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October 2015

Renewed Hosting Agreement for WDS-IPO

Dr Tomita and Dr Hackmann sign new hosting agreement for WDS-IPOVice President of NICT, Dr Fumihiko Tomita (left) and Executive Director of ICSU, Dr Heide Hackmann (right)

Dr Fumihiko Tomita, Vice President of Japan's National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT), and Dr Heide Hackmann, Executive Director of the International Council for Science (ICSU), renewed the agreement between the respective organizations to host the ICSU World Data System's International Programme Office (WDS-IPO) at NICT for a further five-year period starting from 1 April 2016 and ending 31 March 2021.

Dr Hackmann addressed her sincere thanks to NICT and its Vice President on behalf of ICSU and WDS for the generous and increased financial support given to the IPO. She noted that without NICT’s lasting commitment and intellectual contributions, the WDS programme could not have achieved its current international standing or made a significant impact in the area of scientific data sharing and management.

The signing ceremony took place on 21 September 2015 at the ICSU Secretariat in Paris, during the 13th Meeting of the WDS Scientific Committee (see below). At the meeting, NICT hosted a special workshop on Data Sharing and Information Technologies, the keynote presentation of which was given by Dr Tomita, who highlighted some of the important contributions of NICT in his talk on Open and Global ICT Innovation Platform for Future Smarter Communication World.

Thirteenth Meeting of the WDS Scientific Committee

New Scientific Committee at WDS-SC#13The 13th Meeting of the WDS Scientific Committee (WDS-SC) took place on 21–22 September at the ICSU Secretariat in Paris, France. This was the initial face-to-face meeting of the third WDS Scientific Committee, appointed by the ICSU Executive Board in July for the period 2015–2018. The Meeting started with a (virtual) handover from the previous Chair of the WDS-SC, Bernard Minster, to the new Chair, Sandy Harrison, and also saw the election of Ingrid Dillo and Wim Hugo as Vice-chairs.

Heide Hackmann (ICSU Executive Director) began a series of introductory talks by giving the new WDS-SC insight into ICSU's vision and the role of WDS within this. The agenda then continued over the following two days with focussed discussions on a number of items of strategic importance to ICSU-WDS, including finalizing a set of Data Sharing Principles that are expected to be adopted in place of the current WDS Data Policy after consultation with WDS Members.

A summary report of the 13th Meeting is in preparation and will be placed on the Meeting Reports page of the WDS website when completed. The summary report from the 12th Meeting (07–08 March 2015; San Diego) can be downloaded here (PDF).

SCOSTEP Becomes WDS Partner Member at joint SCOSTEP–WDS Workshop

Dr Nat Gopalswamy and Dr Mustapha Mokrane sign a Letter of Agreement between SCOSTEP and WDSOn the occasion of the SCOSTEP–WDS Workshop on Global Data Activities for the Study of Solar–Terrestrial Variability, Dr Nat Gopalswamy, President of ICSU's Scientific Committee on Solar–Terrestrial Physics (SCOSTEP), and Dr Mustapha Mokrane, WDS Executive Director, signed a Letter of Agreement recognizing SCOSTEP as a WDS Partner Member. This formal arrangement will strengthen ongoing collaborations between the two bodies; in particular, those dealing with data challenges and opportunities of the Variability of the Sun and Its Terrestrial Impact programme. It will also allow SCOSTEP to formally participate in WDS Members' Fora and ICSU-WDS to become a SCOSTEP Bureau Member after final approval by the SCOSTEP Assembly.

A short report on the Workshop can be found in the Past Events section below.

Register Now for WDS Webinar #7

Professor Emile OkalAt 22:00 UTC on 5 November 2015, Professor Emile Okal (Department of Geological Sciences at Northwestern University, Evanston, USA) will present Historical Seismograms: Preserving an Endangered Species, the seventh talk in WDS' Webinar series.

Archived datasets of historical seismograms are extremely valuable to understand the occurrence of large, destructive earthquakes. Unfortunately, the value of these datasets is not always perceived. Professor Okal will present a brief review of the nature of the datasets of seismological archives, and of specific algorithms allowing their use. He will then describe protocols for the transfer of analogue datasets to digital supports. Finally, worldwide examples of existing collections, and of successful programmes of digital archiving of valuable datasets will be given.

REGISTER HERE for free to participate (only 100 seats available!)

WDS Member Activities

ICSTI logoICSTI Webinar: A Pathway from Open Access and Data Sharing to Open Science in Practice

The International Council for Scientific and Technical Information (ICSTI; WDS Associate Member) is very pleased to announce that its first in a series of webinars will take place on 10 November at 10:00–11:30 US Eastern Time. Under the title A Pathway from Open Access and Data Sharing to Open Science in Practice, the following speakers will present on the issues of—and barriers to—open science in practice from their respective standpoints: Jerry Sheehan (Vice President of ICSTI), Geoffrey Boulton (President of CODATA), Jose Cotta (Head of Unit Digital Science, DG CONNECT). A full description of the webinar, a link to register, and summaries of the presentations and speaker biographies can be found in here.

ICPSR logoTwo Positions Open at ICPSR

The following two positions are now open at the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR; WDS Regular Member), University of Michigan, Ann Arbor: Please click on the links for more details about how to apply, and if you have questions about either position, please follow up with the contacts given in the job descriptions.

NASA & SEDAC logosNew Hazards Mapper Tool from SEDAC

A new Hazards Mapper tool from Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC; WDS Regular Member) combines layers from various sources to enable users to visualize data and maps related to socioeconomic, infrastructure, natural disasters, and environment topics, as well as analyze potential impacts and exposure. Information on point features such as power plants can be obtained by simply clicking on them. Users can also obtain estimates of the total population and land area enclosed within the boundary of an area of interest.

LP DAAC, NASA & USGS logosLP DAAC Celebrates 25th Anniversary + Beta Release of AppEEARS

On 28 August 1990, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and NASA formally announced a partnership to establish the Land Processes Distributed Active Archive Center (LP DAAC; WDS Regular Member) at the Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center. It remains the only DAAC to be located within a USGS facility. In recognition of LP DAAC’s 25th Anniversary, the EROS Center hosted a celebratory event on 27 August 2015 to commemorate it contributions to remote sensing science and the impact of the partnership between NASA and the USGS.

LP DAAC also recently demonstrated the capabilities of its Application for Extracting and Exploring Analysis Ready Samples (AppEEARS) at a NASA Earthdata webinar. AppEEARS, which is considered Beta at this time, enables users to input precise sample locations and access analysis-ready data from tiled land MODIS products held by LP DAAC.

NASA & GHRC logosLANCE AMSR2 Near Real-time Snow Products Available

The NASA Land Atmosphere Near real-time Capability for EOS (LANCE) AMSR2 Processing Center at the Global Hydrology Resource Center DAAC (WDS Regular Member) has announced the availability of the dataset NRT AMSR2 Daily L3 Global SWE EASE-Grids. This dataset contains snow water equivalent (SWE) data and quality assurance flags mapped to the Northern and Southern Hemisphere 25 km Equal-Area Scalable Earth (EASE) Grids. It is generated incrementally in near real-time using data acquired from the AMSR2 instrument on the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency GCOM-W1 satellite.

New Members of ICSU-WDS

Since the last Newsletter in July, the WDS-SC has reviewed and accredited
One Regular Member: In addition, One Partner Member was co-opted:

WDS Co-sponsors International Data Sharing Training Workshop

Workshop Group PhotographOn 10–29 August 2015, 29 trainees from 9 Asian countries attended a 20-day training workshop in Bejing, China entitled the International Workshop on Northeast Asia–Central Asia Regional Resources and Environment Data Sharing. This workshop was hosted by the Institute of Geographic Science and Natural Resources Research of the Chinese Academy of Science and was co-sponsored by ICSU-WDS and the World Data Centre for Renewable Resources and Environment (WDS Regular Member).

The training was set in a multidisciplinary context and addressed a broad range of issues related to scientific data sharing, including policies, standards, technologies, methods, and good practices from national, regional, and international perspectives. On the final day, Dr Mustapha Mokrane was invited to give a lecture on the development of ICSU-WDS and the global data sharing landscape.

Data from IPY Publications Now Available in PANGAEA

IPY & PANGAEA Logos Despite the vast amounts of data collected during the last International Polar Year (IPY) 2007–2008, there was no central archive for IPY-related data. Instead they have been spread widely, with a lot of the data published in research articles only.

A concerted effort among PANGAEA – Data Publisher for Earth and Environmental Science (WDS Regular Member), ICSTI, and ICSU-WDS was therefore undertaken to extract data resulting from IPY publications for long-term preservation. From a list of 1380 references provided by ICSTI, data—and associated metadata—were extracted from 450 IPY articles. These data can be accessed from here, and individual parts can be searched using the PANGAEA search engine and adding +project:ipy.

More information on this effort can be found in this WDS Blog post.

Future Events

Polar Data Forum II

26–29 October 2015; University of Waterloo, Waterloo
The Second International Polar Data Forum has the theme International Collaboration for Advancing Polar Data Access and Preservation and looks to build on successes of the first Forum, which identified priority themes and key challenges in the domain of polar data management (see here for a Communiqué of the outcomes). Polar Data Forum II will further refine these themes and priorities, and will accelerate progress by establishing clear actions to address target issues, including: meeting the needs of society and science through promotion of open data and effective data stewardship, establishing sharing and interoperability of data at a variety of levels, developing trusted data management systems, and ensuring long-term data preservation.

GEO XII Plenary & Mexico City Ministerial Summit

9–13 November 2015; Hilton Mexico City Reforma and Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mexico City
The Twelfth Plenary Session of the Group on Earth Observations (GEO XII) will include a Ministerial Summit on 13 November 2015. ICSU-WDS is a GEO Participating Organization, and a lead contributor of the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS) Data Management Principles Task Force and, in particular, of the development of the GEOSS Data Management Principles Implementation Guidelines, of which a preliminary version will be presented to the Plenary.

FE Data and Observations Task Force Meetings

10 November 2015; Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mexico City
18 November 2015; Science Council of Japan, Tokyo

Future Earth (FE) established a Data and Observations Task Force co-chaired by Dr Eduardo Brondizio (FE Science Committee) and Mr Mario Hernandez (FE Engagement Committee). The Task Force will initiate activities at upcoming two half-days meetings: a side event at the GEO XII Plenary (see above) and a working session during the upcoming FE Science and FE Engagement Committee meetings in Tokyo. ICSU-WDS will be contributing to both meetings, together with CODATA and GEO representatives.

Past Events

RDA 6th Plenary Meeting

23–25 September 2015; Conservatoire national des arts et métiers, Paris
The Plenary programme contained breakout sessions by the joint RDA–WDS Interest Groups and Working Groups on Publishing Data and Certification. The Groups connected to these two activities communicated their initial outputs to the Plenary, with former in particular showcasing the Data–Literature interlinking Service prototype, while the latter presented a set of Requirements and Procedures common to both ICSU-WDS and the Data Seal of Approval. The theme of RDA's 6th Plenary Meeting was Enterprise Engagement with a focus on Research Data for Climate Change, leveraging on the UN Climate Change Conference (COP21) to be held in Paris in December 2015.


28–30 September 2015; NICT, Tokyo
The predominant outcome of this joint Workshop between ICSU-WDS and SCOSTEP was the signing of a Letter of Agreement between the two organizations as an initial step in collaborating on the data activities of the Variability of the Sun and Its Terrestrial Impact programme (see above for more details).

In total, 51 papers were presented, over half of which dealt with data-oriented activities, while many of the remaining papers discussed solar–terrestrial phenomena on various timescales, such as the so-called 2015 Saint Patrick’s Day Event. Links to the abstracts and presentations of all presented papers can be found in the final programme on the Workshop website (PDF), and a number of extended papers from Workshop will be published in a special issue of the Earth, Planets and Space journal.