Skip to main content



Explore more of Isaaffik

Science-Driven Cyberinfrastructure: Integrating Permafrost Data, Services, and Research Applications


Project start
Project end
Type of project
Project theme
Project topic
Computer science & e-learning

Project details

Science / project summary

This project will use cyberinfrastructure tools for providing services to the scientific community for accessing and discovering selected permafrost datasets. Permafrost is deemed as an Environmental Indicator and an Essential Climate Variable by agencies monitoring the Earth?s climate. Improved access to permafrost datasets (currently scattered over many places on the web) is necessary for better understanding its current and past state. Global scientific and policy communities need comprehensive, up-to-date maps of permafrost distribution and status. By making permafrost data easier to use, this project supports data integration work currently duplicated by every lab using permafrost data and will advance knowledge by freeing critical time for unique research. Project outcomes are directly useful to policy-makers, broader science researchers, indigenous communities, community-based monitoring programs, and others living on or in close proximity to and studying permafrost. Through science-driven cyberinfrastructure, the research team will produce a set of scalable, multi-faceted services to address the complexity of permafrost data access and usability. Recognizing the importance of coordinated efforts in this area, the project will start where previous efforts left off. This research leverages progress in International Permafrost Association and Global Terrestrial Network - Permafrost (GTN-P) cyberinfrastructure, advances permafrost community interests, and contributes valuable functionality and data to this necessary system. Specific project objectives are: 1) Aggregate, extract, pre-process, standardize, and reorganize data from beyond the GTN-P network in a cost-effective manner, increasing the breadth and depth of the GTN-P system by integrating valuable data holdings from the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) Frozen Ground Data Center (FGDC) and Advanced Cooperative Arctic Data and Information Service (ACADIS) Gateway. 2) Extend semantic infrastructure by expanding the GTN-P ontology to include broader permafrost and climate modeling concepts and terms for data discovery, integration, and reuse. 3) Integrate GTN-P metadata and systems into the Arctic Data Explorer distributed search portal, and Arctic Observing Viewer data collection map to support federated data access. 4) Improve data usability by developing visualization services that quickly produce customized maps at multiple spatial scales to deliver information to researchers, citizen scientists, and policy makers.