Advancing the utility of Cyberinfrastructure in Environmental Science


Goal and Objectives | Team | Research

Environmental Science Project

This Cyber-ShARE subproject is training the next generation of environmental scientist in cyberinfrastructure and ecoinformatics research using novel case-driven approaches that meet key challenges in the environmental sciences.

Why? - Environmental change is affecting the sustainability of ecosystem goods and services globally and there is an urgent need to predict the future state of the Earth System and understand how humans will need to adapt. This urgency is driving paramount programmatic and operational changes in the ecological and environmental sciences. Increasingly, the environmental sciences are:

  1. Shifting towards more data driven science, where researchers are needing to trust the integrity of data collected by other researchers and multidisciplinary scientific networks to answer 'BIG' picture questions such as, how are global biogeochemical cycles being impacted by climate change or how does seasonal climate variability impact the virulence of infectious diseases;
  2. There is an increased utilization of advanced field based instrument technologies such as advanced instrument towers, sensor arrays, and autonomous vehicles; and subsequently,
  3. The need for optimizing data streams, quality checking procedures, and managing, archiving and integrating large volumes of multivariate data from field based and other instrument platforms (e.g. satellite) has increased dramatically.

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Goal and Objectives

This Cyber-ShARE subproject aims to develop CI tools that facilitate the creation of an optimized end to end cyberinfrastructure for environmental data collection, transmission, optimization, archival, visualization and discovery. All of the following research objectives require CI development approaches based on optimization, provenance, trust and uncertainty computation to inspire improved user-confidence in data streams:

  1. Develop quality Assurance and optimization tools for static field based instrumentation that improve measurements of land-atmosphere processes and characterization of environmental tipping points and stochastic events whilst minimizing real-time data transmission;
  2. Establish and optimize tools for integrating voluminous data streams from movable sensor platforms such as autonomous robotic carts, uninhabited ground vehicles (UGVs), and uninhabited aerial vehicle systems (UASs);
  3. Customize back-end tools that link, spatially extrapolate, and animate real time and archived data with interactive internet mapping applications information portals; and
  4. Create tools for optimizing spatio-temporal data collection in sensor arrays in environmental observatory networks.

Several other projects funded externally to UTEP's NSF funded Cyber-ShARE Center are also partnered to this subproject. These projects share ideas for innovation, utilize the Cyber-ShARE Center for existing expertise and problem solving and include:

  1. The Barrow Area Information Database and Internet Map Server (BAID-IMS)
  2. The Circumarctic Environmental Observatories Network (CEON)
  3. The Arctic Research Mapping Application (ARMAP)
  4. The US Arctic Observing Network (AON)

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To learn more about this project, contact Ari Kassin: akassin at utep.edu