Standing Committee Meeting Report Data Services

October 2020

Open Action Items from previous DSSC Meetings

F2018:2 Develop a community letter supporting archiving historical data at the National Archives

Responsible: Dave Wilson

Status: (March 2019) Wilson spoke with the USGS Records Disposition Coordinator regarding a community letter in support of NARA accepting the WWSSN film chips.  He said he didn't think a letter is necessary at this time.  But if he hits a wall then he may be willing to consider it.  

(Oct 2019) Hit a brick wall.  Participants at the Historic film chip workshop worried about NARA not releasing from archive.  Available at ASL in air-conditioned containers.  There was some concern about being able to maintain cost of climate control.  ASL has found a way to contain costs based on where they are housing the film chips. 

(March 2020) SSA considering the issue through a SIG.


F2018:5 Develop video tutorials for MUSTANG clients and other tools related to data access. Perhaps consider engaging a UW student intern          

Responsible: Carter

Status: (March 2019) EPO was approached to see if Interns are a potential source of resources for this activity.  Initial discussions with both University of Oregon (Amanda Thomas) and Paul Bodin at the University of Washington have taken place.  There was no money found in the FY20 budget so it should be left as something to do if funds can be found.

(Oct 2020) EPO was approached about the possibility of providing training materials such as these. 


[S2020:1] Investigate inclusion of larger models in EMC in coordination with UNAVCO and report to DSSC. 

Responsible: Trabant

Status: An exploration of handling large models has led to two potential changes: 1) allow models in the netCDF 4 formats, which includes data compression and 2) adopt the THREDDS Data Server (TDS) for managing the netCDF repository.  Change #1 has been completed, models in netCDF 4 are allowed and solved the immediate issue.  Change #2 of adopting TDS is still in exploration, with a future cloud-friendly requirement in mind.  UNAVCO was consulted on their potential use or need for similar data management and there was none.


[S2020:2] Solicit LLNL and Colorado School of Mines DAS data sets for possible posting on DAS RCN website (to use for community access and feedback).

Responsible: Rodd/Bozdag/Woodward

Status: DAS data sources have been identified but more information on where the data should go, what format to use and other details have not been worked out.



Open Action Items from the Fall 2020 DSSC Meeting

[F2020:1] Enhance the ability of authors to cite data by 1) improving instructions to authors on webpages, 2) promotion through IRIS newsletter, 3) informing journals of the citation services provided, 4) investigating the use of tags on data distributed to users.

Responsible: Carter


[F2020:2] Develop a DRAFT Data Licensing policy in coordination with major funding agencies and UNAVCO; consider legal advice.

Responsible: Carter


[F2020:3] Develop a DAS data directive that provides a consistent approach to requests for storing DAS data in the data repositories.

Responsible: Carter


[F2020:4] Investigate large data management practices employed by the Vera C. Rubin Observatory. 

Responsible: Van der Lee



Brief Meeting Summary 

After opening remarks, the minutes from the Spring 2020 DSSC meeting were approved and a review of open action items was provided by the Director, Jerry A Carter.  Several action items were closed, and the remaining items are listed as open action items.

Several status presentations were made by the Data Services (DS) staff and the major data collection centers (DCCs). The Director highlighted the 100% uptime metric over the past 5 quarters, the continued operation of DS through telework during the pandemic, the close working and cultural ties developing with UNAVCO DS, the re-submission of the Core Trust Seal application, and the successful supplemental proposal to NSF. Regarding personnel activity, a software engineering position is close to being filled and applications for a database administrator are being received. The year-end budget status for each project was presented along with budgets and spending plans for the Common Cloud Platform project. The Deputy Director of Operations, Rick Benson, reported on DS’s operational status (its excellent) and on the project to upgrade the metrics collection system (which is progressing nicely). Continuing the operational theme, reports were provided by Albuquerque Seismic Lab, the IDA team at UCSD, and the PASSCAL DCC. There has been a general delay in station visits and in field experiments due to the pandemic, but data continues to flow and the DCCs are working hard to maintain their systems. The number of nodes available for deployment is expected to increase nearly three-fold in the near future and this should greatly increase the amount of experiment data sent to DS.  Pete Davis reported that his replacement, Dr. Robert Mellors, will take the reins on 1 November and that Dan Auerbach will be managing the DCC at IDA. Vedran Lekic reported on the QAAC activities and the Deputy Director of Quality Assurance, Gillian Sharer, reported on the activities of her group.  New quality tools and reports are expected to be released soon and an effort is underway to modernize the Nominal Response Library. The Deputy Director of Architecture and Products, Chad Trabant, reported on the Common Cloud Platform project status, the effort to upgrade PH5 to a more generic format, progress in new versions of FDSN standards, and updates to products hosted by DS. A Cyberinfrastructure report was given by the Deputy Director, Rob Casey, who informed the committee about improved performance of the Metadata aggregator (MDA), fixes to the IRIS message service, and the Mars Insight data and event services. Manoch Bahavar gave presentations on efforts to increase the capability of the Earth Model Collaboration (EMC) to handle larger models and a proposal to accept a new shake prediction product. The DMC will continue to help develop the product and the DSSC will review it prior to formal acceptance. The Director presented a plan to promote increased citation of data DOIs, which the committee endorsed after offering suggestions to improve the plan. The Director then presented a draft policy for data licensing, which generated a great deal of discussion and ultimately, direction to update the policy based on the discussion, coordination with UNAVCO and funding agencies, and legal advice. This was followed by discussion of a draft directive regarding the acceptance of DAS data. 

After years of service to the DSSC, the terms of Fan-Chi Lin, Justin Rubinstein and Vera Schulte-Pelkum end in 2020. Each made numerous thoughtful contributions to the governance of the Data Services directorate over the years and they were commended for their outstanding service.  The committee discussed possible replacements considering committee diversity in data services usage experience, type of professional affiliation, and demographic representation; and came up with a recommended list of potential candidates to forward to the CoCom and eventually the Board of Directors for making the selection.

The next meeting of the DSSC is tentatively scheduled as a virtual meeting during the week of March 8-11.