A white paper will be generated to capture the results that could serve as a statement of needs for the Federal agencies to consider RFI/RFPs.


AGENDA:

January 4, 2012 Wednesday Afternoon 2:00 – 3:30 PM Track 4: Energy and Climate – Dynamic Decision Tool Catalog and Community of Practice: Agency Perspective / End User Needs


• Workshop Goals - Shailendra Kumar, Northrop Grumman

• USGS Ecological Land Use and Sustainability Requirements – Ben Wheeler / Sky Bristol (TBD), USGS

• Current tools and Gaps - Laurie Allen, USGS

3:30 – 4:00 PM Break

4:00 – 5:30 PM Track 4: Energy and Climate – Dynamic Decision Tool Catalog and Community of Practice: Current implementations, Gap Analysis

• Open EI and energy.data.gov - Robert Bectel, DOE

• Western Governor’s Wildlife Council Crucial Habitat Assessment Tool (CHAT) - Madeleine West, Western Governors Association (via WebEx)

January 5, 2012 Thursday Afternoon Track 4: Energy and Climate – Dynamic Decision Tool Catalog and Community of Practice: Next Steps and Technology Solutions

2:00 – 3:30 PM

• Esri Geoportal Server and Energy Related Tools - Christine White, Esri

Media:ESIPWinter2012_Fox_SemWeb_EnergyClimate.ppt ESIP Semantic Web Cluster Activities and Relevance to the ESIP Energy and Climate Cluster - Peter Fox, RPI, ESIP Semantic Web Cluster Chair

• Architecture model for OGC Services Integration - Karl Benedict, UNM

3:30 – 4:00 PM Break

4:00 – 5:30 PM

• Systems Architecture and Implementation - Stefan Falke, NGC

• Drupal-based Implementation – Rahul Ramachandran, UAH

• Project Discussion – Next Steps

January 6, 2012 Fri Morning

7:45 - 8:30 AM

• Public Private Partnership - Discussion (jointly with other WGs)

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ABSTRACTS:

Title: Siting Renewable Energy: Current Tools and Ongoing Challenges

Laurie K. Allen, USGS, Ecosystems Mission Area Program Coordinator: Wildlife (WTER)

The topic of decision tools for siting renewable energy projects has been going on around the country, from local settings to the national level, from nongovernment organizations to federal and state agencies. USGS, along with many others, has been working on developing tools to assist federal agencies in making permit and other siting decisions while minimizing the impacts to wildlife and other natural resources. This research and development runs the gamut from GIS based tools to models, structured decision frameworks, wildlife and ecosystem assessment, to data management and availability. A few USGS examples include a rapid assessment methodology (RAM) and mortality estimation tools for bats and eagles, but also includes research essential to provide ecological information to support those tools like technology development (e.g. infrared video, thermal imaging, radar) rapid eco-regional assessments, Wyoming landscape work, and broad-scale population and habitat assessment. Recently OSTP pulled together a group of federal agencies to discuss how to coordinate these kinds of activities with respect to wind energy and wildlife, with the goal of making them more accessible and transparent to developers and decision makers. This discussion highlighted the challenges that apply to renewable energy and ecosystems overall that will be informative for the ESIP workshop.

Title: Current implementations, Gap Analysis - Open EI and energy.data.gov

Robert Bectel, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, DOE

A panoply of data, models, visualizations, analyses, software and decision tools of all sort exist across the –Verse. The problem is that many of these are not accessible, transparent, “open”, distributable, mobile, location aware, up-to-date, or even licensed for use outside of their single use development environment. Developers of these solutions, whether they are a Government Agency, NGO, or other interested group insist on building their solution within their zone of control with visibility and access available only through their single destination site. OpenEI.org is an open source wiki media platform that leverages crowd sourcing to build an ecosystem for the transmission, storage, analysis and distribution of energy data and information. The system provides mapping and other visualization tools to transform that raw data into understanding. By building an open, crowd sourced catalog of highly interactive resources and an engaged community of solution providers, OpenEI and Data.gov bring powerful distribution engines for use by anyone. Capable of connecting to virtually any data or Content source and conveying that access to other destinations, they transform understanding and access to knowledge and resources which otherwise would be inaccessible or at best diffused across the –Verse in such a way as to be nearly impossible to find. This interactive conversation will focus on why we need to build open source, transparent and highly distributable solution sets; What value we can derive from the use of distribution accelerators like OpenEI and Data.Gov and; What the continued development of single destination sites based on the outdated theory of “If I build it they will come” means for those individuals, groups or Agencies attempting to assess the risks associated with energy related projects.

Title: Western Governor’s Wildlife Council Crucial Habitat Assessment Tool (CHAT)

Madeleine West, Program Director, Western Governors' Association

Common Ground: Wildlife and their habitat have always been essential to the Western way of life in many different ways. Hunters, fishermen, backpackers, birders and other enthusiasts spend their leisure time and resources viewing and engaging wildlife. Rural communities often rely on such activities to support their local economies, and they view abundant, diverse fish and wildlife as part of their Western heritage. At the same time, economic progress across the West also depends on the successful completion of energy, transportation, land use and other large-scale development projects that must incorporate potential wildlife impacts into their planning. A collaborative effort among 17 states, the Western Wildlife Crucial Habitat Assessment Tool (CHAT) aims to bring greater certainty and predictability to planning efforts by establishing a common starting point for discussing the intersection of development and wildlife. In its simplest form, CHAT will be an easily accessible online system of maps displaying crucial wildlife habitat and corridors across the West. While not intended for project-level approval , CHAT is designed to reduce conflicts and surprises while ensuring wildlife values are better incorporated into land use decision-making, as well as large-scale conservation projects.

A Bird’s Eye View: The Western Governors’ Wildlife Council has agreed to common definitions of crucial wildlife habitat and corridors and issued guidelines to help each state prioritize habitat within its boundaries to meet its specific conservation objectives. The West-wide definitions will also help achieve compatibility and consistency across state boundaries and address certain discrepancies that may exist in identifying habitat and natural features along state borders. In addition to helping states establish their individual CHATs, the Wildlife Council is creating a "regional CHAT" to provide an informed and continually updated picture of crucial wildlife habitat across the West. The state and regional CHATs will be non-regulatory but will give project planners and the general public access to credible scientific data at the broad scale for use in project assessment, siting and planning. This includes large-scale development projects spanning multiple jurisdictions.

Timeline: In June 2010, Governors across the West committed to having their states complete regionally compatible CHATs and make them public within three years. From now through October 2012, the Western Governors’ Wildlife Council will develop options for constructing and maintaining the regional CHAT, while their state agencies will continue working together to compile important data sets, apply crucial habitat definitions and build and improve upon their individual state CHATs. From November 2012 to December 2013, the focus of activity will be to knit together all of the states’ crucial habitat layers into the regional CHAT.

History: Established in 1984, the Western Governors' Association (WGA) is an independent, non-partisan organization of governors from 19 Western states, two Pacific-flag territories and one commonwealth. Through WGA, member Governors identify and address key policy and governance issues in natural resources, the environment, human services, economic development, international relations, transportation and public management. To help ensure both wildlife and local economies remain viable, WGA began examining how state wildlife agencies could be more collaborative and innovative in providing wildlife species and habitat information to their various “customers,” including federal agencies, other state agencies, local and tribal governments, conservation advocates, business and industry groups, private landowners, outdoors enthusiasts and even foreign countries. With the adoption of its Wildlife Corridors Initiative Report in June 2008, the Western Governors created the Western Governors’ Wildlife Council - consisting of designees from 17 WGA member states – and tasked its members with developing policies and tools to identify and conserve crucial wildlife habitat and corridors across the region. Now guided by WGA policy resolution 10-10, and focused on implementing the CHAT model, the Wildlife Council is working to make information on important fish and wildlife habitat compatible across the West and available to the public in 2013 for use in informing land use decisions.

Title: Esri Decision Tools for Energy & Climate

Christine White, SDI Solutions Team, Esri

Data pertaining to land use, water resources, environmental impacts, agriculture, wind power, wildlife impacts, and global energy impacts are critical to making decisions in the energy and climate sphere. Many organizations have used Esri tools for sharing this data and making decisions. This talk will discuss Esri decision tools used in the energy and climate space, citing examples of the tools in action and noting new capabilities.


Title: ESIP Semantic Web Cluster Activities and Relevance to the ESIP Energy and Climate Cluster

Peter Fox, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), ESIP Semantic Web Cluster Chair

This presentation will introduce semantic web methods, technologies and applications in general as well as those of specific interest to ESIP as a whole and specific committees, working groups and clusters. We will then proceed to a discussion of relevant activities of interest to the ESIP Energy and Climate Cluster as well as opportunities for future collaboration between the clusters.

Title: Architecture model for OGC Services Integration

Karl Benedict, Director, Earth Data Analysis Center University of New Mexico

The challenge of providing access to diverse models, analytic tools, source data and products to a wide variety of end-users necessitates a flexible information architecture that can accommodate multiple access and delivery methods. Key standards from the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC), including map visualization (WMS), representation (KML), data access (WFS & WCS), and processing services (WPS) can play an important role in such an architecture. In particular, what is needed is an architecture that can integrate OGC services into a broader system for discovery, access, and curation by users that range from the general public to users with specialized analytic skills and tools, geospatial and otherwise. This presentation focuses on two distinct but related topics: an overview of the above listed OGC services, and a high-level discussion of an open information architecture model (which includes OGC services) within which a growing renewable energy and environmental evaluation community of practice can participate.


Title: Systems Architecture and Implementation

Stefan Falke, Northrop Grumman Corporation

The design and development of an architecture and infrastructure to support the exchange of energy related information and analysis tools benefits from examples and lessons learned in adjacent disciplines. Experiences from ESIP members in information system interoperability activities, such as the Air Quality Workgroup and Global Earth Observation System of Systems Architecture Implementation Pilot, provide reusable elements and lessons learned for the energy community. This presentation discusses a foundational architectural perspective based on general information flow principles in the process of generating data from sensors and models, conducting analyses, and providing information for decision making. Examples of architecture implementations in other disciplines based on the information flow perspective are presented.


Title: Drupal-based Implementation

Rahul Ramachandran, Information Technology and Systems Center, University of Alabama in Huntsville

Drupal is a popular open source Web Content Management Framework used to create a wide range of websites. It can be used to create basic websites to a fully feature portal to support an online community. Drupal is widely utilized to create Science Portals within the Science community to catalog and share science artifacts. This talk gives a birds eye view of Drupal and its functionalities in context to the goals of the ESIP energy cluster. The talk attempts to document the minimum functional requirements needed to support a Decision Tools Catalog. Other activities within ESIP that can be leveraged will also be discussed in this talk.