Towards the ENVRI Community International Summer School: Webinars on Designing and Developing Data Services for End Users

Data Services for End Users Webinars

In the run-up to the ENVRI Community International Summer School in July, LifeWatch ERIC and ENVRI-FAIR will be organising two webinars on “Designing and Developing Data Services for End Users”. Participation in the webinars can be in preparation for the School or as stand-alone sessions, for those who cannot attend the School, or those who are still considering registering. For more information on the ENVRI Community International Summer School “Road to a FAIR ENVRI-Hub: Designing and Developing Data Services for End Users”, please visit the dedicated minisite.

The webinars are particularly aimed at IT architects, Research Infrastructure (RI) service developers and user support staff, and RI staff working on user interaction and community/network building. Links to the sessions will be provided upon registration.

Webinar #1: Service validation & evaluation: making sure your services are up to the task

Date
Friday 17 June, 10:00-11:30 CEST

Where
Zoom (link to be provided upon registration)

Programme

  • Validating services & assessing their TRL – Mark van de Sanden (SURF)
  • Service evaluation: why & how – Yin Chen (EGI)
  • Evaluating ENVRI services: experiences from the ENVRIplus – Maggie Hellström (ICOS)
  • Q&A and general discussion – plenary

Webinar #2: Service documentation & tutorials: rolling out the red carpet for end users

Date
Thursday 23 June, 10:00-11:30 CEST

Where
Zoom (link to be provided upon registration)

Programme

  • Writing effective service documentation for EUDAT services – Rob Carillo (EUDAT)
  • Service tutorial design: experiences from EOSC Synergy – Helen Clare (JISC)
  • Using Jupyter Notebooks to introduce services to “new” end users – ENVRI-FAIR expert (TBA)
  • Q&A and general discussion – plenary

You can sign up for one or both webinars using the form linked below:

Click here to access the form.

LifeWatch ERIC to Collaborate in New Observatory in the Mar Menor

Observatory in the Mar Menor

Three members of the LifeWatch ERIC Executive Board, alongside collaborator Professor Angel Pérez-Ruzafa, attended the Life Transfer Summit in Murcia today, to mark the opening of an observatory in the Mar Menor, an initiative in which the research infrastructure will actively collaborate. CEO Dr Christos Arvanitidis, CTO Dr Juan Miguel González-Aranda, Service Centre Director Professor Alberto Basset and Professor Ruzafa all made presentations at the meeting, which was attended by Mr Antonio Luengo, Environmental Minister of the Murcia region, to bring his support of the infrastructure on the occasion.

The Life Transfer project, Seagrass Transplantation for Transitional Ecosystem Recovery, aims to trigger the process of recolonisation of aquatic phanerogams –known as “ecosystem engineers”– in selected Mediterranean lagoons. These lagoons are all part of Natura 2000 sites in Spain, Italy and Greece, and the project is funded through the Life programme. You can read more about the project and its initial results here.

CTO Live on ‘Despierta Andalucía’ to Speak on Ecological Crises

Despierta Andalucía

This morning, LifeWatch ERIC CTO, Juan Miguel González-Aranda, went live on Andalusian TV to discuss the ecological crises we are facing and to explain the role, the structure, and the ambition of the research infrastructure. He spoke on the programme ‘Despierta Andalucía’ of Canal Sur, noting that the region home to the LifeWatch ERIC Statutory Seat and ICT-Core is known for its excellence in the fields of open software and sustainability research.

During his interview, Dr González-Aranda explained how LifeWatch ERIC makes use of vast amounts of data and cutting-edge technology, such as remote sensing, to monitor and predict changes in the climate and ecosystems, crucial knowledge that can be shared with policymakers and used to develop solutions to the climate and biodiversity crises. He also pointed out the key relationships that the infrastructure holds with various regions all over the world –not just in Europe, but also in Africa, the Caribbean and Latin America– which allows for international collaboration in generating and interpreting data, and for the infrastructure to fulfill its ethos of “acting locally, thinking globally”.

LifeWatch ERIC would like to thank Despierta Andalucía, Canal Sur and RTVA for dedicating broadcasting time to shining a light on the current ecological crises, and for raising awareness of European initiatives like LifeWatch ERIC, which offers its free resources and services to researchers and citizen scientists globally.

Click here to watch the full interview, starting at 1:11:07.

Rolling Out Season 2 of the LifeWatch ERIC Podcast “A Window on Science”

LifeWatch ERIC Podcast

While the first LifeWatch ERIC podcast season focused on the Internal Joint Initiative, the construction of that Virtual Research Environment, this second season draws on the experiences of the scientists and ICT specialists involved in the five validation cases used to develop said Virtual Research Environment. Five investigations into the impact of Non-indigenous and Invasive Species on a range of environments suffering from climate change and anthropogenic pressures.

Over the next three months, therefore, you will hear from the terrestrial and marine researchers, ICT technicians and software engineers, molecular geneticists and data managers who worked together in trans-disciplinary teams to construct and test five workflows – pipelines of data sourcing and processing – to make that research possible at scales never achieved before. The LifeWatch ERIC podcast season 2 “A Window on Science” features:

  • Wednesday 11 May: The Atlantic Blue Crab
  • Wednesday 25 May: ARMS. Hard-bottom communities
  • Wednesday 8 June: Metabarcoding
  • Wednesday 22 June: Ailanthus, and
  • Wednesday 6 July: Biotope.

Don’t forget that these LifeWatch ERIC podcasts, as well as being embedded in our website portal (find all of Season 1 here and the live episodes of Season 2 here), are also available on Spotify, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, and Amazon Music.

Wrapping up the first year with a BiCIKL ride in Seville

BiCIKL Seville Meeting

One year after the debut of the BiCIKL Project, partners and research infrastructures will meet all together in person for the first time. A three-day of presentation of the tasks completed, bilateral meetings and technical forums will take place in Seville (Spain) between 2 – 4 May 2022.

We are all thrilled about this convention,” Project Coordinator Prof Lyubomir Penev comments. “It is going to be a huge step forward and an important moment for planning the activities to come.”

During the meeting, which will be held at La Casa de la Ciencia, Seville, LifeWatch ERIC and GBIF will be presenting The Biodiversity Knowledge Hub (BKH), a structure at the core of the BiCIKL Project.

We can’t reveal much before the meeting,” – says Christos Arvanitidis, LifeWatch ERIC CEO, “but BKH will be a single knowledge portal that helps researchers access and use interlinked and machine-readable FAIR data (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable) relying on unique stable identifiers on specimens, genomics, observations, taxonomy and data in publications.”

There will be much more in the Andalusian venue: technical discussions will take place on linking between data classes, for instance, and the event will be wrapped up with a Forum on the BKH and the Fair Data Place.

Follow the project on Twitter for continuous updates with the hashtag #BiCIKL_H2020

Doctoral Thesis Defence on AI, Biodiversity and Sustainable Ecosystem Management 

AI biodiversity

On 27 April 2022, a presentation of a doctoral thesis by doctoral candidate Francisco Pérez-Hernández, entitled “Pre- and Post-Processing Strategies in Deep Learning for Multi-class Problems in the Field of Security and Biodiversity” took place at the “Escuela Técnica Superior de Ingeniería Informática” (ETSII) of the University of Granada. This thesis is one of the results of the Thematic Centre on Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Deep Learning, and High Mountains Ecosystems, under the umbrella of the so-called LifeWatch ERIC SMART ECOMOUNTAINS Andalusia ERDF project, hosted by the University of Granada as one of the distributed facilities engaging with LifeWatch ERIC.

This is an outstanding milestone in the application of state-of-art AI and Deep Learning techniques in, e.g., advanced satellite image processing for the study of biodiversity and ecosystems, to be made available to the scientific community and environmental decision makers in the form of a LifeWatch ERIC Virtual Research Environment.

Among those attending the defence were the doctoral tutors, supervisors and member of the evaluation committee: Juan Miguel González-Aranda, LifeWatch ERIC CTO, Enrique Herrera Viedma, Vice-Rector for Research and Transfer of the University of Granada; Siham Tabik, Professor of the Department of Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence; Francisco Herrera Triguero, Professor at the Department of Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence at the University of Granada; Domingo Alcaraz Segura Professor at the University of Granada; Juan Mario Haut Hurtado, Professor at the University of Extremadura,  and Gloria Ortega López, Professor at the University of Almería. 

LifeWatch Slovenia Publishes New Research Paper

LifeWatch Slovenia Research

Researchers affiliated with LifeWatch Slovenia have published the research paper: “Karst Groundwater Dependent Ecosystems—Typology, Vulnerability and Protection” (Nataša Ravbar, Tanja Pipan). You can read the abstract below and click on the link to access it in full.

Karst Groundwater Dependent Ecosystems—Typology, Vulnerability and Protection

Nataša Ravbar, Tanja Pipan

Karst groundwater dependent ecosystems (KGDEs) represent an important asset worldwide due to their ecological and socioeconomic values. In the contribution the main KGDEs of the Dinaric karst in Slovenia are presented. The main hydrological processes (i.e., extent, duration and frequency of groundwater inflow), the main biota and indicator communities, and the factors limiting the evolution of species (e.g., darkness) were identified. An overview of rare, endemic and charismatic species was also shown including Proteus anguinus, Marifugia cavatica, Monolistra racovitzae racovitzae and others. Due to its location in an area of very high geographical diversity and between different climate types, the Slovenian Dinaric karst is one of the hotspots of subterranean biodiversity on a global scale. The interaction between orographic, climatic, hydrological and edaphic conditions, as well as the fact that the area served as a hub for different species and as a refuge during the ice ages, are crucial for the very high biodiversity in this area. Due to deforestation in prehistoric times, man has even contributed to the diversification of the flora by creating space for the appearance or spread of habitats that are now considered natural (e.g., dry grasslands). An important factor in maintaining a particularly rich diversity of karst flora and fauna is also the low human impact and the very well preserved landscape in its natural state. KGDE sites in Slovenia with the greatest known species diversity are the Postojna -Planina and Škocjanske Jame cave systems, Cerkniško and Planinsko Polje, and the intermittent lakes of Pivka. Characterization of KGDEs is a prerequisite for a better understanding of the processes that control them, their biological function, and their vulnerability. The ecohydrological characterization of KGDEs of Slovenian Dinaric karst can serve as a pilot study for other karst regions with high biodiversity.

Photo credit: B Kogovšek, N Ravbar, Adobe Stock.

ENVRI Community International Summer School is back in person!

ISS2022_news

We are delighted to announce the 2022 edition of the ENVRI Community International Summer School. And this summer, we are back in person! 

The Summer School, now at its fifth edition, is organised by ENVRI-FAIR and LifeWatch ERIC and will take place in Lecce, Italy, from 10–15 July. This edition’s title is “Road to a FAIR ENVRI-Hub: Designing and Developing Data Services for End Users”, and it will cover topics such as user interfaces, packaging of services, reusability and validation of services, and building and supporting networks through the lens of the ENVRI-Hub approach. 

This School is therefore mainly aimed at IT architects, Research Infrastructure (RI) service developers and user support staff, and RI staff working on user interaction and community/network building.

The Summer School will welcome participants on the afternoon of Sunday 10 July with an opening event, while the actual School programme will last from Monday to Friday afternoon, closing with a certificate ceremony. Two online webinars are also planned to take place in the third and fourth week of June on specific use cases, in preparation for the School or to attend as stand-alone sessions.

The outline of the School programme is as follows:

  1. Introducing the ENVRI-Hub (concept and architecture)
  2. Learning to know your end users and their expectations: requirements elicitation
  3. Create high quality documentation and usage examples to support service end users
  4. Developing Services and Fostering Reusability/Interoperability among them
  5. Validating and evaluating your services
  6. Participants’ Presentations, School Evaluation and Certificates

Successful applicants to “Road to a FAIR ENVRI-Hub: Designing and Developing Data Services for End Users” will be offered full board in the beautiful baroque city of Lecce in Southern Italy, and will be invited to “extracurricular” activities such as restaurant dinners and excursions in the surrounding area. 

Interested persons are invited to apply by 30 May by filling in the sign-up form here. Follow LifeWatch ERIC and ENVRI Community updates!

You can access the dedicated minisite with more detailed information on the School here.

ALL-Ready Pilot Network on Living Labs and Research Infrastructures for Agroecology

ALL-Ready Pilot Network

On 11 April 2022, as part of the preparatory work for the EU Partnership on Agroecology Living Labs and Research Infrastructures (ALL-Ready), LifeWatch ERIC Agroecology Officer, José Manuel Ávila-Castuera, participated in a meeting with several German ministries such as the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) and the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), and funding agencies such as BLE and Project Management Jülich (JÜLICH), to demonstrate how Research Infrastructures (RIs) are a key instrument to in the transition towards agroecology.

The European Commission has proposed a new initiative provisionally entitled “Accelerating farming systems transition: agroecology living labs and research infrastructures” as one of the candidate European Partnerships in food, bioeconomy, natural resources, agriculture and environment, under Horizon Europe’s new approach. These partnerships aim to deliver on global challenges and industrial modernisation through concerted research and innovation efforts, alongside EU and associated countries, the private sector, foundations and other stakeholders.

During the meeting, Korinna Varga (Hungarian Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (ÖMKi) presented the Pilot Network developed in ALL-READY and the Living Labs. ALL-Ready is a H2020 Coordination and Support Action (CSA), funded by the European Commission, that aims to prepare a framework for a future European network of Living Labs and RIs that will enable the transition towards agroecology throughout Europe. Based on the premise that agroecology can strengthen the sustainability and resilience of farming systems, the project will contribute to addressing the multiple challenges that they are facing today, including climate change, loss of biodiversity, dwindling resources, and degradation of soil and water quality.

WoRMS Video Tutorials available on LifeWatch ERIC Training Platform

WoRMS Tutorial

Last year, the WoRMS Data Management Team (DMT), which is supported by LifeWatch Belgium, created instruction videos for the WoRMS editors, to assist them in their online editing activities. Now, the WoRMS DMT has released a series of short tutorial videos specifically aimed at its users, which have also been made available on the LifeWatch ERIC Training Platform.

Are you sometimes a bit at a loss on how you can find species-related information through the WoRMS website? Maybe you are just curious on how you can efficiently search through the available distributions, specimens or literature in WoRMS? Or you want to match your own species list to WoRMS? Well, this series of 6 short tutorial videos – all under 10 minutes – will guide you through all these ‘how to…’ topics:

  • How to search for taxa in WoRMS, through the quick, simple, and advanced search interfaces
  • How to search for literature in WoRMS
  • How to search for distributions in WoRMS
  • How to search for specimens in WoRMS
  • How to upload images and videos through the WoRMS photo gallery (both without and with login)
  • How to match your taxa to WoRMS using the taxon match tool

Click here to access the videos on our Training Platform.

The creation of these tutorial videos fits under the WoRMS endorsed project within the UN Ocean Decade, where WoRMS continues to support not only scientists, but everyone who makes use of species names, including policy, industry and the public at large.

This news item has been adapted from a post on LifeWatch Belgium.