The EVER-EST Horizon 2020 project (European Virtual Environment for Research – Earth Science Themes) will create a state of the art Virtual Research Environment (VRE) focused on the earth sciences. VREs provide the IT infrastructure to enable researchers to collaborate, share, analyse and visualise data over the internet.
The EVER-EST project will create a VRE focussed on the requirements of the Earth Science community, represented in this project by four Virtual Research Communities (VRCs). Within the earth sciences there are major challenges such as climate change research and ensuring the secure and sustainable availability of natural resources and understanding natural hazards which require inter-disciplinary working and sharing of large amounts of data across diverse geographic locations and science disciplines to work towards a solution.
The role of the Natural Hazards Partnership in the EVER-EST project
The Natural Hazards Partnership Hazard Impact Modelling Group provides one of the four Virtual Research Communities tasked with testing and validating the VRE being developed. Representatives from the four main Hazard Impact Modelling work packages are involved in the initial phases of the project which include creation of user stories, detailed user requirements, testing and validation of the VRE, as well as experimenting with the use of Research Objects for storage of research outcomes, methodologies, modelling workflows and data etc.
Objective 1: Establish a Virtual Research Environment for Earth Science
The VRE will allow Earth Science data users to:
• Discover, access, assess and process Earth Science datasets;
• Share data, models, algorithms, scientific results within a community or across communities;
• Capture, annotate and store the workflows, processes and results from their research activities;
• Work together in a real-time environment that facilitates the sharing of expertise, information and data resources;
• Ensure the long-term sustainability and preservation of data, models, workflows, tools and services developed by existing communities.
Objective 2: Validate the VRE with four main virtual research communities
The VRE will be validated and evaluated through four real-world use cases which are provided by existing communities from the Earth Science domain. The four VRCs are:
1. Sea Monitoring VRC – led by CNR-ISMAR
2. Natural Hazards VRC – led by the Natural Hazards Partnership
3. Land Monitoring VRC – led by SatCen
4. Supersites VRC – led by INGV
Objective 3: Implement and validate the use of “Research Objects” in Earth Science
The EVER-EST project will define, implement and validate the use of “Research Objects” concepts and technologies in the Earth Science domain as a mean to establish more effective collaboration. Modern scientists are calling for mechanisms that go beyond the publication of datasets. They increasingly need to systematically capture the life cycle of scientific investigations and provide a single entry point to access the information about the hypothesis investigated, the datasets used, the computations and experiments carried out, their outcomes, the people involved in the research, etc. Research Objects (RO) provide a structured container to encapsulate research data and the associated methodologies along with essential metadata descriptions.