Community Building: The NASA Openscapes Framework

Erin Robinson, Julia Lowndes, NASA Openscapes Mentors

All artwork by Allison Horst

ESIP Winter Meeting, January 18, 2022

Open data science

The tooling and people enabling reproducible, transparent, and inclusive practices for data-intensive science

Create space for discussions

Champions Cohort Calls

~7 research teams


Seaside Chats

Individual teams


Create place for collaboration

Open data science in action

“This isn’t just about coding & GitHub, it’s about changing the way we do science” - Dr. Malin Pinsky, Rutgers*

“Openscapes has created a new way of thinking about merging empathy and science. That’s an invaluable gift to me.” - Dr. Halley Froehlich, UCSB

“Openscapes gave me a perspective of how all these open data science tools work together and can be used to bring natural resource conservation and ecology into the 21st century.” - Researcher, NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service

Working more openly and inclusively

Openscapes approach

Researcher-centered, focused on teams. Practice and feel safe working openly w/ yourself & your team; then ease into more.

Create space & place to explore & learn. Cohort Calls, Seaside Chats, Co-Working; GitHub, R, Python, Quarto, Google Drive, Slack; Efficiency Tips & Inclusion Tips.

Cultivate relationships & real connections. Welcoming folks with diverse backgrounds; meeting where they are; skills to empower immediate work; kinder science.

Learning & iterating, openly. Not a checklist but a continual practice. Imperfect and messy.

NASA Earthdata & Openscapes

Supporting Earthdata research teams’ migration to the cloud

The overarching vision is to support scientific researcher teams using NASA EOSDIS data as they migrate their workflows to the cloud. We are doing this working with NASA Distributed Active Archive Centers (DAACs) over three years by:

  • Develop a cross-DAAC Mentor community
  • Empower science teams through the Champions program
  • Scale the Champions program with DAAC Mentors

NASA DAAC Openscapes Mentors

Support Mentors towards establishing a common set of NASA Earthdata tutorials that they can then build off their DAAC-specific and science examples

  • Create space & place

  • Focus on the common

  • Reuse existing

  • Contribute to fill gaps - and do so openly

2021 Cloud Hackathon

65 Openscapes 2i2c JupyterHub AWS instances

50 forks of the Cloud Hackathon GitHub repo

8 hack-team projects presented on Day 5

2021 Cloud Hackathon Book

“It was a really great week. The tutorials were AMAZING. Everyone did a great job, and everyone was very nice. I really appreciated welcoming environment. I don’t have a strong python background. But I was supported in learning all around” - Hackathon Participant

It’s worth investing the extra time required to become familiar with cloud computing and the newer python libraries to access and manipulate satellite data. The few hundred lines of code I wrote this week will replace several thousand lines of old code using just numpy! It’s also a heck of a lot easier to read and use. - Hackathon Participant

Blog summaries & future work

The tutorials were fantastic, but I struggled to figure out when to use the various methods we learned in the tutorials.

Tooling & norms for co-creating

Open science as part of the climate movement

We speaks to the collective, to collaboration, to community. Addressing the climate crisis…will take everyone.”

We speaks to justice…We cannot, we must not, go it alone”

Ayana Elizabeth Johnson & Katharine Wilkinson

Join us!

NASA Champions Cohort March-April 2022.

Learn with your team with a cohort of peers

Nominate your team by February 1!

ESIP Session: Better Science for Future Us

Open science in government

Friday, Jan 21, 2022 11-12:30 EST


Thank you to the DAAC Mentors!

Thank you!

We’re looking forward to working together!


Twitter: @openscapes


Openscapes artwork by Allison Horst

Erin Robinson, MSc

Co-Director, Openscapes

Metadata Game Changers


Julia Stewart Lowndes, PhD

Co-Director, Openscapes