GEON Newsletter || January 2006
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Upcoming GEON Workshops

GEON is organizing a number of workshops and meetings in the coming months, in its efforts to involve and gain input from the geo community. The following are currently planned:

February 7 : Information Exchange from Distributed Data Systems, co-convened by Chuck Meertens (GEON PI, UNAVCO)

March 10-11 : Data Registration Workshop, co-facilitated by A.K. Sinha (GEON PI, VA Tech) and Kai Lin (GEON Developer, SDSC)

March 17-18 : Construction, Editing, and Visualizing Integrated models of Earth Structure Workshop, facilitated by Randy Keller (GEON PI, UTEP)

April 4-5 : GEON Portal Usability Workshop, facilitated by Dogan Seber (GEON PI, SDSC)

April 7-8 : GEON Workshop to Identify Ground-Based Digitial Acquisition, Analysis, and Visualization Needs of the Geological Science Community, co-facilitated by John Oldow (GEON PI, Univ of Idaho)


Spring PI Meeting Scheduled for May 13, 2006

Fall GEON PI meeting group photo The GEON PIs will come together for their semi-annual meeting on May 13, 2006. This gathering of the GEON PIs will be held immediately following the Geoinformatics 2006 meeting and will be held at the Days Hotel & Conference Center in Herndon, VA. An agenda has yet to be set, though GEON PIs should consider the topics of discussion at this meeting and plan to attend.



Hyderabad, Beijing, Prague, Moscow GEON is currently planning several international Cyberinfrastructure Workshops during 2006, similar to the one held in Hyderabad, India in 2005. These include a workshop to be held in conjunction with the American Geophysical Union Western Pacific meeting in Beijing, July 24-27, 2006, which is being jointly organized with PRAGMA. Planning is also underway for workshops later in the year in Prague and Moscow.

Confirmation of these workshops, along with dates and agenda, will be posted on the GEON calendar and announced via the monthly GEON newsletter, when they become available.


Cyberinfrastructure Summer Institute for Geoscientists 2006

CSIG 2006 GEON is pleased to announce that it will offer a Cyberinstrastructure Summer Institute for Geoscientists (CSIG), August 14-18 2006, at the San Diego Supercomputer Center on the University of California, San Diego campus. As in past years, this week-long course is designed to introduce geoscientists to commonly-used as well as emergent information technology (IT) tools through a combination of lectures and hands-on experience. This year’s CSIG will have a stronger geoscience focus than in past years, based on feedback received from prior attendees. Further information and online registration will be available via the GEON website ( in February 2006.


Update on Ontologies Given at GEON Weekly Meeting, Archived as Webcast

A. Krishna Sinha A. Krishna Sinha (GEON PI, VA Tech), while visiting SDSC in January, made a presentation entitled "Ontologies for the Geosciences" on the accomplishments of geoscience research in discovery and integration of databases. While GEON accomplishments were highlighted (development of ontologies for registration and integration of data), he also presented an overview of a new NASA project (SESDI, Semantically Enabled Science Data Integration) in which he and his colleagues are developing integration capabilities between vulcanism and atmospheric changes. He emphasized that the synergy between GEON and SESDI is very likely to advance national cyberinfrastrucure goals, and yield results that would promote integration of datastreams for new research opportunities in societally significant areas dealing with assessment of hazards and the environment.

Archive of "Ontologies for the Geosciences" presentation:
GEON weekly webcast:


Sacagawea at UTEP

Sacagawea, the new Beowulf cluster at UTEP GEON co-PIs, Drs. Ann Q. Gates and Vladik Kreinovich at the University of Texas El Paso have received the UT System STAR Award that was used to acquire new resources for the GEON grid. These new resources include a multiprocessor node for handling compute intensive jobs and a data node for accommodating high volume data and imagery. The current intended use of this node is to host the LANDSAT 7 Mosaic imagery and with some processed grid point data.

Sacagawea, the new Beowulf cluster at UTEP includes the latest in cluster technology: it has 64 nodes, each with dual 64-bit AMD Opteron processors, 4 GB of RAM, and a 120 GB local hard disk. The nodes are connected through a Gigabit Ethernet switch and have access to a 3 Terabyte storage node. A picture of Sacagawea as it is standing in the UTEP Academic Data Center (in front of the GEON Cluster) is shown.


Newly Hired UTEP Computer Science Faculty an Asset to GEON

Paulo Pinheiro da Silva The Department of Computer Science at the University of Texas at El Paso is pleased to announce that Paulo Pinheiro da Silva joined the department in January 2006 as an Assistant Professor. He received his college degree in Mathematics and his M.Sc. degree in Computer Science, both from the Federal University of Minas Gerais, Brazil, and his Ph.D. in computer science from Manchester University, UK. Prior to joining UTEP, he spent three and a half years at Stanford University as a postdoctoral fellow in the Knowledge Systems Laboratory, where he co-led the Inference Web (IW) project. with Dr. Deborah McGuinness. IW aims to provide an infrastructure for explaining and trusting answers from heterogeneous Semantic Web agents and services. His current research focuses on developing principles, methods, and infrastructure enabling explainable and trustable systems. Dr. Pinheiro's expertise will be an asset to the GEON project, and he looks forward to working on GEON-related problems.


GEON Weekly Meeting Webcast Now Easier to Access

SDSC Weekly Webcast Button It is now easier than ever to tune into the live webcast from the weekly SDSC GEON meeting held each Monday morning at 10 a.m. (Pacific Time). This webcast features a presentation on a topic of relevance to GEON and its community and is broadcast live so that viewers may call in with questions for the speaker. We have added a large, conspicuous button at the top right corner of the GEON home page that allows viewers to access the live webcasts on Monday mornings, as well as the schedule of future presentations and archived webcasts anytime. If you haven’t lately, please visit the GEON website to ( to see this and other enhancements that we’ve been working on to our site.



Chaitan Baru Chaitan Baru attended an NSF meeting on Surface Process Cyberinfrastructure on behalf of the GEON project. The meeting was organized by the Earth Sciences program of the NSF Geosciences Division. The gathering of NSF-funded project representatives and other interested parties was called to keep the community of researchers informed of ongoing activities in related fields and projects. A number of followup activities are being planned by the group of researchers that met at this meeting, including the formation of community working groups related to different aspects of cyberinfrastructure. Baru’s talk covered a few aspects of GEON including the GEON LIDAR Workflow-based processing, data registration in GEON, and GEON’s collaborations with other geoinformatics projects. Presentations slides:

LiDAR point cloud Christopher Crosby (GEON team member, Arizona State Univ.) gave a talk on the GEON LiDAR Workflow (GLW) ( and the availability of Northern San Andreas Fault (NSAF) LiDAR data via the GLW to the Northern California National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP) Workshop ( at the U.S. Geological Survey in Menlo Park, CA, January 18-19. NEHRP scientists are an obvious user community of the NSAF LiDAR data and it is anticipated that use of the GLW will increase as a result of this outreach.

Chuck Meertens Chuck Meertens (GEON PI, UNAVCO) gave a talk entitled “Integrating Education Content into the Earth Information Exchange” at the 2006 Winter Federation of Earth Science Information Partners (“Federation”) Conference ( that was held during the first week of January in Washington, D.C. The purpose of the talk was to encourage technical developers and scientists to participate in the challenges of education resource development. The powerpoint presentation that accompanied this talk can be accessed at:

Mark Gahegan Mark Gahegan (GEON Co-PI, Penn State) does GEON-related Sabbatical at the University of Hyderabad, India. A brief report of this sabbatical will be included in next month's newsletter, as Dr. Gahegan is currently enroute from India to New Zealand.


NSF This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0225673 (GEON). Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.
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