2023-2024: Informatics: David Tarboton

David Tarboton 
Utah State University


Dr. David Tarboton is the director of the Utah Water Research Laboratory that conducts research to generate knowledge needed to solve water problems in Utah, the country and around the world. His research is in the area of surface water hydrology, water resources, hydrologic modeling, hydrologic information systems, digital elevation model terrain analysis and snow. He leads the development of HydroShare, a hydrologic information system for sharing hydrologic data and models operated by the Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Science, Inc. His group has developed and supports open-source software packages including the Terrain Analysis using Digital Elevation Models (TauDEM) package for derivation of hydrologic information from digital elevation models, and the Utah Energy Balance snowmelt model.  He is Co-PI for the development of HydroLearn, an educational platform for the collaborative development and advancement of active-learning resources in hydrology and water resources engineering.  He graduated from MIT in 1989, and has been on the faculty at Utah State University from 1990 until the present. He was elected as an AGU Fellow in 2018.

Abstract: Towards Collaboration Enabled by Findable, Accessible Interoperable and Reusable Information and Computing. 

Solving big problems requires team work and the integration of information from multiple sources. Informatics at AGU is the information science of data management and analysis, large-scale computational experimentation and modeling, and hardware and software infrastructure advancement, which ultimately provides the capability to change data systems into knowledge systems that transform Earth and Space Science.  It is as important to represent geophysical environments precisely with data as it is to represent processes with equations. The AGU informatics section advances fundamental research on the information science of geophysical processes, data and models.  This talk will focus on general concepts from my work in the hydrology domain to advance cyberinfrastructure for collaboration around the sharing of hydrologic information that translate into other areas in AGU.  HydroShare is a web-based repository and hydrologic information system operated by the Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Science, Inc. (CUAHSI) for users to share, collaborate around, and publish data, models, scripts, and applications associated with water related research. HydroShare includes functionality supporting data format standardization to enable tools for data reuse and facilitate automatic harvesting of metadata from file types that hold metadata. The HydroShare repository also links with connected computational systems providing immediate value to users through the ability to reduce the needs for software installation and configuration and to document workflows, enhancing reproducibility. These approaches have facilitated considerable sharing and publication of data associated with research papers in HydroShare. In this talk I will discuss the contributions of HydroShare to AGU Informatics and give thoughts on ongoing opportunities and challenges in Informatics research.