As Director of the Earth System Atlas, my mission is to provide an outlet for data providers to have their data peer-reviewed and formally published in their own right. Publication in the Earth System Atlas is an excellent way to raise the profile of data sets and is intended to supplement recognition accorded by the publication of research papers in traditional scientific journals.
The Earth System Atlas offer a value added aspect in that is also provides a means for users to view and manipulate these data using a web browser-based visualization portal, a customized, open source graphics package with a wide range of functionality, that requires no additional software for use. Having invested years in data analysis and continually reinventing the wheel to make use of data sets from widely varying sources, I believe there is a need for easy access to data, regardless of its original format. Coupled with extensive and technical metadata for serious investigators, as well as targeted explanations and articles relevant to a wider audience, the Earth System Atlas can become a one-stop shop for data visualization and education.
I received my Ph.D. in atmospheric physics from the University of Wales, U.K., in 1994. I have worked at the Norwegian Institute for Air Research on their NADIR data base (used to collect and display data from a number EU-supported European experiments), and at NOAA's Earth System Research Laboratory in Boulder, Colorado. I also served as Associate Program Director in the National Science Foundation's Division of Atmospheric Sciences from 2002 - 2005, assisting in the management of the Climate & Large-Scale Dynamics, Paleoclimate and Atmospheric Chemistry Programs.