GEON Newsletter || March 2006
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Ann Gates Selected to Serve on NSF Advisory Committee for CI

Ann Gates Ann Gates, Chair, Computer Science Department, UTEP (http://www.cs.utep.edu/), and a GEON Co-PI at UTEP, has been selected to serve on the NSF Advisory Committee for Cyberinfrastructure (ACCI). This Committee has been formed to provide perspective and advice to the Cyberinfrastructure Council (CIC), comprised of all of the assistance directors and office heads of NSF. Areas that the ACCI will be advising the CIC include: program content, balance, and overall performance; the impact of overall NSF-wide policies on the science and engineering community; and will provide important contact with this community and other stakeholders impacted by the agency’s cyberinfrastructure portfolio.

This appointment is indicative of Dr. Gates’ substantial contributions and impact on issues of import and consequence to the science and engineering community and is well deserved!

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Chaitan Baru Joins IRIS Data Management System Standing Committee

Chaitan Baru Chaitan Baru, GEON PI (SDSC), has been appointed to serve a three year term as a member of the IRIS Data Management System Standing Committee. This Committee operates in an oversight capacity to ensure that the IRIS Data Management System (DMS) is effective in archiving and making available data from the GSN and PASSCAL programs, as well as other data. IRIS has begun implementing web-services and SOA architectures within the DMS, and it is anticipated that Chaitan’s involvement on this committee will strengthen collaboration among other projects across earth science disciplines.

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Geoinformatics 2006 Meeting

Important deadlines pertaining to the Geoinformatics 2006 Meeting are quickly approaching. The registration and application deadline for Postdocs and Grads requesting student travel support is Monday, April 3, 2006. The final online registration deadline, for all attendees, is Monday, May 1, 2006. Full details about this Geoinformatics 2006 Meeting, to be held May 10-12, 2006 at the USGS National Center in Reston, VA , as well as online registration and application for student travel support are available at http://www.geongrid.org/geoinformatics2006/. This meeting is being co-hosted by the USGS and GEON (NSF), and sponsored by the Geological Society of America, NASA, and ESRI. It will provide a national forum for researchers and educators from geoscience and information technology/computer science to present new data, data analysis or modeling techniques, visualization schemes, or technologies as they relate to developing the cyberinfrastructure for the Geosciences.

Any remaining questions regarding this meeting may be directed to Margaret Banton (Chair, Organizing Committee) at mbanton@sdsc.edu.

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AIST Delegation Visits Synthesis Center to Discusses GEON Collaborations

Dr. Satoshi Sekiguchi, Director of the Grid Technology and Research Center/Advanced Industrical Science and Technology (GTRC/AIST), in Japan, visited with GEON team members from the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) and toured the Synthesis Center during March. Dr. Satoshi and his colleague, Kayo Arima, met with GEON PI Chaitan Baru and GEON Chief Software Architect Ashraf Memon to discuss GEON collaborations with AIST. AIST’s participation in the GEON cyberinfrastructure workshop in Beijing, China was discussed, as well as the possibility of GEON team members visiting AIST following this meeting to provide a tutorial on the OpenGIS consortium’s Web Mapping Service (WMS) and Web Feature Service (WFS), and to discuss the ways in which GEON is using and supporting these technologies. AIST researchers also plan to participate in the Geo-Cyberinfrastructure workshop in Beijing, which is co-sponsored by GEON and PRAGMA.

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Mark Gahegan Continues GEON Collaboration with University of Hyderabad

As a follow up to the GEON visit to the University of Hyderabad in October 2005, Mark Gahegan (GEON PI, Penn State) returned to the University of Hyderabad as a Distinguished Visiting Professor. During this extended visit Dr. Gahegan was able to continue the interaction with faculty at the U of Hyderabad as they brought their own GEON node on-line, discussed joint research possibilities that will be facilitated by sharing the GEON cyber-network and shared interests in Grid Computing and related topics, and helped plan for visualization facilities at the new High-Performance Computing Center on the Hyderabad campus.

The GEON node at the U of Hyderabad has already acted as a focal point in the local research community, opening doors to inter-agency collaboration that had not previously existed. Before departing in December, Dr. Gahegan joined a group of scientists (including the Chief Scientist of the Indo-US Scientific Forum), to discuss the potential funding opportunities for GEON collaborations in India. To this end, a proposal partnering the U of Hyderabad, U of Pune and U of Jammu in India with the San Diego Supercomputer Center at UCSD, the U of Oklahoma and Penn State has been submitted and is pending review.

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GEON Brings Together Focus Group on "Evaluation of Ontologic Registration of General Geology Datasets"

A focused work group came together on March 10 & 11 at SDSC to evaluate the “Ontologic Registration of General Geology Datasets”. This meeting was co-convened by A. Krishna Sinha, GEON PI (Virginia Tech) and Kai Lin, GEON Developer (SDSC), and provided a group of geologists and information technologists an opportunity to identify and discuss some necessary research steps toward making data registration in the GEON portal both simple and rapid.

A short list of priorities and goals were established during this meeting, including the goal of participating geoscientists to register their data sets during April. A full report from this meeting, along with a list of participants, can be found at: http://www.geongrid.org/workshops/datareg2006/

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GEON Workshop on "Construction, Editing, and Visualizing Integrated Models of Earth Structure" Held March 17-18

Workshop group photo Randy Keller, GEON PI (UTEP) facilitated a GEON sponsored workshop on “Construction, Editing, and Visualizing Integrated Models of Earth Structure” at the Synthesis Center, located in the Calit2 building at the University of California, San Diego, on March 17-18th. This meeting was organized to overcome the inadequacy of existing tools to construct, edit, and visualize integrated models of earth structure complete with faults and physical property discontinuities, brought together a group of individuals who are working on elements of this problem to share experiences and ideas on how we can move forward to develop more robust capabilities.

Further workshop details and a lists of its participants can be accessed at: http://www.geongrid.org/workshops/vizint2006/

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GAMA featured in IBM developerWorks and Globus Consortium News

GAMA architecture diagram Kurt Mueller, a lead developer with the Advanced Cyberinfrastructure Labs at SDSC, was recently interviewed by IBM developerWorks and Globus Consortium on GAMA (Grid Account Management Architecture). GAMA is a complete GSI credential management and integration solution tailored for use in emerging CyberInfrastructure through web portals or web service based clients. It makes grid security as easy to use as any commercial web site while maintaining the security and delegation capabilities of GSI.

GAMA is being developed at the San Diego Supercomputer Center via funding from GEON and NBCR and, in addition to GEON, it is being used in a number of projects in the US and abroad including, at Indiana University for their CIMA crystallography portal, BIRN, NBCR, the Telescience portal, the Harvard Crimson grid, PRAGMA grid, and is under consideration for use by the UK e-Science initiative, the Optiputer grid, and SDSC User Services group.

For more information on GAMA see http://grid-devel.sdsc.edu/gama.

The IBM developerWorks and Globus Consortium articles can be found at: http://globusconsortium.org/journal/20060302/index.php and http://www-128.ibm.com/developerworks/grid/library/gr-unified3/

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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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