Test Governance

EarthCube Test Governance Charter


The EarthCube Enterprise Governance Draft Charter was initially drafted at the Assembly Synthesis Workshop held April 16-18, 2014 in Tucson, Arizona. The process by which the document was developed recognizes and builds upon the work of hundreds (if not thousands) of people involved in the EarthCube initiative currently, and over the past two years. Community feedback on this design was sought through two primary venues: a series of online surveys, and sessions at the 2014 All Hands Meeting. Comments collected through the surveys were incorporated into the exercises and facilitated discussions at the All Hands Meeting, which served to elicit further feedback on the charter. Feedback was incorporated into the Charter and Structure documents beginning at the All Hands Meeting, and finalized in the weeks following. (Please see sidebar for links to these documents.)


The Charter presented here (with incorporated community feedback) will be presented to the National Science Foundation for a final review. Pending a favorable review, the intent is to implement a 12-month demonstration governance period as described in the Charter. This will include populating committees and teams, and finalizing leadership and decision making processes to allow EarthCube to move forward on community selected priorities, such as identifying science drivers and coming to convergence on system architecture. The effectiveness of the governance structure will be evaluated throughout the demonstration period, and elements may be adjusted to better meet community needs, a key point will the 6-month point, when a community meeting will be convened for intensive evaluation.

The purpose of the demonstration governance period is to facilitate community convergence on a system of governance that can sustainably carry EarthCube into the future.


A great number of people have contributed to EarthCube over the past two years. The Charter recognizes and builds upon the work of those who contributed to the following efforts:

  • White papers (November 2011)
  • Charrettes ( November 2011; June 2012)
  • Roadmaps & Concept Design papers (March-August 2012)
  • End user workshops & Stakeholder alignment(June 2012-present)
  • Stakeholder Assembly workshops (January-April 2014)

(Deliverables/reports of these efforts are available in the Document Repository by filtering by the type of document.)


Twenty people participated in the Assembly Synthesis Workshop which resulted in this charter.

The attendees of this workshop were thought leaders and champions identified by the community during the series of Assembly Workshops held between January and March 2014. Participants were invited to attend this workshop if they took a leadership role emerging from the Assembly Workshops (e.g. helped charter a proposed committee or formed a proposed working group). In addition, participation was balanced with the following criteria:

  1. Near equal distribution from each workshop
  2. Near equal domain knowledge distribution (Earth, Atmosphere, Polar, Oceans, Cyberinfrastructure)
  3. PI of a Conceptual Design award
  4. Attendance at one of the assembly workshops
  5. Open call, for additional representation to ensure transparency

Participants at the Synthesis Workshop were tasked with three main goals. Based on the outcomes of prior workshops and meetings participants were asked to come to consensus on:

  • Clear language defining the EarthCube vision, mission, and goals
  • The primary functions of EarthCube governance
  • Major structures of governance necessary to support the identified functions

These elements formed the foundation the Draft Charter which was presented to the EarthCube community for review. This review was conducted first, via a series of online surveys the results of which were reviewed and incorporated into sessions at the 2014 All Hands Meeting. The sessions at the Meeting were crafted to present the Draft Charter and survey feedback, and to elicit further input on the Governance design.

Governance Documents

The following douments were created at the April 2014 Assembly Synthesis Workshop. They were revised following feedback received via online surveys and at the 2014 All Hands Meeting. They were submitted to NSF for review on July 21, 2014. They are presented here as a reference for the community.

Demonstration Governance Charter:This document details the leadership, strategic direction, operations, and all other formalized activities of EarthCube, and defines the structure of the Demonstration Governance phase.

Demonstration Governance Critical Functions: This document identifies the needs that must be met as part of developing the EarthCube Demonstration Governance organization. 

Demonstration Governance Design: This document provides a visual representation of the structure presented in the Draft Charter.


Call for Participation

There are several ways to get involved in EarthCube during the coming demonstration phase:

Volunteer for a Standing Committee or Team

EarthCube is seeking volunteers participate in the Demonstration Governance Committees and Teams detailed in the proposed Test Enterprise Governance Charter. These groups, the Technology/Architecture Standing CommitteeScience Standing CommitteeEngagement Team, and Liaison Team, will be responsible for carrying out specific critical functions for EarthCube and EarthCube Governance. During the coming year, members of each group will be empowered to decide how they will carry out these functions by defining decision-making processes and leadership roles. Use this form to express an interest in participating in one of these groups.

Propose a Working Group

An element of the proposed EarthCube Demonstration Governance Charter is a provision allowing for the formation of working groups, stating that these groups will serve as ad hoc, time-bound structures created to respond to:

  • A pressing issue or opportunity related to EarthCube’s goals
  • An activity or deliverable related to EarthCube’s goals

If you would like to propose a working group, please complete and return this form.

Content Visibility