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An AmeriGEOSS Cloud-based Platform for Rapid Deployment of GEOGLOWS Water and Food Security Nexus Decision Support Apps

GEOGLOWS seeks to enable earth scientists to solve the challenges associated with achieving Global Water Sustainability. Providing ample clean water is also an element of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and is cross-cutting with other elements including food security, climate, health, energy, and life below water and on land. Satellite observations provide a critical and expanding resource to the earth science community and are vital to the success of achieving important Group on Earth Observations (GEO) objectives. As earth science data increase in availability, frequency, and resolution there is a growing need for flexible data analysis environments that empower users to explore, analyze, and model earth observation data in a software-as-a-service, web-based environment. Here we propose a critical piece of earth science cyberinfrastructure (CI) for the GEOGLOWS and larger GEO software ecosystem to overcome the limitations of storage, processing speed, transmission bandwidth, and platform dependency associated with desktop computing. Highly interactive user- friendly web applications, or “web apps,” serve a key role, acting as a medium for visualizing and conveying scientific data to stakeholders and decision-makers. Such web apps can provide access to complex computational back-end services, distributed data repositories, and their connected modeling systems. Despite this potential, the technical expertise required to develop web apps represents a formidable barrier for most researchers from the GEO community. We have developed the open source Tethys Platform, which in turn has been used to develop decision support web apps for the NASA-SERVIR and NASA-ACCESS programs, NOAA’s new National Water Model, and used in AmeriGEOSS capacity-building workshops. Here we propose to build on the existing Tethys CI to create a and AmeriGEOSS App Warehouse for rapid deployment of open source hydroinformatics apps for managing and using essential water resources variables in support of the GEOGLOWS initiative. Our sponsors and collaborators at the USGS Federal Geographic Data Commission have already identified Tethys Platform as a resource for the AmeriGEOSS Portal currently under their development. We will work together with the USGS FGDC to successfully integrate our solution into their existing AmeriGEOSS and/or GeoPlatform portals. An important element of the AmeriGEOSS App Warehouse will be the ability to not only discover and install existing apps, but also to contribute apps that are developed by an ever-growing community of earth scientists. To demonstrate the utility of our solution and provide a case study for capacity-building, we will work collaborators on an existing NASA ROSES project focused on using earth observations for improved agricultural and water resources management. This collaboration will enhance the outcomes of their projects by providing visualization and decision making tools in support of vital SDGs related to and water and food security at both regional and local scales. The Tethys-powered AmeriGEOSS App Warehouse brings the following significant positive outcomes:

1. While targeting the GEOGLOWS essential water variables GEO program element, it is cross-cutting and achieves demonstrable progress and results for the AmeriGEOSS, Global Flood Risk Monitoring, and other GEO Work Program Elements.

2. Advances the use of earth observations in decision making with impacts on multiple previously and ongoing funded projects of NASA and other USGEO partners.

3. Significant likelihood of achieving a high level of Application Readiness Level through partnering with the USGS FGDC to integrate within the AmeriGEOSS Portal environment.

4. Increase international collaboration and broaden USGEO involvement

5. Bring tools previously created and develop others that enhance US and International organizations to better understand, analyze, and address needs relative to multiple UN Sustainable Development Goals.