Engaging the Earth Cube Community in Designing a Roadmap for Workflows in Geosciences


The EarthCube Workflow Community Group was formed in March 2012 as part of the NSF EarthCube  initiative.  The goal of this group is to elicit requirements for workflows in geosciences, ascertain the state of the art and current practices, identify current gaps in both the use of and capabilities of current workflow systems in the earth sciences through use case studies, and identify grand challenges for the next decade along with the possible paths to addressing those challenges. The group is planning to hold a series of virtual and face to face workshops to solicit participation from the geosciences community and other relevant researchers.

Workflows are used to manage complex computations that have many steps or use large data.  Workflow systems assist scientists to select models appropriate for their data, configure them with appropriate parameters, and execute them efficiently. 

A key result of this work is an initial roadmap document for the EarthCube community that was first released at the EarthCube June 2012 meeting.  The roadmap serves as a living document created as a group effort with provisions and a process to update and extend it over time.

An article was published about the roadmap:

    "Designing a Roadmap for Geoscience Workflows." Duffy, C.; Gil, Y.; Deelman, E.; Marru, S.; Pierce, M.; Demir, I.; and Wiener, G. Eos Transactions of the American Geophysical Union, 93(24). 2012.  

Quick Links

    Download a PDF of the Workflows Roadmap here

    Download a visual summary of the Workflows Roadmap here: 



This work is funded by the National Science Foundation under grant # EAR-1238216 as part of the NSF EarthCube initiative.


This activity is organized by seven co-chairs with expertise spanning geosciences and computer science.  To contact them please send email to sc-wf-cg@earthcube.org.


May 16th Workflow Virtual Workshop

The  virtual workshop on May 16th 2012 focused on collecting community inputs for the roadmap.  Workshop details are posted at -
April 13th Workflow Virtual Workshop

The virtual workshop on April 13th focused on planning the roadmap document and defining initial processes to engage the community.  The workshop agenda and resulting documents are posted at  -

March 13th Workflow Virtual Workshop

The virtual workshop on March 13th focused on bootstrapping the workflow steering committee and planning the workflow workshop series in April and May. The workshop agenda and presentations are posted at -
Workflow Background Information
For background material on Workflows, use cases and expression of  interests please visit - 
Earth Cube Workflow Roadmap Report

The charge of this EarthCube Workflow Working Group is to conduct a series of virtual workshops in preparation for the June EarthCube all-hands meeting. The goal of the workshops is to constitute a community of researchers and develop a roadmap document for the application of scientific workflows to problems in the geosciences. The roadmap is intended to broaden the use of workflow technologies, to identify short-term gaps between requirements and existing technologies, and to plan long term collaborations to tackle grand challenge problems. The roadmap report will follow the NSF Guidance for creating a roadmap for EarthCube Community Groups. The guidance is summarized at -
Workflow Steering Committee 

The workflow workshops are being organized by seven co-chairs with expertise spanning geosciences and computer science. For brief bio of the organizers -