EarthCube domain end-user workshop:
Bringing Geochronology into the EarthCube framework
Where: University of Wisconsin-Madison, Pyle Center
When: October 1-3 (inclusive), 2013

Travel and subsistence support is available for invited participants.

Acceptance deadline: July 15, 2013. Please RSVP, both to the co-organizer who has invited you, and importantly also via email at: [email protected]

Summary: EarthCube is a collaboration between the U.S. National Science Foundation and Earth, atmosphere, ocean, computer, information, and social scientists, educators, data managers, and more. EarthCube aims to transform the conduct of research through the development of community-guided cyber-infrastructure to integrate information and data across the geosciences ( NSF is sponsoring workshops for end-users in several geoscience domains, including this one for geochronology. A specific goal of these workshops is to gather requirements on EarthCube science-drivers, data utilities, user-interfaces, modeling software, tools, and other needs so that EarthCube can be designed to help geoscientists more easily do the science they want and need to do. Community input from these workshops is helping to direct and shape the function and form of what EarthCube will be.

Why a geochronology workshop? Understanding how time is distributed through the rock record or relatively recent surficial deposits is essential to many branches of the Earth, ocean, and atmospheric sciences. For example, accurately and precisely determining the timing of specific events is essential for correlation across the globe and for estimating the rates of earth processes. In turn geochronology data are critical for rigorous tests of many cause-and-effect hypotheses. A large number of chronometers are now available such that virtually all of earth history is amenable to “the dating game”. In parallel, the past decade has seen the rise of automated analytical systems in many individual laboratories, as well as at the national facility level, such that vast amounts of geochronology data are now flowing into the literature. Effectively organizing these new data and published legacy data, characterizing the quality and utility of these data for use in addressing earth science problems, and making these data available to the broader geoscience community are issues that the EarthCube initiative must address. This workshop would thus serve two objectives:
  1. engage ~60 cyber-literate geochronologists in the EarthCube process,
  2. inform ~10 of EarthCube’s cyber-scientists of the needs expressed by the geochronology community and the consumers of geochronology data.
Goal: To develop a set of unifying requirements for the organization of geochronology data and to develop an interactive community of domain and cyber scientists to pursue solutions. Specifically, after a morning of invited introductory talks introducing the various needs and capabilities of represented geo- and cyber- science communities, participants will break out repeatedly into at least six groups to discuss and produce draft documents that will contribute to each of the five workshop outcomes:

  1. Identify the scientific challenges and opportunities facing the Geochronology domain for next 5-15 years;
  2. Specify the data and cyber-infrastructure obstacles to meeting those challenges;
  3. Compile known community data and modeling resources;
  4. Describe the data and cyber-capabilities required to meet challenges, by matching obstacles (2) with resources (3) and identifying/imagining unmet needs that may develop.
  5. Develop ideas for at least two "proof-of-concept" projects or test cases for scientifically transformative activities that would become feasible if EarthCube is successful.
The breakout groups will comprise representatives from each of the major Geochronology subdisciplines (e.g., U-Pb, 40Ar/39Ar,14C, U-series, Terrestrial cosmogenic nuclide, Thermochronology, Astrochronology, etc). However, the organizers will also strive to cross-populate these groups with some representatives from other disciplines. This will help to ensure that we do not get lost in the details of particular methods and that we identify and discuss the common issues that affect most or all of the subdisciplines. Breakout group summaries will be briefly presented at the end of each breakout session and collated in near-real time using Google Docs, and thus accessible by all breakout groups for subsequent rounds of discussion. A workshop reportwill be redacted from these documents, summarizing all workshop findings.

Brad S. Singer, Department of Geoscience, University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Shanan Peters, University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Organizing committee
George Gehrels, Department of Geosciences, University of Arizona.
Anthony Koppers, College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences, Oregon State University.
Noah McLean, University of Kansas
Andrea Dutton, Department of Geological Sciences, University of Florida
Brent M. Goehring, Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Science, Purdue University.
Doug Walker, Department of Geology, University of Kansas.
Tom Guilderson, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
Stephen R. Meyers, Department of Geoscience, University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Rebecca Flowers, University of Colorado

Location and dates
The workshop will take place at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Pyle Center, in Madison, Wisconsin

The Workshop will take place October 1-3 (inclusive), 2013.

Virtual Participation is strongly encouraged for those who cannot attend in person
The workshop will host up to 70 “live” participants and >100 virtual participants for two and a half days. Virtual participation will enabled and optimized for each of the six breakout rooms and also for the plenary room via WebEx Meetings for Enterprise via high-definition video/webcam, audio and screen sharing ( Organizing committee: Matt Horstwood, Jim Bowring , Noah McLean, George Gehrels, Doug Walker, Sam Bowring, and Chad Paton.

Get the report from our first meeting (October, 2003) in .pdf format here.
Read the summary and proposal arising from the second EARTHTIME meeting here.

EARTHTIME is supported by the National Science Foundation.