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The BCube team is exploring the use of brokering technologies, i.e. software components that mediate interactions between existing and emerging information systems, to demonstrate how brokering can make it easier for scientists to discover, share and access data, and thus become more effective and productive. Another focus of the project is improving access to difficult to find, yet valuable data by developing web crawlers to discover descriptions of data and services that are ready to be brokered.

A testbed, using Amazon cloud services, has been established and is being used for prototyping.

Science Challenges

New advances in the geosciences require working across traditional disciplinary boundaries. This need has grown as scientists address the complex challenges of understanding and predicting changes in the Earth’s environment. It is becoming ever more necessary to find, access, and use diverse and increasingly large volumes of data. The technology for managing and accessing scientific data is advancing rapidly, but leveraging these developments for interdisciplinary research is in itself a major challenge.

Science Drivers

Geoscientists on the BCube team, from the fields of Hydrology, Oceanography, Cryosphere and Climate, have defined detailed science scenarios that are guiding technology developments. A multi-disciplinary team, including educators and social scientists, is convened for each scenario to investigate the ability of the BCube infrastructure to meet the identified needs to the satisfaction of the scientists.

Major Repositories Integration

Scenarios often require access to a wide variety of resources in forms other than their native formats. This leads to interconnecting into the testbed major repositories such as OOI (Ocean), USGS (Hydrology, NCAR/RAL (weather), and NSIDC (cryosphere).

Benefits to Scientists

Brokering and crawling are both intended to become part of a greater cyberinfrastructure aimed at serving all of the geosciences. The specific scientific benefits of the BCube project are being demonstrated and documented in the context of the science scenarios. The benefits are expected to propagate through the respective communities as the functionality is shared with colleagues and the capabilities of the BCube framework are expanded and integrated with other Building Blocks

The BCube Team

BCube Principal Investigator

Siri Jodha Singh Khalsa, University of Colorado, NSIDC

Co-Principal Investigators

Ruth Duerr, Crawler Design and Development, University of Colorado, NSIDC

Stefano Nativi, Broker Design and Development, CNR

Jay Pearlman, Cross-Domain Team, J and F Enterprise

Francoise Pearlman, Outreach and Communications, J and F Enterprise

CyberInfrastructure Scientists

Steve Browdy, OMS Tech, Enrico Boldrini, CNR, Mattia Santoro, CNR


Ocean: Oscar Schofield, Rutgers; Scott Doney, WHOI, and Wally Fulweiler, Boston U

Hydrology: Zach Easton and Dan Fuka, Vtech

Weather: Aaron Braeckel, NCAR REL

Cryosphere: Kevin Schaefer, NSIDC

Social Scientists

Geof Bowker and Steve Slota, UC Irvine


Cheryl Peach, UCSD

From bottom right to top left: S. Browdy, R. Duerr, F. Pearlman, O. Schofield, D. Fuka,

J. Pearlman, S. Nativi, S. Slota, E. Boldrini, M. Santoro, SJS Khalsa, Z. Easton