An Interactive Software Infrastructure for Sustaining Collaborative Community Innovation in the Hydrologic Sciences
Water, its quality, quantity, accessibility, and management, is crucial to society. However, our ability to model and quantitatively understand the complex interwoven environmental processes that control water and its availability is severely hampered by inadequate tools related to hydrologic data discovery, systems integration, modeling/ simulation, and education. This project develops sustainable cyberinfrastructure for better access to water-related data and models in the hydrologic sciences, enabling hydrologists and other associated communities to collaborate and combine data and models from multiple sources. It will provide new ways in which hydrologic knowledge is created and applied to better understand water availability, quality, and dynamics. It will also help to provide a more comprehensive understanding of the interactions between natural and engineered aspects of the water cycle. These goals will be achieved through the development of interoperable cyberinfrastructure tools and the creation of an online collaborative environment, called HydroShare, which enables scientists to easily discover and access hydrologic and related data and models, retrieve them to their desktop, and perform analyses in a high performance computing environment. The software to be developed will take advantage of existing NSF cyberinfrastructure (iRODS, HUBzero, CSDMS, CUAHSI HIS) and be created as open source code. Its development will be end user-driven. In terms of broader impacts, the project builds essential infrastructure for science by developing software tools and computing environments to allow better understanding of the impacts of climate change (i.e., floods, droughts, biofuels, etc.) and to allow improved water resource development and the management of freshwater resources both above and below ground. Resulting software will be made publicly available and provides a strong student and workforce training/education component. In addition, the project supports an institution in an EPSCoR state and engages, as a PI, a person who is from a group under-represented in the sciences and engineering.