Community Leadership


NCED researchers participate in community efforts through the formation OF permanent partnerships based on the principle of providing research informed by societal needs. NCED initiatives or partnerships that foster community leadership include:


Linked Institutions for Future Earth (LIFE) aims to create an international network of researchers, institutions, and experimental sites/field observations dedicated to advancing the quantitative predictive understanding of the Earth surface system. As part of the NSF Science Across Virtual Institutes (SAVI) program, LIFE aims to catalyze global research activities efficiently and economically while mentoring and creating international research opportunities for junior researchers.

Community surface Dynamics Modeling System (CSDMS) is a community-driven organization that promotes the modeling of Earth-surface dynamics by developing, supporting, and disseminating integrated software modules. CSDMS embraces a wide variety of approaches and aims to provide tools for model development as well as fully assembled large-scale models. NCED supported the establishment of CSDMS by hosting the original 2008 workshop that produced the CSDMS science plan. Currently, NCED transfers models and data to CSDMS and NCED personnel are thoroughly integrated into the CSDMS organization.

Meeting of Young Researchers in Earth Science (MYRES) is an educational and community-building effort that holds a goal of fostering open, unbiased, interdisciplinary, and international collaboration between researchers in the Earth Sciences. The main component of MYRES is a series of biannual four-day workshops that target early-career academics and consist of keynote presentations and focused discussion. The goal of the workshops is to bring specialists together to educate each other about constraints on and possible solution strategies for an interdisciplinary research problem. 

Institute on the Environment (IonE) is a University of Minnesota center focused on developing cutting-edge research, world-class leadership and innovative partnerships to address complex, pressing environmental problems of our day. A number of NCED PIs serve as resident fellows and associate fellows for the institute. NCED’s Education Initiative has also been awarded a grant through the Institute that will enable NCED and the Science Museum of Minnesota (SMM) to develop additional content for the “Science on a Sphere” spherical projection educational system and bring that content to university settings through the use of a smaller portable spherical projection system.

The Future Earth Initiative (FEI) is an informal science program that links six NSF Science and Technology Centers with the Science Museum of Minnesota (SMM) and NCED to develop distributed exhibit content and programming around the topic of the Anthropocene Epoch. The project includes exhibits at SMM and the University of Minnesota; a website focusing on current science related to Anthropocene issues; kiosks within selected public venues; discussion groups with policy decision-makers; and youth programs that engage youth with the program. This unique initiative will advance informal science education in two ways: 1) by revealing methods of accelerating the dissemination of scientific research to public audiences and 2) by exploring ways science centers and museums can use exhibitions as educational frameworks for public policy dialogues.

Earth Science Literacy Initiative (ESLI) is a community-wide effort, funded by NSF, to develop a consensus-based document that presents, in accessible terms, the critical big ideas and supporting concepts of Earth science. This effort is a companion to similar ones in the Climatic, Atmospheric and Oceanic communities. Together, these documents will comprise an Earth Systems Literacy reference that will inform future science education standards and community efforts to communicate with policy-makers, the press, and educators.