Earth and Environment Science Information Partners – parallel pathways on opposite sides of the globe

Simon J D Cox1, Lesley Wyborn2, Adrian Burton3, Erin Robinson4, Tim Rawling5

1CSIRO Land and Water, Melbourne, Australia,

2National Computational Infrastructure, ANU, Canberra, Australia,

3Australian Research Data Commons, Canberra, Australia,

4Earth Science Information Partners, Boulder, USA,

5AuScope, Melbourne, Australia,



Addressing research problems in earth and environmental science usually requires combining data from multiple sources. This is facilitated by the use of common practices, vocabularies, interfaces and standards. The newly formed Earth and Environment Science Information Partners (E2SIP) provides a forum for coordinating these in the Australian research community. E2SIP is modelled on the US Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP)

Over the last 20 years the ESIP has built a community of practice in USA, through regular meetings, workshops, and online forums to examine and develop emerging technologies. Education and training are a key aspect of ESIP’s work. Conventions, practices and standards developed through ESIP have been influential internationally. The Australian Earth and Environment Science Information Partners has been established through liaison with ESIP to support similar functions in Australia. E2SIP will use ESIP’s collaboration platforms and will convene workshops, courses, hackathons, and develop guidance and best practices tailored for the Australian community. ESIP has been supported by NASA, NOAA, USGS and various foundations and scholarly organizations. E2SIP is working with the National Earth and Environment Sciences Facilities Forum which provides a common voice to government on behalf of long term science infrastructure.


This BoF session aims to introduce E2SIP to those members of the community who are not already involved.  It will highlight the opportunities that involvement will bring but will also give participants a voice in the evolution of the group.


A series of lightening talks from organisations committed to the formation of E2SIP will set the scene and then will be followed by an facilitated discussion with a panel comprising the nascent E2SIP membership.  The focus of the discussion will be the prioritization of focus areas for attention of E2SIP and the development of a broad engagement and science strategy for the group.  This discussion will allow participants to design E2SIP so that is meets local needs and, whist drawing form the ESIP parent model, is specifically applicable to Australian related earth and environmental science data issues.


The BoF will provide an engagement opportunity for E2SIP members, it will enable those unfamiliar with the program to better understand opportunities it may provide to them and will allow potential new members to become involved in the discussions that will frame the activities of the group.  At the end of the session E2SIP will produce a series of priority areas agreed to in the session that will inform future planning as the E2SIP cluster is established.

This work is in partnership with the US Earth Systems Information Partners (ESIP)


Simon has been researching standards for publication and transfer of earth and environmental science data since the emergence of the world wide web. Starting in geophysics and mineral exploration, he has engaged with most areas of environmental science, including water resources, marine data, meteorology, soil, ecology and biodiversity. He is principal- or co-author of a number of international standards, including Geography Markup Language, and Observations & Measurements, that have been broadly adopted in Australia and Internationally. The value of these is in enabling data from multiple origins and disciplines to be combined more effectively, which is essential in tackling most contemporary problems in science and society. His current work focuses on aligning science information with the semantic web technologies and linked open data principles, and the formalization, publication and maintenance of controlled vocabularies and similar reference data.