On 16 October 2012, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation awarded two grants to support comprehensive data science and engagement activities for the Deep Carbon Observatory. The proposed initiatives and actions are fundamental to DCO’s strategy and absolutely critical to its future. They will contribute to the success of the DCO and play a major role in making the DCO program greater than the sum of its parts.
The DCO data science platform will facilitate collaboration, data generation, and data use that will serve as an engine for scientific discovery across the Deep Carbon Observatory and the broader scientific community. Peter Fox (RPI), principal investigator, is an internationally recognized leader in data science and has vast experience with heterogeneous and widely distributed earth science datasets.
The DCO engagement and communications initiative aims to support the growing DCO scientific community in carrying out its own work in contemporary, exemplary, and efficient fashion and in sharing the results with audiences within and beyond the scientific community. Sara Hickox (University of Rhode Island), principal investigator, is ideally suited to lead this effort based on her past success in managing communications for globally distributed networks of scientists for the Census of Marine Life and other interdisciplinary science programs.
The engagement and data science activities—which are indispensable to highly leveraged fundraising—will be coordinated across the spectrum of DCO interests. To help facilitate this coordination, representatives of each of the DCO Science Communities have been appointed as Engagement Liaisons and Data Science Advisory Committee members. Sara Hickox and Peter Fox have been appointed to the DCO Executive Committee.
Peter Fox is a Tetherless World Constellation Chair and Professor of Earth and Environmental Science and Computer Science at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. In 2012, he was named the new director of Rensselaer’s Information Technology and Web Science. He serves as chair of the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics Union Commission on Data and Information and was chair of the AGU Special Focus Group on Earth and Space Science Informatics. Fox also served on the International Council for Science’s Strategic Coordinating Committee for Information and Data. He was awarded the 2012 Martha Maiden Lifetime Achievement Award for service to the Earth Science Information community and the 2012 European Geosciences Union Ian McHarg Medal for significant contributions to Earth and Space Science Informatics. He is an associate editor for the Earth Science Informatics journal, and a member of the editorial boards for Computers in Geosciences and the Geoscience Data Journal. Fox joined Rensselaer in 2008 after 17 years at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, where he served a chief computational scientist.
Sara Hickox is Director of the Office of Marine Programs at the University of Rhode Island's Graduate School of Oceanography. The Office of Marine Programs is a major communications and outreach arm of the Graduate School of Oceanography. Collaborating with scientists and graduate students from the Graduate School of Oceanography and oceanographic research institutions worldwide, OMP targets a wide range of audiences including scientists and engineers, K-16 educators and students, the general public, journalists, and the media. Hickox and her colleagues led the communications and outreach team for the Census of Marine Life, which reached more than one billion people. Examples of their work on the Census of Marine Life are available at http://www.coml.org/