Wednesday, November 16, 2005

CLEANER Social Science Committee

Dear EPBG Specialty Group Members,

The National Science Foundation is currently planning the establishment of large-scale environmental observatory network infrastructure. Many of you may be familiar with NEON (National Ecological Observatory Network;, CUAHSI (Consortium of Universities for Advancement of Hydrologic Science, Incorporated;, and CLEANER (Collaborative Large-Scale Engineering Analysis Network for Environmental Research;

CLEANER is the observatory network with the clearest connections to human environments, especially in urban/suburban areas. The CLEANER Program Office has established a Social Science Committee tasked with integrating social science perspectives and needs into observatory network planning.

The committee members cannot possibly represent all of the viewpoints and perspectives in social science. Your answers to the following questions will provide valuable insight to the planning process and ultimately improve the chances for successful integration of social science into these observatory networks. Please also keep in mind that while we are focusing on social science for these questions, but any thoughts you might have on these or other questions are welcome.

1. Thinking of your colleagues in the engineering disciplines, when
you hear about their research, what additional pieces of data do you wish they would collect to make their results more relevant to you and your research?
2. Paying for communal data infrastructure is a challenge in current
funding structures. Of the community data clearinghouses such as the ICPSR (Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research;, which are your favorites, and why?
3. If you were developing a communal data collection network for your
particular research field, what would you spend money on and why?
Remember, all costs must be for capital investments. Funding student salaries and other consumable research costs is not possible using this pot of money.

Please send any thoughts/comments/questions you might have to Dan Bain ( Thanks in advance for you time and attention.

Finally, I apologize for cross-posting. However, I am casting a wide net and most of us belong to several specialty groups. Therefore, there will be some redundancy. In addition, if you do reply to your respective list-serv, please copy me, as I may not be a regular subscriber.

Thanks much,
Dan Bain

Daniel J. Bain
Water Resources Division
US Geological Survey
MS 420, 345 Middlefield Rd
Menlo Park, CA 94025
Phone 650 329 4460
Fax 650 329 4538