Press Archive

Second Annual GEON Cyberinfrastructure Summer Institute for Geoscientists Held at SDSC

Published 07/20/2005

Thirty-eight students, postdocs, and researchers from the U.S. and as far away as Japan, Korea, and the U.K. attended the second annual GEON-hosted Cyberinfrastructure Summer Institute for Geoscientists (CSIG) held at SDSC July 18-22.
Thirty-eight researchers attended the second annual GEON-hosted Cyberinfrastructure Summer Institute for Geoscientists (CSIG) held at the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) on the campus of UC San Diego. The attendees included graduate students, postdocs, and researchers in geoscience and information technology from a number of agencies and more than 30 institutions in the U.S. and as far away as Japan, Korea, and the United Kingdom. The popular one-week educational program, held from July 18-22, is designed to give geoscientists an "IT headstart" in using powerful new information technologies, or cyberinfrastructure, to enable a new generation of geoscience discoveries. This year, the institute has been webcast live as well as archived for later viewing. A detailed course program and webcast information is at

SDSC's Chaitan Baru teaches session on modeling scientific data at the CI Summer Institute for Geoscientists.
As cyberinfrastructure advances, it is becoming an indispensable tool in scientific research, yet many students and researchers remain unaware of its growing capabilities. A key component of GEON is educational activities to prepare the next generation of geoscientists to take full advantage of cyberinfrastructure. The week-long curriculum focused on IT topics that can serve the immediate science goals of the geoscience community as well as paving the way for the long-term transformation of how geoscience is done.

"The Cyberinfrastructure Summer Institute provides geoscientists with hands-on training to help them integrate new cyberinfrastructure technologies into the day-to-day practice of science," said Chaitan Baru, Institute organizer, coordinator of IT in the NSF GEON "Cyberinfrastructure for the Geosciences" project, and director of Science R&D at SDSC and the joint SDSC/Calit2 Synthesis Center. "And, as a result of last year's successful program, the word has been spreading and we've had even more applicants for this year's program."

The workshop included an introduction to key IT topics, supplemented by hands-on exercises using state-of-the-art computer-based technologies. Topics covered include Data Modeling of Scientific Data; Web Services and Grid Services; GIS Concepts and Software with Web Services Standards for GIS; Data Integration and Map Integration, including advanced concepts such as Semantic Data Integration Using Ontologies; Data Registration Technologies, Ontology-based Search, and Data Integration; and Scientific Workflow Systems and their role in scientific analysis and collaboration.

Attendees commented that they were impressed with the range and amount of important information conveyed in the CI Summer Institute. Whether their primary interest was learning new ways to do research in the geosciences or applying the new technologies to improve education, they felt the curriculum was an excellent introduction to state-of-the-art cyberinfrastructure technologies.

The CSIG was made possible by funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF).