The Chesapeake Global Collaboratory is a new initiative led by the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science with the ambitious goal of accelerating solutions to complex problems by bringing a new generation of tools, voices, and approaches to environmental research. It is a “think and do tank,” both a physical and virtual space equipped with state-of-the-art technology where scientists, environmental policy makers, academics, and stakeholders can work together to address our most challenging environmental issues and educate the next generation of problem solvers.
The Collaboratory will support research applications by uniting multi-stakeholder groups to utilize innovative tools to analyze “big data,” leveraging high performance and cloud computing, open data science, and geospatial analytics. UMCES has already begun building institutional capacity to support this effort. A new physical space on the Chesapeake Bay will provide technology-augmented, in-person meeting capabilities and house high-performance computing resources and data scientists. Research funding has been secured from federal funding agencies to provide initial support for data scientists and project management, as well as new diverse voices and novel approaches.
CHESAPEAKE GLOBAL COLLABORATORY 2023 SUMMIT
The Chesapeake Global Collaboratory Summit gathered experts from academia, government agencies, NGOs, and businesses to explore how the initiative can enhance our ability to address the world's pressing environmental issues. The focus of the 1.5-day summit was to create opportunities for input from diverse voices using high-level plenaries, panel discussions, and facilitated small group breakout sessions.
COLLABORATORY NEXT STEPS
The National Science Foundation has awarded UMCES and UMBC a grant “Enhancing the transdisciplinary research ecosystem for earth and environmental science with dedicated cyberinfrastructure professionals.” This will provide the Chesapeake Global Collaboratory an opportunity to hire data scientists and build cyberinfrastructure to support data acquisition, data storage, data management, data integration, data mining, and data visualization.
The State of Maryland is investing in the construction of a new building on the Chesapeake Biological Laboratory campus. This building, the Chesapeake Analytics Collaborative Building, is slated for construction in 2024. It will provide cyberinfrastructure and meeting spaces. There will be new office space to accommodate/support increased data scientist staffing.
UMCES faculty are developing proposals to take full advantage of the Collaboratory.
Finally, a major effort will be made to energize potential Collaboratory funders so that we can accelerate environmental solutions to the vexing issues that face our society. UMCES is the right place with the right people to lead this effort.
The Merrill Foundation has awarded $150,000 over two years to produce a proof-of-concept research project to showcase the Collaboratory. The newly formed Faculty Steering Committee, chaired by Dr. Kenny Rose, will be soliciting proposal concepts from UMCES faculty in early 2024.