Motivation/Background: (Why should this Task or sub-task be implemented? What relevance to society? What is the state of the art? 3-5 lines)
(Motivation) Scientific and technological knowledge and research are vital to our understanding of the global integrated Earth System. The nine interdependent GEOSS SBAs require an inter-disciplinary scientific approach cutting across observations, research, knowledge and information.
A strong engagement of the Science and Technology community in GEO and GEOSS would contribute to: (i) Connect disciplines to address the complex issues of the global integrated Earth system; (ii) Improve interoperability between global observing systems, modeling systems, and information systems; (iii) Facilitate data sharing, data archiving, data dissemination, and reanalysis; (iv) Optimize recording of observations, assimilation of data into models, and generation of data products to improve understanding of the global integrated Earth system for prediction of environmental phenomena; (v) Enhance value of global observations from individual observing systems through their integration in the societal benefit areas; and (vi) Harmonize well-calibrated, high-accuracy, stable, sustained in-situ and satellite observations of the same variable recorded by different sensors and different agencies.
(Societal relevance) Considering this list of mutual benefits for GEO and GEOSS and S&T communities, it is clear that all SBA tasks of the 2009-11 Work Plan would benefit from a substantial engagement of relevant S&T communities in GEO.
(State of the art) While some S&T communities are already actively contributing to GEO Work Plan Tasks, other S&T communities are not thoroughly aware of GEO and the benefits of GEOSS. A number of the major international scientific organizations are already POs. Many national scientific and research organizations are involved at Task level. But there are gaps in the participation of relevant S&T communities. These gaps in participation have not been mapped systematically and thoroughly for the nine SBAs, and no overarching plan has been developed to close these gaps.
In order to close these gaps, adequate links have to be established between GEOSS and those relevant R&D and S&T communities presently not involved in GEO.
Over the past years, GEO has made significant effort to engage a larger segment of the S&T communities in GEO. A number of GEO workshops or workshops co-sponsored by GEO involving S&T communities have increased awareness of GEO in these communities and beyond. Examples are the Earth observation meetings organized by IEEE, workshops and symposia organized under the lead of the Forest, Coastal Zone, Geohazards, and other CoPs, regional GEOSS meetings such as the Asia-Pacific and the GEOSS in the Americas symposiums. National GEO groups and CoPs have organized symposiums and Town hall meetings at major scientific conferences, for example, US-GEO at AGU meetings. Publications in scientific journals and other media have also contributed to increased knowledge of GEO. Some national and regional research funding programs have made reference to GEOSS.
However, up to now, these activities to a certain extent resemble a bottom-up approach, depending largely on the initiative of national groups and individuals. There is a lack of a comprehensive and focused outreach and engagement program, to which these necessary bottom-up activities could be linked, and on which the promotion, fostering, and facilitating of necessary top-down activities could be based.