[LTER-im-rep] EAGER grant updates

Inigo San Gil isangil at lternet.edu
Wed Nov 25 11:12:22 MST 2015

Thanks for sharing this document.

I am unsure why I was not invited to this workshop.  I am looking at my 
emails, and I see no invite.  Perhaps my fault, sorry if I missed the 
invite.  It would have been a great opportunity to explain our actual 
efforts and plans for the next evolution of DEIMS (on a shoestring).

I am reading and re-reading the document Corinna enclosed. I am looking 
for something new.  I was secretly hoping that there would be a new 
idea, or at least something that has not be beaten to death in the last 
ten years.  I must said with sadness, that I do not see anything to such 
effect.  I see brilliant people in the attendee list, and I fail to 
understand why are we unable to produce an outcome that we have not 
seeing or promised before.

Inexplicably, I really do not see anything specific that address the 
"key outcomes" outlined here :


    A drafted vision for increased integration in environmental research
    data management


    A prototype process defining the format of collaboration (e.g. ESIP
    working groups, RCN, formal

    consortium) efforts


    Prototyped funding concepts for sustainable data management, i.e.
    how do we move beyond the

    grant funded model


    An actionable project to examine how environmental information
    management can expand to

    include smaller projects, which are currently not well served


    A coalition willing to address these areas

What I see instead is three things. All things we know and we discussed 
in the past.

- We lack funding, yet, we met to just say that among people that cannot 
do much about it.  NSF's officers have their hands tied, and it would 
seem our government cannot allocate enough resources either.  I will not 
discuss how our funds are being put to use, as it would not be a kind 

Referals to a survey, but it lacks basic data -- who responded to this 
survey? How many people, what methodology, what attempts have been made 
to actually reach out a wide constituency?.

I do not understand the inclusion of unspecific technologies such as 
"Open Source DBs, Commercial DBs". No mention of what databases are 
appropriate for which thing.  I for one, wouldlike to hear of summaries 
of cases where a group has used CouchDB or MongoDB for big binary 
collections, or backend of Drupal (well, I seen some of those).  It 
would have been refreshing to hear about Oracle NoSQL ACID compliant 
cases. It would be great to learn from experiences where decoupled 
technologies manage to communicate and produce through the use of 
standardize APIs.  The rest of things listed in the histogram are just 
as eclectic as to draw any comparatives ( R and metadata tools, or 
"Version control" and "java"). Interesting exercise - but I do not get 
the point. I am unsure why "Javascript", is this a catch all for 
BackBoneJS, NodeJS, AngularJS.. here is a partial list of 29 packaged 
frameworks of Javascript in Wiki. 
Far from complete, but point being, is "Javascript"???

Which leads me to the reports presentation of the discussed metadata 
standards (it really mean specifications)

There is a list of specifications but the motivation for it is not 
included, nor is any distilled knowledge about results of seeing such 
list. Still such result-set list things that have known limited impact 
plus a couple of items of questionable relevance, such as the PRISM 
inititiative, (publishing oriented), see for yourself, 
(do not mistake for the massive surveillance 
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PRISM_%28surveillance_program%29> program 
we enjoy - details classified ).

Interestingly, the Schema.org 
initiative is not even mentioned, even though it is perhaps a new-ish 
relevant effort worth watching by anyone who is curious to understand 
the mentioned " Unicorn chasing “why can’t we match Google?”", (comment 
you chose to highlight in this report).

In essence, I suppose I unexpectedly missed this meeting (and previous 
of this EAGER).  It would be great to add some great ideas to our 
realistic vision. We break with the past and present failures, and we 
based our work on sound principles and existing, future oriented and 
well supported open-source technologies.

It would be great to see some of that to enrich our those are not 
included in this report. Undoubtedly, the intentions are there, but 
either they seem elusive to the scope of this report. If you can please 
add anything to that effect, I would appreciate.  I specially say so as 
I am engaged actively in the next iteration of data management systems 
including existing funded initiatives internationally. Sadly, these 
efforts may come outside of the NSF supported activities. I personally 
find increasingly difficult to take care of the bare basics.

Thanks for the impressive effort and pretty graphics.

Happy Thanksgivings to you all!



Inigo San Gil
+1 505 277 2625

On 11/24/15 9:23 AM, Corinna Gries wrote:
> Dear All,
> I would like to update you on the activities that are going on funded 
> through the EAGER grant Margaret, Phil and myself received earlier 
> this year. You may remember that we planned this during our 2014 IM 
> meeting in Colorado. Originally the proposal was geared towards 
> conceptualizing LTER information management based on the discussions 
> we had in 2014. After submitting the proposal we were asked by NSF to 
> broaden the scope to include ‘all’ environmental data repositories and 
> other projects involved in this area. The first workshop 
> ‘Collaborative strategies for sustained environmental data management’ 
> was held last week in Tempe, AZ and most of you LTER IMs, who had 
> self-identified an interested in participating were able to make it 
> plus a wide range of people from other projects.
> Phil and Ann Chiu (hired as workshop coordinator) have done a great 
> job putting together some pre-workshop informational material which I 
> am attaching to this e-mail for your perusal.
> The first follow-up activity will be to initiate a new cluster within 
> ESIP, which will give us their collaboration support with a wiki, 
> mailing list, face to face meetings, and online meetings for a broad 
> group of interested parties. The discussion started at the workshop 
> will be continued there and at the ESIP winter meeting 
> (http://commons.esipfed.org/2016WinterMeeting). ESIP meetings provide 
> remote access to most sessions for anyone interested and we can 
> support one IM from LTER to go and participate in person. Please let 
> me know a.s.a.p. if you would like to participate for LTER IM and feel 
> that you have a good overview of the current broader environmental 
> information management landscape and ideas of where we should go. The 
> pertinent sessions may be a bit ad-hoc since this all came about 
> pretty late to be properly integrated with the upcoming winter 
> meeting, but Erin Robinson was very accommodating. More workshops will 
> follow, probably in the context of ESIP meetings.
> Please stay tuned for the ESIP cluster where we will post all workshop 
> materials. (BTW, we are still searching for a catchy name for the 
> cluster, if you have any ideas, please let us know.)
> I would like to thank Phil, the local host arranging for hotels and 
> meeting rooms, which all worked out beautifully, and the design team 
> overall: Margaret, Phil, Ann, and our facilitator Glyn Thomas for a 
> lot of hard work designing and running the workshop. We still have a 
> long way to go in the process of conceptualizing sustainable 
> environmental information management and we hope many of you will be 
> involved in follow-up activities. The outcome of this exercise will 
> certainly influence how we do IM in LTER in a few years.
> Thanks
> Corinna
> _______________________________________________
> Long Term Ecological Research Network
> im-rep mailing list
> im-rep at lternet.edu

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