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Felikson helps to lead the NASA Earth Information System

In 2020, Denis Felikson (615/MSU), then a new Research Scientist with the GESTAR Cooperative Agreement, was involved with the initial formulation of a project called the Earth Information System, led by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. Originally, the team (then led by Christa Peters-Lidard, NASA GSFC Acting Chief Scientist) was funded for a six-month pilot study in 2021, followed by a full year of funding in 2022. Currently, the team is working on a follow-on proposal for long-term funding. Dr. Felikson, now Assistant Research Scientist with GESTAR II, was recently selected to serve as part of the leadership team for the Earth Information System as Deputy Project Scientist, a role that will allow him to help shape the vision of this aspirational project. "EIS is an ambitious project that serves as a pathfinder for realizing NASA's vision of open source science while improving the availability and accessibility of Earth science information through comprehensive Earth system integration and synthesis," says Sujay Kumar (GSFC), EIS Project Scientist.

The Earth Information System (EIS) seeks to harness the full potential of NASA's scientific expertise, technology, and stakeholders to fully understand our changing planet as one Earth System. It is a bold project that cuts across the traditional silos within which Earth science is performed, pioneering a transformative way of conducting interdisciplinary Earth System Science, with a team of over 100 experts in scientific research, applied sciences, and data systems working together under one project to advance our holistic understanding of the Earth System and to synthesize that understanding into actionable information. 

One pillar of the EIS project is to implement NASA's Open-Source Science principles in order to deliver reproducible, transparent, accessible, and inclusive science. The goal is to eliminate barriers for both researchers and stakeholders to NASA information and the analyses that underpin that information. The EIS team deployed models of Earth system components, like ice sheets, oceans, and terrestrial hydrology, on new cloud computing environments along with interactive notebooks that lower the barrier for other researchers to set up, run the models, and analyze their outputs. The models and the interactive notebooks run on cloud platforms like the Science Managed Cloud Environment (SMCE) and the Visualization, Exploration, and Data Analysis (VEDA) platform, and the EIS project has been a pathfinder in exploring the best ways to use these emerging platforms for Earth system science.


Posted: December 1, 2022, 1:38 PM