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Guest Blog: SGCI and ESIP Discuss Bootcamp and Partnership Possibilities

By Nancy Hoebelheinrich

Coordinator and Editor
ESIP Data Management Training Clearinghouse


In early January, ESIP Federation Winter 2018 meeting members participated in a lively discussion during one of the breakout sessions on what SCGI has to offer for incubator projects intending to move to sustainable production status. In the session, participants first heard an overview from SGCI's Sandra Gesing about the Institute and its Science Gateways Bootcamp. Following Sandra's overview, Nancy Hoebelheinrich (Knowledge Motifs LLC) who participated in the October 2017 Bootcamp, and Christopher Lenhardt (RENCI) who participated in the April 2017 Bootcamp, presented abbreviated versions of the pitch decks that they'd created and presented at the conclusion of the week-long Bootcamp. By sharing their pitch decks, Nancy and Christopher were able to illustrate the kinds of issues covered during the Bootcamp and how the lessons learned fit with their projects. During Q&A and subsequent discussion, there were very positive thoughts about how SGCI’s bird’s eye view might provide good advice and perspective in a number of areas including:

  • Understanding what a “gateway” is, and how/whether the proliferation of gateways might change the technical and service landscape for “doing” better, more efficient, and productive science (believed to be the overall goal for NSF)
  • Technical issues that cross disciplines such as:
    • Architectural planning for projects, especially when it comes to platform and tool choices i.e., by connecting projects/people with others who are offering similar or complementary work;
    • Building projects for interoperability with web portals, for instance, both at the backend for ease of deployment, but also on the front end via common GUI/metadata minimal requirements and service definitions.

Participants also expressed thoughts about areas important to projects wishing to move into successful sustainability status in which SGCI might benefit from closer collaboration with ESIP, including community engagement among projects and discussions and education about data stewardship, both topics that were not covered extensively during the Bootcamp. These areas are key to ESIP’s mission of making data matter, are done very well by ESIP, and with SGCI collaboration, could contribute significantly to the needed transformation of culture around management of data during the data lifecycle. Hopefully, there will be more of an SGCI presence at ESIP meetings and also increased ESIP participation at SGCI events. The two organizations could build a solid partnership!