PFox Statement

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Back to 2017 Nominations and Ballot

Peter Fox, RPI

Nominee for At Large Member, ESIP Board

Candidate Statement

After serving as ESIP President for two years (Jan. 2014 - Jan. 2016; during the time of the organizational splitting of the Foundation and Federation) and participating in many strategic discussions regarding the pending "grand re-unification", and taking a year off from leadership, I have accepted this nomination for a (new) Federation Board at-large seat. Long-standing Federation members have seen my approach to participating in, and leading different parts of ESIP's communities. For recent members these roles include Semantic Web cluster founder and chair for 7+ years, Type II representative to the Federation Board and Executive Committee (4 years). In 2012, I was honored with ESIP's Martha Maiden Lifetime Achievement Award for service to the Earth and Space Science Information communities. If elected I would bring my extensive national and international experience in, and knowledge of, socio-technical systems/ virtual organizations as professional organizations again to ESIP's Board. I have served in many board/ leadership capacities, e.g. as both President/CEO of OPeNDAP (~4.5 years) and as a technical lead and strategic advisor for many "data" activities other than my own, over my career (see BIO for some recent details).


Since 2008 Peter Fox has been Tetherless World Constellation Chair and Professor of Earth and Environmental Science, Computer Science and Cognitive Science and Director of the Information Technology and Web Science Program at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He holds B.Sc. (Hons) and Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics from Monash University. Previously, he spent 17 years at the High Altitude Observatory of the National Center for Atmospheric Research as Chief Computational Scientist and 6 years at the Center for Solar and Space Research at Yale University. Fox's research specializes in the fields of environmental informatics, computational and computer science, information technology, distributed semantic and cognitive data frameworks, and solar and solar-terrestrial physics. This research utilizes state-of-the-art modeling techniques, internet-based technologies, including the semantic web, and applies them to large-scale distributed scientific repositories addressing the full life-cycle of data and information within specific science and engineering disciplines as well as among disciplines. Fox is currently PI for the Marine Biodiversity Virtual Laboratory and the Deep Carbon Observatory Data Science projects and co-PI on 7 others. Fox has spent over 31 years bridging science and distributed data and information systems to support community activities utilizing use case driven design.

Fox's prior roles have ranged from: technical advisory board member for OPeNDAP in its early years (1996-2003); led the semantic web cluster of the Earth Science Information Partners until Jan 2014; was inaugural chair of the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics Union Commission on Data and Information (2007-2015); and founding member and past chair (2009-2011) of the AGU Special Focus Group on Earth and Space Science Informatics. Fox was a member of the first ICSU Strategic Committee on Information and Data and the follow-on Strategic Coordinating Committee on Information and Data that determined the fate of the World Data Centers and Services, and gave guidance to CODATA; is a founding member and past chair/liaison of the AGU and EGU Earth and Space Science Informatics sections; was a User Working Group member for the NASA DAAC Socio-Economic Data Applications Center; chair of the Virtual Observatory Working Group for the electronic Geophysical Year; and of NASA's Earth Science Data System Working Group sub-group for semantic web. Fox served as a member of the Research Data Alliance Technical Advisory Board (TAB) from 2013-2016. Fox is presently a member of NOAA's Data Archiving and Access Requirements Working Group (under the NOAA Science Advisory Board); consultant to USGS on Data Release; advisory board member for the NSF project CyberSHare - a CREST-funded Center of Excellence, NCAR's Earth Observing Laboratory and Earthcube funded "Enabling Scientific Collaboration and Discovery through Semantic Connections". Fox is associate editor for the Earth Science Informatics journal, is a member of the editorial boards for Computers in Geosciences, Geoscience Data Journal and Nature's Scientific Data Journal. Fox was awarded the 2012 Martha Maiden Lifetime Achievement Award for service to the Earth Science Information community, and the 2012 European Geoscience Union, Ian McHarg/ Earth and Space Science Informatics Medal and in 2015 was elected as the first AGU Fellow in Earth and Space Science Informatics.