EarthCubed: Community Convergence and Communication
Abstract:What drives engagement across a diverse community with the common goal of creating a robust cyberinfrastructure for the geosciences? Which applications, social media venues and outreach mechanisms solicit the most valuable feedback? Of the dizzying toolkit available for community-building, which tools should receive time, attention and dedication? Finally, how does it all relate to better geoscience research?
Research projects in the geosciences are rapidly becoming more interdisciplinary, requiring use of broader data-sets and a multitude of data-types in an effort to explain questions important to both the scientific community and the general public. Effective use of the data and tools available requires excellent community communication and engagement across disciplines, as well as a manner to easily obtain and access those data and tools.
For over two years, the EarthCube project has sought to create the most active and engaged community possible, bringing together experts from all across the NSF GEO directorate and its many-faceted disciplines. Initial efforts focused on collecting insight and opinions at in-person “end-user workshops,” and informal organization of interest groups and teams. Today, efforts feature an organizational structure with dedicated internal communication and outreach groups.
The EarthCube Office has been largely responsible for coordination of these groups and the social media and Internet presence of the project to date, through the creation and curation of the EarthCube.org website, social media channels, live-streaming of meetings, and newsletters. Measures of the effectiveness of these efforts will be presented, to serve as potential reference and guidance for other projects seeking to grow their own communities. In addition, we will discuss how the Office’s role in outreach and engagement has changed over the past year with the creation of the Engagement and Liaison Teams, and what it signifies for the Office’s role in EarthCube’s future.