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For over 20 years, ESIP meetings have brought together the most innovative thinkers and leaders around Earth science data, thus forming a community dedicated to making Earth science data more discoverable, accessible and useful to researchers, practitioners, policymakers, and the public. The theme of this year’s meeting is "Data for All People: From Generation to Use and Understanding."

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Thursday, January 20 • 1:30pm - 3:00pm
ESIP Cross-Domain Collaboration Laboratory -- Let’s Look at Wildfires

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Global and local challenges are increasing from a rapidly changing climate that is fueling extreme events. There were 20 separate billion-dollar weather and climate disasters in 2021, just two events shy of the record set in 2020. These events caused at least 688 fatalities and scores more injured. Two disasters occurred in December — the Southeast, Central Tornado Outbreak and the Midwest Derecho and Tornado Outbreak. December did not go quietly with losses from the Marshall Fire, which burned about 6,200 acres and more than 1,000 homes in Superior, Louisville and unincorporated parts of Boulder Country, are estimated by the Boulder County Assessor at $513 million, making it among the costliest fires in the state's history.

While the number of extreme events continues to increase, the impacts on people, communities, supply chains, transportation, communication and utility sectors also continue to grow due to aging critical infrastructure, increased vulnerabilities due to more demand from growing populations, and more people moving into hazard-prone areas that typically lack region-specific preparedness campaigns. In addition, the compounding impacts of Covid-19 have severely impacted the supply chain.

Data availability has also been increasing at logarithmic scales while the ability to discover, trust and use that data has lagged behind the ‘data availability’ growth rates. Non-technical decision makers, who crave trusted data that can be used to drive decision making, cannot find what they need, often due to the complex semantics of hazards and disasters. When they do find a relevant data source, they have to trust it in order to make a decision. Once they have gained trust in the source and used the data in their decision making processes, they are more than happy to provide feedback on the data that could lead to further improvements.

As the risk of wildfires continues to increase and the number of people moving into the urban wildland fire interface increases, communities want and need to be kept informed about their risks to wildfires and other extreme events, and how they can use data to improve their resilience, particularly BEFORE the fire breaks out. Once a wildfire threatens, communities need to jump into action. Before a wildfire develops is when community residents need to be informed about their vulnerability and identify what risks exist. What is being done to protect their communities and when it is safe to remain in place or evacuate? Today there are numerous disparate sources of information available and many choices to find data...but can that information be trusted and can it be aggrigated?

This session will bring together members from the ESIP #Ag&Climate, #AirQuality, #Envirosensing, #DataReadiness, #InformationQuality and #DisasterLifecycle clusters to engage in some active use case conversations, such as data sources for wildfire risk and possible impacts on communities, evacuation route datasets and how can we connect to communities effectively. We desire to leverage and grow a way to serve community and neighborhood residents and decision makers through lay language data discoverability and use to drive more rapid decisions. This could prove to be extremely valuable as we seek to cut the time between data discovery, trust, situational awareness and decision making.

We are excited to welcome Carol Ekarius, Chief Executive Officer of Coalitions & Collaboratives, Inc., a non-profit that works to foster on-the-ground conservation efforts that protect and restore natural resources and local communities by supporting collaborative conservation organizations, who produce collective impacts through stakeholder driven efforts. We will be engaging with Carol to discuss what communities need when it comes to data, particularly pre-fire, so they can become more resilient. Many of these communities are underserved. We will also hear from Dr. David Green, NASA Applied Science's Wildfire Program Manager that was recently added to Applied Science's portfolio. David will discuss where he sees the Wildfire program heading and inform us about a broader NASA multi-directorate approach to wildfires. We will have a 20-minute breakout session to address the following topics:
  • Breakout 1: Challenges for pre-wildfire in communities
  • Breakout 2: Data applications for pre-wildfire community situational awareness
  • Breakout 3: Community Communication & Education Challenges (wildfire risk regions)
Recommended ways to prepare for this session: Think about whether you have candidate data potentially applicable to wildfire disasters especially before they develop.

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avatar for Qian Huang

Qian Huang

Assistant Professor, East Tennessee State University
avatar for Dave Jones

Dave Jones

CEO, StormCenter Communications, Inc.
GeoCollaborate, is an SBIR Phase III technology (Yes, its a big deal) that enables real-time data access through web services, sharing and collaboration across multiple platforms. We call GeoCollaborate a 'Collaborative Common Operating Picture' that empowers decision making, situational... Read More →
avatar for Karen Moe

Karen Moe

Retired, NASA
Managing an air quality monitoring project for my town just outside of Washington DC and looking for free software!! Enjoying citizen science roles in environmental monitoring and sustainable practices in my town. Recipient of an ESIP 2022 Funding Friday grant with Dr Qian Huang to... Read More →

avatar for Robert Downs

Robert Downs

Senior Digital Archivist, Columbia University
Dr. Robert R. Downs serves as the senior digital archivist and acting head of cyberinfrastructure and informatics research and development at CIESIN, the Center for International Earth Science Information Network, a research and data center of the Columbia Climate School of Columbia... Read More →
avatar for Scotty Strachan

Scotty Strachan

Director of Cyberinfrastructure, University of Nevada, Reno
Institutional cyberinfrastructure, sensor-based science, mountain climate observatories!
avatar for Douglas Rao

Douglas Rao

Research Scientist, CISESS/NCICS/NCSU
I am currently a Research Scientist at North Carolina Institute for Climate Studies, affiliated with NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information. My current research at NCICS focuses on generating a blended near-surface air temperature dataset by integrating in situ measurements... Read More →
avatar for Brian Wee

Brian Wee

Founder and Managing Director, Massive Connections, LLC
Transdisciplinary scientist invested in the use of environmental data and information for science, education, and decision-making for challenges at the nexus of global environmental change, natural resources, and society. Strategized and executed initiatives to engage the US Congress... Read More →

David Green

NASA Applied Sciences

Carol Ekarius

CEO, Coalitions & Collaboratives, Inc.

Thursday January 20, 2022 1:30pm - 3:00pm EST
  Breakout, Breakout