“Governance refers to the processes, structure and organizational elements that determine, within an organization or system of organizations, how power is exercised, how stakeholders have their say, how decisions are made, and how decision makers are held accountable.”  

In spring 2012, NSF merged several governance-related Expressions of Interest into a single Governance Working Group, led by the Governance Steering Committee (see member list here), with connections to 60+ organizations and institutions.  Six months of research on governance, and community engagement efforts, including several virtual plenary and breakout sessions, culminated in a Governance Roadmap, which outlined initial steps in establishing EarthCube governance.

The Governance Steering Committee then presented to the EarthCube community EarthCube Governance Framework: A Proposal to the Community, which identifies initial governance functions, guiding principles, and long-term governance recommendations, drawn from community feedback and other EarthCube groups’ draft roadmaps.

The Governance Working Group is conducting a community engagement program to vet this initial governance framework to ensure broad-based community input in the development of EarthCube. 

Members: 82
Latest Activity: Apr 5

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Meetings: On an as-needed basis, always on Fridays at 11am ET


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Discussion Forum

EarthCube Governance Call - This Friday, May 3, 11am EDT 1 Reply

Hi all,There's a governance call this Friday to discuss governance and community engagement project updates.  We haven't held a call in a while, and there are quite a few updates to share.We're still working on the agenda, so if you have any agenda…Continue

Tags: engagement, community, earthcube, governance

Started by Genevieve Pearthree. Last reply by Genevieve Pearthree May 2, 2013.

Meeting Minutes 03.01.2013

Notes from the Governance Working Group Call 03/01/2013Action items are in Green Agenda:Round RobinCommunity Engagement UpdatesASLO MeetingEarthCube Booth SurveysWebsite Requirements DocumentEarthCube Session at GSA 20132014 Ocean Sciences Meeting –…Continue

Started by Kim Patten Mar 4, 2013.

AGU Governance and Community Engagement Workshop Materials - Dec. 3, 2012

Here are the materials for the December 3, 2012 Governance and Community Engagement Workshop at AGU.…Continue

Started by Genevieve Pearthree Nov 30, 2012.

Draft agenda for AGU Governance and Community Engagement Meeting - Dec. 3, 2012

Here is a draft agenda for the meeting at AGU. Please review and provide comments and suggestions. We will discuss it during the governance call tomorrow, November 30, starting at 10:30am EST.…Continue

Started by Genevieve Pearthree Nov 29, 2012.

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Comment Wall


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Comment by Marshall X Ma on August 3, 2012 at 3:37pm

I would like to recommend a presentation given by Mr. Ian Jackson at the INSPIRE 2012 conference. He gave appraisal (highlights, lowlights and lessons learned) on various aspects of INSPIRE, an Infrastructure initiative for Spatial Information in the European Community, which share mutual interests with EarthCube. Slides of the presentation is downloadable here:

Comment by Kerstin Lehnert on April 11, 2012 at 10:18am

Attached is the report of the Earth & Space Science Informatics Summit held in Rome in March 2008. I will refer to this report in my presentation in the  EarthCube Governance workshop todayESSI_Summit_Report_final2.pdf.

Comment by Sky Bristol on February 29, 2012 at 12:37pm

Hi Cliff,

Thank you for the response. You filled in a valuable missing link for me that I had heretofore missed somehow - the fact that you are thinking about both workshop proposals and concept awards. The diagram you had in the slides from the other day make a lot more sense to me now. It would be really cool for each of these thematic groups to help foster and bring along some prototypical R&D work that will introduce new capabilities or help move some key concepts along as a companion to the overall community building effort. That provides me with some better perspective in the grouping here and in the other areas. It also seems from the diagram that there isn't necessarily an inherent coupling between the concept type activities, leaving the possibility open for some super creative "fringe" group with great ideas to poke at the hornets nest of the "establishment" and offer a useful perturbation in the system.

I really appreciate your comments, and I look forward to continued better understanding of the milieu.

Comment by Clifford A Jacobs, moderator on February 29, 2012 at 12:26pm

Hi Sky,


Thank you and your colleagues for participating in this discussion group.  I’d like to respond to your questions about how NSF chose the groups and their participants.  I think we agree that the EoI’s provided a window into the complexity of the geosciences milieu, and that the boundaries within the complex environment are not well defined and subjective.   In part, our goal in setting up the community groups was to be as broadly inclusive as possible and to provide a context to initiate a comprehensive dialog around what appear to be four broad themes.  Your point is well taken that some of the EoI’s that were grouped together here address the governance issue directly, while others address the subject peripherally and might be better suited in another discussion group or groups. If there is general consensus on that point, we are happy to work with you to facilitate that.  From the outset, we have encouraged the community groups (workshop proposals) and the concept awards (EAGER proposals) to initiate and sustain a collaborative dialog.  Group membership was initially selected by NSF, and is meant to be flexible if members believe they can better contribute to the activities of another group.  We continue to encourage the EarthCube community at large to participate in any or all the activities NSF will fund. 


NSF turns to the community for their guidance in identifying the complexities that must be confronted in realizing the EarthCube vision and detecting the assets (technical, human, social) that are available, or not, that can be employed in meeting the EarthCube challenge. 




Cliff Jacobs  for

The EarthCube Team

Comment by Sky Bristol on February 29, 2012 at 8:03am

There is an interesting mix of topics lumped together here under "Governance." I'm not sure on the reasoning behind this, and I unfortunately missed the webex presentation the other day where that might have been discussed. It appears from what I have heard and what's in the slides, that the intent is to see these four groups with the splashy icons come together on a combined proposal for a workshop and related activities to the tune of $100K each. We've been kicking this around a little bit so far in the DDMA group.

Here in this group, we seem to have a few fairly different ideas brewing. There are a couple of calls for EarthCube to either form an organization similar to the Open Geospatial Consortium or else simply work directly within the OGC as a governance mechanism for advancing standards and methods of importance to accomplishing the EarthCube mission. There are a couple of calls for a slightly different, though potentially compatible, community of practice model.

Then there are three EOIs that have to do with building actual cyberinfrastructure or tools in somewhat focused areas. I'm not completely sure why those ended up in this group, and I would love to hear the thinking behind that from NSF folks. The "Strategic Organizational Framework (Centralized Model)" from Hannes E. Leetaru and colleagues seems like it might be a much better fit within the DDMA group as it is proposing a centralized data archive for geoscience data.

The proposal for "Designing a community-based framework for modeling the consequences of climate change on coastal systems" from Gary Crane and colleagues does seem like a good fit here and might be an excellent candidate for a prototypical experiment of a governance model similar to what is proposed in the two related to the OGC model.

The summary written for "OpenQuake Social Networking for EarthCube from Geoffrey Fox and colleagues pulls out some key terms and phrases from the original EOI, but I question its placement in the Governance bucket. Sure, I think that EarthCube and the geoscience community at large could benefit from some focus on how collaborative information management tools in the research space really need to work, but I don't think that was the intent of this EOI. I would see it more in the area of data integration and semantics. That EOI seems to be getting much more at how we mine, integrate, analyze, and use for research and hazards response the massive amount of only partially structured information in the "public data cloud." That's a very different question, I think, than what most of the other EOIs in this space deal with.

The one interesting dovetail I see could come about through the whole exploration of collaborative information management. What if we could somehow create a federation across the many information platforms that we use in conducting research where we capture scientific workflows, data analysis and visualization methods, and other byproducts of our work? What if those byproducts be systematized in some way to enrich the education and research experiences across our diverse fields of study? There are applications like Kepler and VisTrails and aspirational things like Academic Room. But what if we started started finding the common threads across the information that those types of things might advertise about the work going on within their confines? What if we took inspiration from what a whole bunch of people have figured out how to do in federating simple information across social networks and apply that to the scientific domain, defining our own common threads that crystalize the just in time information a researcher needs to have when exploring a particular problem?

Again, I think there are some folks over in the Semantics and DDMA areas that are dealing with this stuff. If you're not familiar with it, you ought to check out what folks in the Semantic Web Cluster in ESIP are up to in terms of simple linked data standards and implications to solving the still elusive citation metadata problem.

I am interested to hear from NSF folks who put this "cluster" together on the reasoning behind some of the inclusions and from folks put together into this group on how you all think these fit and where we go from here.

P.S. Sorry for the rambling; it's early, my morning espresso has kicked in, and I'm finally feeling human again after being sick for several days.


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Discussion Forum

EarthCube Governance Call - This Friday, May 3, 11am EDT 1 Reply

Hi all,There's a governance call this Friday to discuss governance and community engagement project updates.  We haven't held a call in a while, and there are quite a few updates to share.We're still working on the agenda, so if you have any agenda…Continue

Tags: engagement, community, earthcube, governance

Started by Genevieve Pearthree. Last reply by Genevieve Pearthree May 2, 2013.

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