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Student Perspectives on Earth Science Data Management for the 21st Century

Marko Gorenc, J. Anna Farnsworth, Marjorie A. Chan, Hannah Durkee, William Hurlbut, Mallory Millington, and Brittney Thaxton

Global information technology, tools, and access have rapidly changed our lives and how we communicate. Students of Generation Y are fully engaged in a digital age, and are looking to new technological innovations to conduct Earth science research. On the near horizon, EarthCube is a powerful, new National Science Foundation initiative with the goal of building a comprehensive data and knowledge management system in the Earth, atmospheric, and oceanic sciences for the 21st Century. Through this project, information and data will be integrated into a single, geovisualization portal, accessible through the internet to scientists in both academic and professional settings. Wide ranging datasets will include sedimentology/stratigraphy, hydrology, structure/tectonics, paleobiology, petrology and geochemistry, paleoclimate, modeling, geophysics, EarthScope, and more. A small group of undergraduate and graduate students participated in creating a short, informational video about EarthCube to pique interest in this new initiative. This filming effort to communicate what EarthCube is about deepened our understanding and appreciation for the complexity of what is involved, and for the potential of what it can do. With the petroleum industry participation and partnership, multiple applications of Earthcube can include: searchable subsurface data integrated with outcrop geology, published literature and well completion reports, maps, imagery, and interpreted data at multiple scales. Earthcube will enable users to more easily and efficiently access data, promote integration across disciplines, and foster innovations in teaching and sharing Earth science data. It is anticipated that this will be a 10-year commitment to a highly collaborative process that engages scientists across many disciplines of geosciences, computer science, and cyberinfrastructure. Generation Y is enthusiastic to shape the future that will become an indispensible tool for better science. This can be a valuable pathway to new discoveries and explorations of resources and scientific questions.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90169©2013 AAPG Rocky Mountain Section 62nd Annual Meeting, Salt Lake City, Utah, September 22-24, 2013