How a New Catalog of Resources Enables Paleoclimate Research

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Thursday, 8 January 2015: 2:45 PM
129B (Phoenix Convention Center - West and North Buildings)
Ryan Lingo, California University of Pennsylvania, California , PA

Two young scientists created the EarthCube paleogeosciences catalog during a summer project at NOAA's National Climatic Data Center. The EarthCube Research Coordination Network for paleogeosciences, a steering committee funded by NSF, created an initial list of resources of software, sample repositories, and databases in 2013. In summer 2014, two students endeavored to expand this list. My co-worker and fellow young scientist discovered lots of resources hidden on hard drives and obscure FTP servers of scientists from around the world. The resulting catalog is three times the original list, 710 records total. The catalog is a step towards the EarthCube vision to enable data intensive science by improving access to cyber-resources. To create this list we searched the World Wide Web, contacted people individually (via list servs, address books, institution contact information), and contacted people by phone from over 200 countries. The issues we encountered related to vocabularies, (we scraped URLs to augment resource descriptions), little response from scientists in mid-summer, and a limited time span to complete the project. Granularity posed additional problems, for example many software scripts can be described individually, or with a single collection-level description. Over time the list will grow even larger…the cyber-world is a vast place with hidden gold mines of paleogeoscience related resources. The resources we found have been harvested by the World Data Center for Paleoclimatology (replacing an outdated software library), and by CINERGI, an Earth Science portal. This resource will open possibilities for new and creative ways to advance all paleo related science research by allowing data and software to be combined in new workflows.