Due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, all CIESIN staff are working remotely until further notice. All of our Web sites and online services remain fully operational. CIESIN and SEDAC User Services staff are working regular hours, Monday through Friday, 9 am–5 pm US Eastern Daylight Time, except on major US holidays. For the quickest response to questions, problems, or requests for assistance, please contact us via the SEDAC Help Desk (link to https://sedac.ciesin.columbia.edu/help) or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note that access to Columbia University′s campuses is restricted to essential personnel, and that domestic and international travel for business purposes is currently prohibited.
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CIESIN director Robert Chen participated in a March 3 briefing for media representatives organized by the Thematic Research Network on Data and Statistics (TReNDS) of the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Solution Network (SDSN), held in conjunction with the 51st Session of the UN Statistical Commission in New York City. During the briefing, which included journalists from Springer Nature, Devex, Inter Press Service, and Bloomberg’s QuickTake, Chen discussed the accessibility and use of gridded population data for sustainable development applications. He subsequently attended a UN Statistical Commission side event, “The Data for Now Initiative,” at UN Headquarters, and was interviewed by the UN News Centre. His interview, released March 6, focused on the use of satellite imagery and gridded population data to support the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including applications such as monitoring of the impacts of epidemics.
Alex de Sherbinin, CIESIN's associate director for Science Applications, has been promoted to senior research scientist. The promotion recognizes de Sherbinin’s significant contributions to research on population-environment interactions, his global leadership in a range of scientific, policy, and data initiatives, and his central role in CIESIN′s continuing success. Senior research scientists are officers of research at Columbia, whose qualifications and contributions to their fields of research are equivalent to those of a full professor. The promotion comes after a thorough review by Earth Institute faculty and Columbia University’s Office of the Provost.
Alex de Sherbinin originally joined CIESIN in October 1999 as a senior staff associate and became associate director of CIESIN′s Science Applications Division in January 2015. Since 2006, he has served as deputy manager of the NASA Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC) operated by CIESIN. He has been a lecturer in the Sustainability Science Program in the School of Professional Studies since fall 2018. In 2015, he was appointed to the Scientific Committee of the International Science Council (ISC) World Data System, became vice chair in 2018, and was elected as chair in January 2020. He coordinates the Population-Environment Research Network (PERN) under the auspices of the International Union for the Scientific Study of Population (IUSSP) and Future Earth. He has also served on a range of task groups and advisory committees on diverse topics, including citizen science data, the value of Earth Observations, population displacement, and conservation. He has published widely in leading journals such as Science, Scientific American, WIRES Climate Change, Climatic Change, The Geographical Journal, and Global Environmental Change, and co-authored high-impact policy-focused reports such as the 2018 World Bank report, Groundswell: Preparing for Internal Climate Migration.
He holds a PhD in Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation from the Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation (ITC) at the University of Twente in The Netherlands. He also holds a MA in geography from the University of Syracuse and a BA in geography from Dartmouth College. Prior to joining CIESIN, he worked for the World Conservation Union (IUCN) in Switzerland and the Population Reference Bureau in Washington DC, and served in the Peace Corps in Mauritania in 1984–1986.
Robert Chen gives a NASA Hyperwall talk at the AAAS annual meeting in Seattle, Washington, on February 15, 2020.
Scientists, students, journalists, and others from around the world met February 13–16 in Seattle, Washington, for the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), focusing on the theme, “Envisioning Tomorrow's Earth.″ The meeting addressed a broad range of topics about Earth′s future, including tracks dealing with biomedical and health futures, digital futures, future Earth systems and climate, and urban futures. As part of a session, “Artificial Intelligence and Big Earth Data to Support Urban Sustainability,″ CIESIN director Robert Chen gave a presentation on harmonized global gridded population data, highlighting how machine learning approaches applied to diverse new sources of remote sensing data are helping to transform our ability to map human settlements and urban development around the world. The session was moderated by Prof. Kristie Ebi of the University of Washington and also included presentations by Daniele Ehrlich of the European Commission′s Joint Research Centre and Io Blair-Freese of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Chen also gave a talk, “Our Human Planet: Mapping Population and Infrastructure Today and Tomorrow,″ at NASA′s “Viewing the Earth from Space” Hyperwall, in the meeting′s exhibit hall. Highlights of the AAAS meeting included a plenary address by AAAS president Steven Chu, a Nobel Laureate and former U.S. Secretary of Energy, and by Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The mission of the AAAS is to advance science, engineering, and innovation throughout the world for the benefit of all people.
Seven scholars from diverse disciplines have joined the User Working Group (UWG) of the NASA Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC) operated by CIESIN. The UWG provides strategic guidance to SEDAC on user needs and priorities for interdisciplinary data and services that support research and applications on human-environment interactions. The new members are: Sara Curran, director of the Center for Studies in Demography and Ecology at the University of Washington; Keith Garrett, senior geographer with the Geospatial Operational Support Team at the World Bank; Laura Kurgan, director of the Center for Spatial Research (CSR) at Columbia University; Stefan Leyk, associate professor of geography at the University of Colorado; WenWen Li, head of the CyberInfrastructure and Computation Intelligence Lab at Arizona State University; Julie Sweetkind-Singer, interim assistant university librarian for Science and Engineering Resources (SERG) at the Stanford University Libraries; and Danielle Wood, lead of the Space Enabled Research Group at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Media Lab. The new members are expected to serve for four years. The UWG is chaired by Barbara Ryan, former executive director of the Group on Earth Observations, and currently includes ten other members from the public and private sectors. Nancy Searby of NASA′s Applied Sciences Program recently became SEDAC′s program scientist.
The POPGRID Data Collaborative, an initiative launched by CIESIN in 2017 to improve the quality, access, and use of global-scale spatial data on human population, settlements, and infrastructure, has recently updated its Web site and announced an international Webinar to be held February 4 in collaboration with Geospatial World.
The POPGRID Web site helps users learn about the many different gridded population data sets now available, providing detailed background information and documentation, and direct links to the data and data sources. In addition, the POPGRID Viewer lets users easily compare different data products for their specific regions of interest. The updated site now includes links to recent publications and recorded Webinars about gridded population data, together with updated information from the data providers. POPGRID is collaboratively managed by CIESIN, the Thematic Research Network on Data and Statistics (TReNDS) of the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network, and the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data, and is supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and NASA. More than 20 different groups from both the public and private sectors are active in the POPGRID Data Collaborative. The POPGRID Viewer was developed by the NASA Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC) operated by CIESIN.
On February 4, CIESIN director Robert Chen and Maryam Rabiee of TReNDS presented the Webinar, “Leaving No One Off the Map: Gridded Population Data for Decision Making,″ in coordination with Geospatial World. It attracted 150 participants from around the world. The Webinar focused on how gridded population data can help decision makers and other applied users improve efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by the international community in 2015, and in particular to help reach those who might otherwise be left behind. Recent advances in mapping make it possible to better determine the location and characteristics of human settlements and households, allowing for more effective and efficient assistance, e.g., for vaccination campaigns, development assistance, and humanitarian relief. However, the proliferation of different data sets utilizing different methods and sources may confuse users about which data sets are the most appropriate to use in different situations. The Webinar discussed ongoing efforts by the POPGRID Data Collaborative to address this issue, and ways in which the geospatial community can both benefit from, and participate in, POPGRID activities. A recording is available here.
Carolynne Hultquist has joined CIESIN’s Science Applications division as a postdoctoral research scientist beginning January. Hultquist specializes in the fusion and validation of spatial data sources to better understand complex environments, especially during disasters. Her current research focuses on developing computational methods to assess flood risk. She is working collaboratively with Alex de Sherbinin, associate director of the division; Marco Tedesco of the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (LDEO); and Andrew Kruczkiewicz of the International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI). Hultquist has a PhD from the Pennsylvania State University in geography and social data analytics, and previously worked as a postdoctoral scientist with Prof. Guido Cervone at the GeoInformatics and Earth Observation Lab. Cervone is a member of the User Working Group (UWG) of the NASA Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC) operated by CIESIN.
CIESIN senior digital archivist Robert Downs traveled to Bethesda, Maryland, January 7–9 for the winter meeting of the Earth Science Information Partners, a nonprofit, volunteer, and community-driven organization that advances the use of earth science data. The ESIP theme for 2020 is “Putting Data to Work,” focusing on the importance of building public-private partnerships to increase resilience and enhance the socioeconomic value of data. During a session organized by the ESIP Disaster Cluster, Downs presented “Global and Local Population Data for Community Lifeline Decision Making,” co-authored with CIESIN director Robert Chen, who participated remotely. Downs also presented the poster, “Meeting Evolving Practices for Sharing and Managing Earth Science Data.” The NASA Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC) operated by CIESIN is a Type 2 member of ESIP, which was established in 1998. Other partners include federal agencies and data centers, government research laboratories, research universities, education resource providers, technology developers, and various nonprofit and commercial enterprises.
The NASA Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC) operated by CIESIN has released two new data sets, one focused on a new approach for assessing urban extent in the continental U.S. and a second that estimates the potential exposure of major food crops around the world to selected chemicals used in pesticides.
Urban Extents from VIIRS and MODIS for the Continental U.S. Using Machine Learning Methods is a highly accurate urban settlement layer at a spatial resolution of 500 meters that is based in part on nighttime lights data from NASA’s Black Marble project. Machine learning methods were used to provide a more consistent, quantitative measure of urban extent, drawing on observations collected at high temporal frequency by the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) and Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) remote sensing instruments. The data set was developed by former CIESIN scientist Xue Liu, now at Harvard University′s Center for Geographic Analysis, together with SEDAC deputy manager Alex de Sherbinin and former staff member Yanni Zhan. The derivation of the data set is described in a recent open access article by Liu et al. in the journal Remote Sensing.
The Global Pesticide Grids (PEST-CHEMGRIDS) data set was developed by Federico Maggi of the University of Sydney and colleagues, to assess human and ecosystem exposure to potential and recognized toxic chemicals, for the purposes of environmental modelling and assessment of agricultural chemical contamination and risk. PEST-CHEMGRIDS includes comprehensive data on the 20 most-used pesticide active ingredients, on six dominant crops and four aggregated crop classes, at 5 arc-minute resolution (about 10 kilometers at the equator), estimated for the year 2015 and projected to 2020 and 2025. The data set includes 200 data quality maps for each active ingredient on each crop. The data set is described in detail in a recent open access paper by Maggi et al. published in the journal Scientific Data.
These data are distributed as part of SEDAC′s mission to archive and disseminate key socioeconomic and related environmental data sets that either utilize or complement satellite-based remote sensing data, in support of scientific research, applications, and education. Data selection is overseen by SEDAC′s User Working Group (UWG). Data set authors are invited to submit their data for possible SEDAC archiving and open dissemination; for the submission criteria and form, please see the SEDAC Data Submission page.
CIESIN scientists have recently contributed to a diverse set of publications dealing with climate change, population and human settlement data, and data science and management issues. Associate director for science applications Alex de Sherbinin is a contributing author to Chapter Two, “High Mountain Areas,” in the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere, first released in September 2019. The report highlights both past and projected impacts of climate change on the world′s oceans, polar regions, and high mountain regions, including potential sea level rise. This was the third Special Report produced during the IPCC′s sixth assessment cycle, and like all IPCC reports underwent extensive international scientific peer review.
Research scientist Susana Adamo and de Sherbinin are co-authors of the article, “People and Pixels Revisited: the Current Data Landscape and Research Trends Blending Population and Environmental Data,” in the journal Population & Environment. Tracy Kugler of the University of Minnesota is the lead author. The article cites a range of remote sensing resources for social scientists from the NASA Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC). With lead author David J. Wrathall of Oregon State University, de Sherbinin is also co-author of the article, “Meeting the Looming Policy Challenge of Sea-level Change and Human Migration,” appearing in the journal Nature Climate Change.
Robert Downs, senior digital archivist, is a co-author of the article, “A Discussion of Value Metrics for Data Repositories in Earth and Environmental Sciences,” recently published in the Data Science Journal. The lead author is Cynthia Parr of the United States Department of Agriculture. Downs is also a co-author of the Earth Science Information Partners Report, “Understanding the Various Perspectives of Earth Science Observational Data Uncertainty,” by David Moroni of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and others. Downs is lead author of the technical note, “Reuse Readiness Assessment of Data Quality Software Products (ESDS-RFC-039),” co-authored with Hampapuram Ramapriyan of Science Systems and Applications, Inc. and Yang Wei of Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The note provides recommendations that were adopted by NASA's Earth Science Data Systems (ESDS) Standards Office in September 2019.
The largest international Earth and space science conference in the world, the annual American Geophysical Union (AGU) fall meeting, brought more than 25,000 scientists and other experts to San Francisco December 9–13. CIESIN staff members organized or co-organized seven sessions; presented more than twelve invited, oral, e-lightning, and poster papers; and served as co-authors on at least nine other papers. CIESIN director Robert Chen convened three sessions on exposure and vulnerability assessment for hazard, coastal, climate, and health risks and served as co-chair of one of them. Associate director for Science Applications Alex de Sherbinin also co-chaired the poster session in this series. Senior digital archivist Robert Downs co-organized a session on improving use of the FAIR principles (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable), as well as several sessions on the use of earth and space science data.
Also attending the conference were associate director for Geospatial Applications Greg Yetman, GIS developer Kytt MacManus, and Columbia College student Dorothee Cleophee Grant, a former summer intern. Yetman gave an oral presentation on population data models for settlement extents and a NASA Hyperwall talk, “Are You at Risk? Linking Hazard and Exposure Data for Research and Applications.” MacManus gave an oral presentation on new sources for the updated version of low-elevation coastal zone data, expected to be released in early 2020. He also presented a poster paper on a nighttime lights dataset recently released by the NASA Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC), to which Grant had contributed.
While at the conference, de Sherbinin gave invited talks and served as a panelist in three different sessions on open data digital repositories for developing countries, climate vulnerability mapping, and managed retreat due to climate change. Chen gave presentations on the FAIR principles and open data and on the use of Earth Observations to operationalize the fundamental geospatial data themes established by the United Nations. Downs gave an e-lightning talk on citing open data and presented a case study on data sharing and data management guidance developed by the Group on Earth Observations (GEO). Both Downs and Chen also served as judges on student papers.
CIESIN staff members presented two online webinars during the week of December 2, for which recordings are now available.
The webinar, “Gridded Population and Settlement Data for Human Dimensions Research—An Introduction to the POPGRID Data Collaborative,″ was held December 3 as part of NASA′s EarthData Webinar Series. The POPGRID Data Collaborative is a coalition of data providers, users, and other stakeholders that aims to improve the quality, accessibility, and utility of global-scale spatial data on human settlements, infrastructure, and population. The Webinar provides an introduction to the growing diversity of gridded data, including many that utilize new sources of remote sensing data, as well as an overview of gridding approaches. CIESIN associate director for Science Applications Alex de Sherbinin and GIS developer Kytt MacManus also demonstrated the SEDAC POPGRID Viewer, which enables users to easily compare different data products for their specific regions of interest. The Viewer was developed by the NASA Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC) operated by CIESIN. The POPGRID Data Collaborative is supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and is co-led by CIESIN, the Thematic Research Network on Data and Statistics (TReNDS) of the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network, and the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data.
On December 6, CIESIN director Robert Chen presented in a second Webinar, “Data Management Principles,″ part of the monthly NextGEOSS Webinar Series and co-organized by the Open Geospatial Consortium. He gave an overview of the Global Earth Observing System of Systems (GEOSS) Data Sharing and Data Management Principles (DSDMPs), which have been developed by the Group on Earth Observations (GEO). NextGEOSS is a centralized European Earth Observation data hub and platform, supported by the European Commission as a contribution to GEOSS. The Webinar also included a presentation by Sylvie Jourdain of METEO France on application of the GEOSS Data Management Principles to the rescue of historical climate data, and a discussion of the relationship between the GEOSS DSDMPs and the Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable (FAIR) Principles. CIESIN senior digital archivist Robert Downs co-authored the presentations. Both Chen and Downs are members of the GEO Data Sharing and Data Management Working Group, which was recently formed at the GEO-XVI Plenary and Ministerial Summit in Canberra, Australia.
For the Expert Group Meeting on Population Data for the 21st Century: Advances in Data Collection Methodologies, held at the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in New York City December 4–6, more than 80 population experts from government, academia, and industry from around the world convened. Associate director for geospatial applications Greg Yetman presented, “Combining Census and Satellite Data: The High-Resolution Settlement Layer,” and director Robert Chen served as discussant, in the plenary session, “Hybrid Census Innovations in Insecure Settings and Fragile Contexts.” Research scientist Susana Adamo also participated in the meeting. The workshop was organized by the International Union for the Scientific Study of Population (IUSSP) and UNFPA. The workshop was livestreamed, and a recording is being made available through the workshop Web site. CIESIN has had a long-standing collaboration with IUSSP, as the host of the Population-Environment Research Network (PERN), a scientific panel of IUSSP. CIESIN and UNFPA are also partners in the Geo-Referenced Infrastructure and Demographic Data for Development (GRID3) Program.
Senior digital archivist Robert Downs was among 28 experts in earth and space data science and education who travelled to West Virginia recently to participate in the workshop, “Network for Earth-space Research Education and Innovation with Data (NEREID),” sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF). The workshop, which was inspired by NSF’s Convergence Accelerator initiative, took place at the Green Bank Observatory in Green Bank, West Virginia, November 20–22. Downs gave a presentation, “Enabling Diverse Learners to Use Integrated Earth Science Data.” Participants jointly helped identify the current state of geosciences and space sciences data practice and education; discussed the design of tools and techniques to support scholarly discovery and democratization of data science tools for teachers and lifelong learners; and made recommendations relevant to academia, government, industry and policy regarding the design of more effective data science approaches integrating Earth and space data.
The Nigeria GEO Human Planet Workshop was held November 14–15 at the NAF Conference Centre and Suites in Abuja, Nigeria. The workshop was co-organized by CIESIN and the Nigerian National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA), with support from NASA and the Geo-Referenced Infrastructure and Demographic Data for Development (GRID3) program. More than 40 experts from NASRDA, agencies and organizations across Nigeria, CIESIN, and other partners participated in the workshop, which immediately followed the annual meeting of the Geoinformation Society of Nigeria (GEOSON). The SERVIR West Africa node was also represented. Workshop participants discussed needs and opportunities for bringing geospatial data, tools, and resources to bear on pressing sustainable development challenges, especially in relationship to the achievement of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). CIESIN director Robert Chen, associate director for Science Applications Alex de Sherbinin, associate director for Geospatial Applications Greg Yetman, senior research associate Emilie Schnarr, and data and program analyst Jolynn Schmidt actively participated in the workshop, leading sessions and giving several presentations and demonstrations. Charles Huyck of ImageCat, Inc., a partner in the NASA grant that supported the workshop, also gave a presentation on infrastructure data and applications. Workshop participants identified opportunities to advance the use of Earth Observations to support achievement of the SDGs in Nigeria, as well as a range of technical, institutional, and resource challenges. The workshop was conducted as a contribution to the Human Planet Initiative of the Group on Earth Observations (GEO), which Chen co-leads.
CIESIN director Robert Chen (left), Lawrence Friedl, NASA, (middle) and Steffen Fritz, IIASA, were participants in activities related to GEO Week 2019, held in Canberra, Australia, November 4–8.
The Group on Earth Observations (GEO) held its sixteenth plenary session and the 2019 Ministerial Summit and Roundtable in Canberra, Australia, as part of GEO Week 2019, November 4–8. The week brought together more than 1,400 representatives of GEO Member governments and GEO Participating Organizations. CIESIN director Robert Chen served as the head and only delegate of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), in his capacity as a co-chair of the SDSN Thematic Research Network on Data and Statistics (TReNDS). SDSN recently joined GEO as a Participating Organization. Senior digital archivist Robert Downs represented the International Science Council′s World Data System (ISC-WDS), which includes the NASA Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC) operated by CIESIN as a regular member.
On November 4, Downs participated in a workshop, “Data for Our Planet,” which was co-organized by the Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP) and held at the Australian Academy of Science. He gave the presentation, “Infrastructure for Enabling the Use of Integrated Earth Science Data by Heterogeneous Communities.″ On November 5, Chen served as a panelist in a targeted side event, “Earth Observations and Modeling: Dialogue for Added Value and Knowledge,″ that he helped organize with Danielle Wood and William Sonntag of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He also participated as a panelist in the key side event, “Delivering on the Sustainable Development Goals,″ moderated by Argyro Kavvada and Lawrence Friedl of NASA Applied Sciences. On November 5 Chen and Downs led and organized a meeting of the new joint GEO Data Sharing and Data Management Principles Working Group. They also participated in meetings of the organizing committee for the GEO Data and Knowledge Week, to be held in Beijing in February 2020. Information about SEDAC and a use case of the SEDAC Population Estimation Service integrated into the GeoCollaborate tool were featured at the US GEO exhibit, which had a “Jazz Observatory″ theme.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) recently established a new Task Group on Data Support for Climate Change Assessments (TG-Data) to provide guidance to the IPCC’s Data Distribution Centre (DDC) on curation, traceability, stability, availability, and transparency of data and scenarios related to the reports of the IPCC. CIESIN has operated the socioeconomic element of the IPCC DDC through its NASA Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC) for more than 15 years. CIESIN director Robert Chen serves as co-manager of the DDC, and he and information scientist Xiaoshi Xing have been appointed as ex officio members of TG-Data.
On November 6–8 Xing traveled to Montreal, Canada, to participate in the first face-to-face meeting of TG-Data. The meeting focused on the group′s new terms of reference established by the IPCC and on the evolving data needs and issues associated with the sixth IPCC assessment now under way. The meeting also marked the transition from the previous Task Group on Data and Scenario Support for Impact and Climate Analysis (TGICA), which was represented at the meeting by former co-chair, Timothy Carter of the Finnish Environment Institute.
International researchers with diverse data expertise convened under the theme “Data Makes the Difference,” at the 14th Plenary of the Research Data Alliance (RDA) in Helsinki, Finland, October 23–25. On October 23 senior digital archivist Robert Downs presented the poster, “Improving Usability throughout the Data Lifecycle,” co-authored with director Robert Chen. He also co-led the session, “Data Versioning: Final Recommendations and Next Steps.” On October 24 he led the session, “Repository Platforms for Research Data: Improving Capabilities for Repository Platforms to Support Research Data Policies,” and gave a presentation with the same title. Downs also participated in several side meetings, one of the CoreTrustSeal Standards and Certification Board, and another with the newly elected co-chairs of the RDA Repository Platforms for Research Data Interest Group (IG), to begin planning for the future directions of the group. He was an active discussant in the RDA Chairs Meeting and in the side meeting, EOSC Service Collaborations and the RDA. During the RDA Funders Forum side meeting, he gave an invited presentation, “Introduction to the Repository Platforms for Research Data IG.”
CIESIN director Robert Chen co-chaired the biannual meeting of the Thematic Research Network on Data and Statistics (TReNDS) of the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network (UN SDSN), hosted by the City of Los Angeles October 28–30. The meeting included a public event on the data challenges faced by the city in addressing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the urban scale. Los Angeles is one of the first major cities to commit to reporting on its SDG-related progress, releasing its first Voluntary Local Review in July 2019 and creating an open SDG data platform. The TReNDS meeting also included a recorded debate on sustainable development data issues, which will be released online in late 2019 or early 2020.
Earlier in the month, Chen also attended the Technical Advisory Group meeting for the Emergency Events Database (EM-DAT) maintained by the Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED), held October 16–17 in Brussels, Belgium. EM-DAT compiles data on the occurrence and effects of more than 22,000 mass disasters around the world from 1900 to the present day, compiled from a range of sources. It supports decision making for disaster preparedness and humanitarian response, and provides an objective base for vulnerability assessment and priority setting. At the meeting, Chen gave a presentation, “Integrating Diverse Data on Hazards, Exposure, Vulnerability and Impacts” and contributed to discussions about the development and sustainability of EM-DAT and related CRED initiatives.
At the Open Science Conference of the Global South held in Dakar, Senegal, October 23–25, Alex de Sherbinin, CIESIN associate director for Science Applications, organized a workshop on the development and certification of data centers in West Africa. The October 23 workshop, “Developing West African Research Data Repositories,” addressed the small number of data repositories in West Africa, and the need for capacity building and sustainable funding models to develop repositories that meet TRUST principles (Transparency, Responsibility, User community, Sustainability, and Technology). The International Science Council World Data System (ISC-WDS) and CoreTrustSeal requirements were also introduced, using the example of the CoreTrustSeal-certified NASA Socioeconomic Data and Application Center (SEDAC) managed by CIESIN. An expert roundtable discussed best practices and lessons learned in establishing sustainable research infrastructure in the region. SEDAC is a regular member of the ISC-WDS, and de Sherbinin currently serves as vice chair of the ISC-WDS Scientific Committee as well as deputy manager of SEDAC.
CIESIN research scientist Susana Adamo attended the conference, “Demographic Responses to Changes in the Natural Environment,” organized by the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Center for Demography & Ecology/Applied Population Laboratory October 24–25 in Madison, Wisconsin. She presented a poster highlighting the report, Groundswell: Preparing for Internal Migration, on the influence of longer-term climate impacts on internal migration. The report was produced by World Bank staff and a team of researchers at CIESIN, the City University of New York Institute for Demographic Research, and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research.
Earlier in the month Adamo participated in the panel discussion, “Ending Poverty through Multilateral Cooperation: Global Actions and Local Impacts,” at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs in New York City October 15. Adamo described SEDAC’s poverty mapping collection, highlighting the recently updated Global Subnational Infant Mortality Rates v2 data set. She also discussed the importance of geospatial data for meeting and monitoring the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
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