NASA Earthdata-Openscapes answers a NASA Earthdata call to support scientific researchers using data from NASA Distributed Active Archive Centers (DAACs) as they migrate workflows to the cloud.


Openscapes champions open, inclusive practices in environmental and Earth science to help uncover data-intensive solutions faster. We do this through our flagship Champions mentorship program, as well as through community organizing, training, and coaching, leveraging existing resources from open communities along with our own.

Our flywheel shows our approach to engaging, empowering, and amplifying research communities in open data science — how we describe kinder, better science in less time.

Openscapes flywheel shows 6 points around a hexagon: Develop, Invest, Attract, Deliver, Transform, Inspire

The NASA EarthData-Openscapes project

The overarching vision is to support scientific researchers using NASA Earthdata as they migrate their workflows to the cloud. We are doing this working with NASA Distributed Active Archive Centers (DAACs) over three years by:

  1. Developing a cross-DAAC Mentor community that supports growth into confident cloud data instructors, and create, curate and use shared resources and have a tutorial review process

  2. Empowering science teams to experiment migrating their download-intensive data analysis workflows to the cloud through a partnership with Carpentries and 2i2c

  3. Scaling the Openscapes Champions program with DAAC Mentors to support science cohorts and amplify as many open science leaders as possible, transforming their workflows towards open, kinder science and the cloud


Blog posts about NASA Openscapes

White Paper

The Value of Hosted JupyterHubs in enabling Open NASA Earth Science in the Cloud


Slides, recordings, and posters

Why NASA Earthdata? Why Openscapes?

We are getting these questions a lot, so here is our take.

NASA Earth Science Data Systems missions collect Earth data, including sea ice, physical oceanography, vegetation and many other parameters – data used by researchers around the world for many different purposes, including answering pressing questions in ecology and environmental science. Further, NASA promotes open science – from the NASA Earth Science Data Systems (ESDS) program 2020 Highlights report:

Open data are the foundation of ESDS efforts to fulfill the program’s vision of accelerating scientific advancement for societal benefit through innovative Earth science data stewardship and technology development….to leverage the diversity of global Earth science communities to advance open science.

Openscapes’ long-term goal is to enable robust, inclusive, and enduring science- and data-driven solutions to global and time-sensitive challenges. We approach open science as a spectrum, as a behavior change, and as a movement. We see data analysis and stewardship as entryways to meet scientists where they are, helping them develop new skill sets and mindsets while empowering them as leaders. With NASA support, the project team and the partners, the Openscapes Framework fundamentally changes the paradigm for supporting research teams and DAAC mentors, first to work more openly with their teams on the cloud, and ultimately to advance open science!

Openscapes is co-directed by project leads Lowndes and Robinson, and operated at the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS), University of California Santa Barbara.

Project Leads

Julia Stewart Lowndes, PhD
National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS)
University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB)
lowndes at nceas.ucsb.edu; @juliesquid

Erin Robinson, MSc
Metadata Game Changers, LLC
University of Colorado, Boulder
erin@metadatagamechangers.com; @connector_erin

Project Teams

NASA-Openscapes Mentors are a cross-DAAC Mentor community that is co-creating common tutorials, resources, and teaching approaches to support researchers migrating worksflows to the Cloud.

Learn more about the NASA-Openscapes Champions — coming soon.


This project allows us to partner with organizations that share Openscapes’ values of open, reproducible, and inclusive science:

  • The Carpentries teach foundational coding and data science skills to researchers worldwide. Openscapes is joining The Carpentries through this project as a Silver Member, which includes four Carpentries workshops per year and instructor training opportunities to the NASA DAAC community.
  • 2i2c develops, deploys, customizes, and manages open source tools and cloud services for interactive computing in research and education. They deploy community-driven infrastructure, inspired by use-cases such as the UC Berkeley DataHubs and the Pangeo project, that provides easy “one-click-to-cloud” access with Jupyter Notebooks through the web browser designed to reduce the startup burden for new learners, and this approach will also benefit the NASA DAAC community.

Learn More