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Tuesday, July 21 • 2:00pm - 3:30pm
Open Source Environment-Security Analytics: Combining Capabilities from Government, Industry, and Academia Part 1

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Pressing security problems such as global environmental change, political conflict, pandemics, and large-scale human migration cut across traditional disciplines, analytic approaches, and institutional boundaries. Recent open source analytic tools and approaches are vital to promoting transdisciplinary, transboundary, trans-scale, and trustworthy analyses on the part of diverse stakeholders from both the public and private sectors. Public-private partnerships (PPP) bring together public and nonstate actors to provide public services and goods by sharing risk and increasing the PPP’s value-added by providing services relevant to each member’s specific competencies. Traditionally, PPPs served to help deliver public policy, services, infrastructure, and economic development. By pooling capabilities from government, industry, and academia, PPPs can benefit from open-source, interoperable, and standards compliant data, models, and technologies that aim to accelerate development and deployment of effective tools and approaches valuable for research, applications, and decision making in the environment-security sector.

This panel discussion will feature leaders from Federal agencies, academic institutions, and industry to discuss lessons and challenges in formulating and facilitating PPPs that address pressing environment-security problems. Our panel members have served vital roles in MEDEA, the State Failure Task Force program, and current partnerships supported by programs such as the Small Business Technology Transfer Program (STTR). Past experience in addressing key tensions and issues such as secrecy vs. openness and use of proprietary vs. open technologies may help increase the success of current and future PPPs in this arena.

Part II of our session will serve to introduce content and concepts of the Data ANalytics and Tools for Ecosecurity (DANTE) project. DANTE is a recent public-private-academic partnership between the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), CIESIN/Columbia University, ISciences, LLC, and CASE International. DANTE is working to develop a community platform with a suite of open-source tools and content that reduce common barriers to entry for interdisciplinary research in human geography, social and political science, and global environmental change. DANTE is implementing several open-source and open-community components: 1) a suite of R programming tools that ameliorate frustrating and redundant data processing and visualizing tasks; 2) accompanying vignettes and tutorials that walk users through common data processing and modeling tasks; 3) examples of reproducible, distributable, and open-access research through R packages; and 4) a catalog of supported datasets spanning human geography, political conflict, and global environmental change. In this workshop we will demonstrate initial versions of these components and how they can be applied to support open-access, reproducible environment-security analyses.

Opening Session Agenda:

  1. Session Opening Remarks, Introductions, defining the Environment-Security Sector, discussing the challenges and common tools to approach the diverse sub-discipline, and reflecting on a history of participating in PPPs as a small private firm. Tom Parris, President, ISciences LLC.
  2. Evidence-based decision making and logistics planning in the USACE with tools developed from PPPs. Mark Wahl, US Army Corps of Engineers, ERDC.
  3. Collaborative research, tools development, and PPPs in Academia.  Dr. Robert Chen, Director & Senior Research Scientist, CIESIN/Columbia University.
  4. Open discussion on public, private, academic partnerships in the environment-security sector. Moderated by Eileen Shea, CASE Consultants International.
Please join us in Part II of our session for hands-on exploration and demonstrations of open source tools designed to tackle modern issues in environmental, political, and geographical sciences.

View Recording
View Session Notes
View Presentations: See attached

  • Open source world has really helped public private partnerships and navigate the intelligence community by trying to keep products and deliverables open and available across stakeholder groups. Staying open aids public policy and builds trust and transparency.
  • Defining the Environment-Security sector is often the first challenge. It’s a broad multidisciplinary field spanning the intelligence, political science, human geography, and environmental science communities.
  • Intelligence community is a complex entity that can be structurally confusing. Despite these challenges and often protected information, the intelligence community likes open data, and likes data standardization; it makes their job easier.

avatar for Tom Parris

Tom Parris

President, ISciences LLC
Tom Parris has over 30 years of experience in the analysis of sustainability, vulnerability, and conflict using his skills in policy analysis, quantitative natural and social science, information science, remote sensing and geospatial analysis.
avatar for Bob Chen

Bob Chen

Director, CIESIN; Manager, NASA SEDAC, Columbia University
Environment and security applications, DANTE (Data ANalytics and Tools for Ecosecurity), the POPGRID Data Collaborative, TReNDS (Thematic Research Network on Data and Statistics), SEDAC (Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center), decision support, open data sharing (not just FAIR... Read More →
avatar for Joshua Brinks

Joshua Brinks

Research Scientist, ISciences, LLC
Research Scientist at ISciences, LLC, member of DANTE Project, and an applied statistician with theoretical interests in political science, plant ecology, forestry, human geography, and social stratification and inequality. From a technical perspective I am overly excited about Bayesian... Read More →

Cynthia Crowley

Research Scientist, ISciences, LLC
Interested in the plurality of uncertainty cascading from measurement to data products to model results, I am thinking about communication and limitations of science in decision-making. Day to day I am a research scientist at ISciences, LLC, a technical team that is broadly focus... Read More →
avatar for Mark Wahl

Mark Wahl

Research Civil Engineer, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
avatar for Kytt MacManus

Kytt MacManus

Developer of data sets and applications for NASA SEDAC and CIESIN at Columbia University.  Adjunct Lecturer in GIS at Columbia College in the Sustainable Development Program.  Interests in data informed decision-making and scientific computing.

Tuesday July 21, 2020 2:00pm - 3:30pm EDT
Room 1