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Software Development Cluster, 3/28/2019: Brainstorming future discussion topics

Cassandra Ladino led a brainstorming session for topics that could be discussed within the Software Development cluster, using to collect ideas and trello to organize them. Some ideas included: - what is it, who should use it and when; Using US Web Design System in USGS web sites; Docker training for distributing scientific software; Python APIs using Swagger and/or Flask; How to grow grassroots development efforts to enterprise systems; Creating a community of practice for unit testing code so that it can be easily reviewed by anyone in the software dev community; Should there be separation between scientific software and web development software discussions? (pros and cons). Lots of exciting topics!

Software Dev contacts are Michelle Guy Guy, Michelle , Blake Draper Draper, Blake A. , and Cassandra Ladino Ladino, Cassandra C. .

Risk Community of Practice, 3/21/2019: Inaugural meeting

Risk Community of Practice leads Kris Ludwig and Dave Ramsey introduced the new Risk Community of Practice, reviewed the USGS Risk Plan and implementation plans for FY19, and announced the FY19 Risk RFP.  The purpose of the group is to

    • build connections across centers, programs, mission areas

    • create a central point of contact for USGS risk research and applications

    • identify needs and opportunities to benefit the community

    • generate project ideas

    • share resources, expertise

Besides the Risk Plan, another recent publication mentioned was Assessing Hazards and Risks at the Department of the Interior—A Workshop Report, by Nate Wood, Alice Pennaz, Kristin Ludwig, Jeanne Jones, Kevin Henry, Jason Sherba, Peter Ng, and others.

Risk Community of Practice contacts are Kris Ludwig Ludwig, Kristin A. and Dave Ramsey Ramsey, David W. , who can be reached at

Tech Stack Working Group, 3/14/2019: Integrating SciServer and OceanSpy to enable easy access to oceanographic model output

Mattia Almansi from Johns Hopkins University presented on Integrating SciServer and OceanSpy. OceanSpy is an open-source and user-friendly Python package that enables scientists and interested amateurs to use ocean model data sets with out-of-the-box analysis tools. OceanSpy builds on software packages developed by the Pangeo community (in particular xarray, dask, and xgcm). OceanSpy accelerates and facilitates exploration (including visualization) of terascale data. (Adapted from the presentation abstract.)

See more, including a link to the recorded session, on the group presentation website, hosted by ESIP - the Earth Science Information Partners. TSWG contacts are Dave Blodgett Blodgett, David L. and Rich Signell Signell, Richard P. .

Semantic Web Working Group, 3/14/2019: Semantic Web at the CDI Workshop

The Semantic Web Working Group held a discussion about Semantic Web elements at the upcoming CDI Workshop. Ken Bagstad mentioned the breakout session he is co-leading at the workshop, which will include semantics in the context of predictive modelling, intersecting with artificial intelligence and machine learning. Other topics included FAIR (findability, accessibility, interoperability, and reusability) in machine- and human-readable contexts and the importance of standard data dictionaries.

See more at the group meeting notes page.  The SMWG contact is Fran Lightsom Lightsom, Frances L. .

Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning Community of Practice, 3/12/2019: New Infrastructure for Deep Learning at the USGS and AI for Ecosystem Services

Jeff Falgout Falgout, Jeff T. presented on infrastructure for deep learning and Ken Bagstad Bagstad, Kenneth J. presented on AI for Ecosystem Services.

What I learned at the AI/ML group call:

    • USGS is setting up a new machine for AI, it is named Tallgrass after this NPS park in Kansas

    • Projected timeline for the set up: mid April - Tallgrass Installation; Early May - friendly testing; early June - general availability.

    • Reminder of what GPUs are vs. CPUs

    • AI for Ecosystem Services: What if our data and models could talk to one another, and decision makers could use scientific information to more quickly and reliably answer questions about today’s most urgent problems? Find out more at

    • JC pointed out some activity on the AI/ML forum and encouraged members to post

    • Group leads reminded members to contribute to a spreadsheet for collecting USGS AI/ML project descriptions to communicate to USGS leadership.

You should think of this image whenever we mention the Tallgrass infrastructure. (from the NPS Tallgrass Prarie website)

Meeting notes and recordings at the group meetings page. Contacts for the group are JC Nelson Nelson, John C. and Pete Doucette doucette.

Data Management Working Group, 3/11/2019: Brainstorming topic ideas

Cassandra Ladino led the working group in a discussion of topics to be discussed at the CDI Workshop or at future DMWG meetings. Some ideas for further discussion included:

    • Data Management Plans - streamlining process from DMP to publishing; enforcing; hosting

    • QMS (Quality Management System for USGS labs) integration with data management and records management

    • Metadata for the National Digital Catalog

    • More information and guidance on USGS Software Release

    • UAS (Unmanned Aircraft Systems/AKA Drone) data

    • Data sharing agreements

See more information in the attached slides at the meeting page. The DMWG contacts are Viv Hutchison Hutchison, Vivian B. and Cassandra Ladino Ladino, Cassandra C. .

DevOps Sync, 3/5/2019: Booz Allen Hamilton DevOps Environment and CI/CD pipeline

Martin Folkoff, lead DevOps engineer at Booz Allen Hamilton provided a technical overview of the DevOps environment he has designed and the CI/CD (continuous integration/continuous deployment) pipeline employed by his teams at BAH. He provided a look at the tools he uses to orchestrate his production environments.

See more information at the DevOps Meeting page. The DevOps contacts are Derek Masaki Masaki, Derek and David Hughes Hughes, David R. .

Metadata Reviewers Community of Practice 3/4/2019: News and Updates

The Metadata Reviewers Community of Practice will be hosting a breakout session at the CDI Workshop to provide guidance for data and metadata review, and tips and tricks for data and metadata authors. Virtual participation is planned.

The ISO Content Specs project will be hosting workshop sessions on Thursday and Friday at the CDI Workshop. The sessions will focus on collecting requirements for metadata specification modules, most likely modules for experimental data, computational data, and observational data. To learn more, contact Dennis Walworth Walworth, Dennis H. , Fran Lightsom Lightsom, Frances L. , or Lisa Zolly Zolly, Lisa .

See more news on the group meeting notes page. The Metadata Reviewers CoP contact is Fran Lightsom Lightsom, Frances L. .

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