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Institutions Work Together To Advance Oceanographic and Earth Science by Integrating New Technology

Groups Create Cyberinfrastructure for Marine Research and Education

Published 01/24/2005

La Jolla, California – The San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) announced today that its scientists are collaborating with experts at four well-known institutions with the common goal of advancing community cyberinfrastructure for the future of marine research and education. Bringing together high-level expertise in digital library techniques, development of digital research and education resources as well as automated harvesting from sensors and ships, scientists will focus on solving the need for computational and data resources as well as long-term data management in science and education.

This first-time collaboration brings together SDSC and Scripps Institution of Oceanography with Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and the Center for International Earth Science Information Network. By working together, this program will allow for the advancement of oceanographic and earth sciences by integrating new data technologies.

"We are at a critical stage in marine scientific data management," said John Helly, senior staff scientist at SDSC. "This cross-institutional collaboration will allow us to advance and strengthen each institution's ability to contribute to the development of a marine science cyberinfrastructure."

"A new paradigm in oceanography has emerged through advances in information technology and integrating data from oceanographic ships at sea through continuous connections to the Internet, including video for classroom teaching from teachers at sea," said John Orcutt, deputy director for research at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego. "Sharing data among institutions, researchers, teachers and the general public will ignite a revolutionary change in how we go to sea to study Earth."

Through coordinated efforts, developing the cyberinfrastructure for marine research and education will include:

  • Ensuring interoperability in data and metadata for data centers and ocean-going vehicle operations including ships and submersibles
  • Setting data acquisition protocols in the field and laboratory
  • Publication of data
  • Education of all users in data methods


Founded in 1985, the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) has a long history of enabling science and engineering discoveries. Continuing this legacy into the next generation, SDSC's mission is to "extend the reach" of researchers and educators by serving as a core resource for cyberinfrastructure — providing them with high-end hardware technologies, integrative software technologies, and deep inter-disciplinary expertise. SDSC is an organized research unit of the University of California, San Diego and is primarily funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). With a staff of more than 400 scientists, software developers, and support personnel, SDSC is an international leader in data management, grid computing, biosciences, geosciences, and visualization. For more information, see


Scripps Institution of Oceanography, at the University of California, San Diego, is one of the oldest, largest, and most important centers for global science research and graduate training in the world. The National Research Council has ranked Scripps first in faculty quality among oceanography programs nationwide. Now in its second century of discovery, the scientific scope of the institution has grown to include biological, physical, chemical, geological, geophysical, and atmospheric studies of the earth as a system. Hundreds of research programs covering a wide range of scientific areas are under way today in 65 countries. The institution has a staff of about 1,300, and annual expenditures of approximately $140 million from federal, state, and private sources. Scripps operates one of the largest U.S. academic fleets with four oceanographic research ships and one research platform for worldwide exploration.