EFI Cyberinfrastructure Workshop

April 10-13, 2024

Co-hosted by EFI and NERACOOS

Location: Portsmouth, New Hampshire

Community-developed cyberinfrastructure design principles and recommended practices

This 2.5-day workshop focused on community-developed cyberinfrastructure (CI) for FAIR and efficient ecological forecasting.

Cyberinfrastructure development represents a substantial barrier, potentially hindering many researchers and organizations from engaging in ecological forecasting, deepening our collective understanding of ecological phenomena, and effectively managing ecological systems. This challenge arises from the absence of widely recognized CI design principles. By gathering researchers and CI experts across government agencies, academia, private sector, and NGO’s, this workshop will 1) collate common CI practices across existing forecasting projects, 2) identify forecast CI needs and gaps, and 3) propose CI design for a variety of ecological forecasting problems. 

A high level goal of the workshop is to produce an open-access and version-controlled online document for community-developed CI design principles and recommended practices that can be shared broadly across all participants and organizations invited to the workshop and beyond. The intention of this living document will be to be used as a CI handbook for new and experienced forecasters alike, and will be developed to be compatible with community-developed forecasting standards (Dietze et al. 2023). We expect to gather input from all participants about the design principles during the workshop while a small subset of contributors will be in charge of setting up the online document after the workshop. 

Building upon these principles and existing work from the Ecological Forecasting Initiative (EFI) open-source community, we will guide the development of open-source cyberinfrastructure tools to be shared among the ecological forecasting community. We believe that such a resource will dramatically lower the barrier to entry for many researchers, allowing them to focus more on their specific ecological questions rather than the technical details of cyberinfrastructure development.

Workshop participants represented a broad spectrum of federal agencies, academic institutions, and other organizations with water-related science mission elements and capabilities. The workshop was limited to 40 invited participants. Limited travel funding was available for non-Federal attendees.

Organizing Committee: Jake Zwart (USGS), Hassan Moustahfid (NOAA), Chris Brown (University of Maryland), Jessica Burnett (NASA), Jake Kritzer (NERACOOS), Rob Cardeiro (NERACOOS), Cameron Thompson (NERACOOS), Emily Silva (NERACOOS), Caitlin Shanahan (NERACOOS), Jody Peters (University of Notre Dame), Mike Dietze (Boston University)

This workshop was made possible by funding support from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/US IOOS,  the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Northeastern Regional Association of Coastal Ocean Observing Systems, the Ecological Forecasting Initiative, and the U.S. Geological Survey. 


April 108:30 – 9:00 amWelcome Coffee & Tea
9:00 – 10:00 amOverview of Workshop Goals and Why We Are Here
Leads: Workshop Organizing Committee
10:00 – 11:00 amDesign Justice Principles Primer 
Lead: Sean Dorr, University of Minnesota 
11:00 – 11:15 amCoffee and Tea Break
11:15 – 12:00 pmDesign Justice Principles Activity
Lead: Sean Dorr, University of Minnesota
12:00 – 12:10 pm Group Photo 
12:10 – 1:30 pmLunch
1:30 – 3:30 pmState-of-the-art Forecasting Workflows and Best Practices [Presentations] Istem Fer, Finnish Meteorological Institute; What could an operational agricultural forecasting CI look like? Field Observatory Network (FiON) model-data workflows and services;
David Watkins, U.S. Geological Survey; Forecasting infrastructure in context: lessons learned from greenfield forecasting projects; 
Clarissa Anderson, University of California San Diego and Southern California Coastal Ocean Observing System; Development of a Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) Data Assembly Center in support of a National HAB Observing Network;
Quinn Thomas, Virginia Tech, and Carl Boettiger, University of California Berkeley; Adventures from a million forecast march: community driven-CI for ecological forecasting;
Alexandra Kirk (virtual), National Aeronautics and Space Administration IMPACT; VEDA, an open-source open-science platform for Earth Observation data;
Renato Figueiredo, University of Florida; From FLARE to FaaSr: Towards Reusable, Scalable Cross-Platform Cloud Native Workflows
3:30 – 3:45 pmCoffee and Tea Break
3:45 – 5:00 pmBreakout Group Discussions
What are common best practices and current technical gaps? 
5:00 pm End of Day 1  
April 118:30 – 9:00 amWelcome Coffee & Tea 
9:00 – 9:10 amRecap of Day 1 and Overview of Day 2
Lead: Jake Zwart
9:10 – 10:15 amGaps, Barriers, and Other Challenges [Presentations
Mike Dietze, Boston University Marie Colton, Hydros LLC David Scheurer, NOAA Ocean Service
10:15 – 10:30 amCoffee & Tea Break
10:30 – 12:00 pmBreakout Group Discussions Synthesize common gaps,  barriers, and challenges Recommendations for overcoming common gaps and barriers
12:00 – 1:30 pmLunch
1:30 – 3:00 pmBreakout Group DiscussionsPropose generalized cyberinfrastructure design for ecological forecasting
3:00 – 3:15 pmCoffee & Tea Break
3:15 – 3:45 pm Report out on Proposed Generalized Cyberinfrastructure Design Lead: Jake Zwart 
3:45 – 4:00 pm Bio Break 
4:00 – 5:00 pmImplementation and Coordination by Organizations and Agencies
Leads: Jessica Burnett and Christopher Brown 
Panel discussion Clarissa Anderson, UCSD & SCCOOSStinger Guala, NASA Earth Science Data Systems Marie Colton, Hydros LLCDavid Schurer, NOAA Ocean ServiceSteve Marley, NOAA Satellite & Information ServiceBruce Wilson, ORNL Distributed Active Archive Center
5:00 pmEnd of Day 2 
April 128:30 – 9:00 amWelcome Coffee & Tea
9:00 – 9:10 amRecap of Day 2 and Overview of Day 3
Lead: Jake Zwart 
9:10 – 10:45 amImplementation and Coordination by Organizations and Agencies
Leads: Jessica Burnett and Christopher Brown Breakout group discussions 
10:45 – 11:00 amCoffee & Tea Break
11:00 – 11:45 amReport out on Implementation and Coordination 
Leads: Jessica Burnett and Christopher Brown 
11:45 – 12:00 pmClosing Remarks and End of Workshop
Lead: Workshop organizing committee