Confluence Retirement

Due to the feedback from stakeholders and our commitment to not adversely impact USGS science activities that Confluence supports, we are extending the migration deadline to January 2023.

In an effort to consolidate USGS hosted Wikis, myUSGS’ Confluence service is targeted for retirement. The official USGS Wiki and collaboration space is now SharePoint. Please migrate existing spaces and content to the SharePoint platform and remove it from Confluence at your earliest convenience. If you need any additional information or have any concerns about this change, please contact Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.
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You can get to all of these groups and sign up for mailing lists on the CDI Collaboration Area wiki page.

3/2/20 Metadata Reviewers - sharing metadata creation practices for data and software

The Metadata Reviewers group discussed (1) At your office, how much do you create a single metadata record for? Individual data files, items in a database, collections of data, whole data releases, or what? (2) What about metadata for software or code? How can we prepare to think together about that, maybe on our next phone call? Should we invite a speaker? Bring in reference materials? Bring in good examples?

Link highlight: Data Management Training resources on the USGS Data Management Website

See other notes, links, and take-aways on the Metadata Reviewers Meetings Page! Contact: Lightsom, Frances L.

Training relevant to metadata creation is on the USGS Data Management Website!

3/3/20 Fire Science Update

At the March Fire Science Community of Practice meeting, Paul Steblein gave a fire science update. An FY2021 Request for Proposals will be issued this summer from the Joint Fire Science Program. Anna Stull presented on fire deployment requirements. Geoff Plumlee presented on the Department of Defense (DoD) Joint Artificial Intelligence Center (JAIC), Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) National Mission Initiative (NMI). During and post fire what can USGS be doing to link topography, mineralogy, debris flow, revegetation, invasive species? Rachel Loehman presented on the status and next steps of the USGS Fire Science Strategic Plan, and she is a new co-lead with Paul for the Fire Science CoP!

Past activity can be viewed at the Fire Science wiki page. Contact: Steblein, Paul Francis 

Recent wildland fire activity is shared at the Fire Science Community of Practice Meetings. 

3/9/20 Data Management - How do we convince them?

The Data Management Working Group again welcomed Science Gateways Community Institute trainers Claire Stirm and Juliana Casavan to host a working session on Communicating Data Value Propositions to Scientists. I found the concepts to be useful for communicating anything in general when trying to get "buy-in." Although some of us may be uncomfortable with the term "marketing," I think we may relate to the lessons of verbiage, graphics, actions, and strategies for trying to get buy-in for whatever we are working on.

Slides and recording are posted at the wiki meeting page. Contacts: Langseth, Madison Lee and Hutchison, Vivian B.

Slide from the "Communicating Data Value Propositions to Scientists" presentation.

3/12/20 Semantic Web - biodiversity in the world's oceans

Summary provided by Lightsom, Frances L.

Topic:  A practical example of semantic technology in action: assessing the status of biodiversity in the world’s oceans

Sky Bristol (USGS Core Science Systems, presented a big use case, in which semantic standards are needed to enable integration of multiple large datasets of ocean biological and ecological observations to understand effects of human activities on ocean ecosystems, as well as the sustainability of human uses of ocean resources. Several groups are working on ontologies that provide standard terms for the biota, ecosystem components, and relationships. A next step will be normalizing all the data with ontologies. This is an opportunity to assist with real world semantic web work.

See more at the Semantic Web meetings page.

A slide from Sky Bristol's presentation on a practical example of semantic technology - biodiversity in the world's oceans.

3/12/20 Tech Stack - provision of rapid response during Australian bushfires

Following the ESIP Theme "Putting Data to Work," the Tech Stack group had a presentation on the Discrete Global Grid System's use during the Australian bushfires.

From the abstract: The devastation caused by the Australian Bushfires highlighted the need for a new approach for rapid data integration. The total burnt area during Autumn-Summer 2019-2020 is 72,000 square miles, which is an equivalent to a half of Montana or North Dakota and Delaware areas combined. Rapid response in provision of information on areas affected by the bushfires was required to support evaluation of the impact, and also planning the recovery process and support for families, businesses and the environment. This presentation will discuss application of the Discrete Global Grid System (DGGS) in bringing together diverse complex information from multiple sources to support the response process. 

Slides and recording on the joint CDI Tech Stack and ESIP IT&I webinars on the ESIP page. Contact: Blodgett, David L.

Slide from the DGGS and Australian bushfires presentation.

3/16/20 Ignite Open Innovation Forum - volcanic hazards and problem-based learning

Jefferson Chang presented on Using Volcanic Hazards in Hawai‘i as a STEM Platform in Problem-Based Learning.

From the abstract: We use emerging technology to empower youth in a problem-based learning approach during a summer-long course. With guidance from HVO scientists, students essentially adopt the hazards mission of the USGS. Students not only aid in the volcano monitoring efforts on Hawai‘i Island, but also (1) take ownership of their own learning, (2) increase their capacity in STEM, and (3) engage the local community and address its needs.

See more at the Open Innovation wiki site. Contact: Liu, Sophia

Slide from Jefferson Chang's presentation at the Ignite Open Innovation Forum.

3/17 - 3/18/20 ICEMM - Interagency Collaborative for Environmental Modeling and Monitoring public meeting - Integrated Modeling, Monitoring, and Working with Nature.

The ICEMM group held its 2020 Public Meeting (March 17-18, 2020) at USGS Headquarters, Reston, VA.  The theme was Integrated Modeling, Monitoring, and Working with Nature.

Selected presentation titles: Engineering with nature for sustainable systems; Building smarter water systems through improved sensors, autonomy, and data processing; Black swans, disappearing lakes, and the societal value of integrated modeling and monitoring; Integrated water prediction at the USGS; Next generation integrated modeling of water availability in the Delaware River Basin and beyond.

Links: Agenda.  Abstracts and Biographical Information. Description of the meeting.  

Please contact Glynn, Pierre D  by email ( for further information or questions.

Slide from Branko Kerkez's presentation on Building smarter water systems.

3/18/20 Usability Resource Review Posting - using web analytics to inform how our web pages and tools are being used

From Sophie Hou, Unknown User ( :

For March, I have prepared a resource review to address questions relating to the “How can we use Google Analytics DataStudio to inform how our online tools are used?” topic posted to the forum.

Using analytics to inform how our web pages/tools are being used

Please note that although Google Analytics is referenced in the original question and in my resource review, there are other options. If you have used tools other than Google Analytics, please could you share the information/experience through the usability listserv?

Behavior flow snapshot from the resource: How to use the behavior flow report to improve your webpage user experience.

3/19/20 Risk Community of Practice - situation assessment, stakeholder alignment, prototyping, and strategic planning

From the Risk CoP wiki: This was part 2 of a series of training webinars provided by Impact360 Alliance on human-centered design thinking and inclusive problem solving. During this webinar, participants took a deeper dive into six of the tools from Impact360's Toolkit360. Toolkit360 includes six tools for collaboratively understanding wicked problems and six tools for collaboratively generating strategies to solve wicked problems. The twelve tools bridge the "problem space" and "solution space" using situation assessment, stakeholder alignment, prototyping, and strategic planning.

Access the slides and recording, and handouts at the Risk Meetings page (must log in as a CDI member, join here if you're not a member yet). Contact: Ludwig, Kristin A.

I appreciated the clear steps for the different tools in the toolkit, for example for [Re]Assess.

3/26/20 Software Development - using the cloud to support geophysical research

Kirstie Haynie, a Mendenhall post-doc at the USGS, is exploring how to use the cloud to support geophysical research. She presented from a geophysicist's point of view, running the Slab2 model in the cloud. With the goal of operationalization of Slab2, she demonstrated the process of using CloudFormation templates for reproducibility, automation, and long term success.

Get to more resources on the Software Dev Cluster wiki page. Contacts: Ladino, Cassandra C.Guy, Michelle , Newson, Jeremy K.

Subduction zones via Slab2 at the software dev cluster meeting!

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