[CODATA-international] Remembering Dr. Peter Fox 1959-2021 - A titan in the Earth science informatics community

Vijayakumar Varadarajan vijayakumar.varadarajan at gmail.com
Tue Mar 30 10:55:28 EDT 2021

Let his Soal Rest in Peace, Sad to hear the news, His contributions will be
remembered always.


On Tue, Mar 30, 2021 at 1:58 PM Asha CODATA <asha at codata.org> wrote:

> <https://codata.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/peter_fox.jpg>With heavy
> hearts, we relay the shocking, sad news shared by Rensselaer Polytechnic
> Institute (RPI)
> <https://president.rpi.edu/news/memo/03/28/2021/passing-dr-peter-fox> on
> Sunday: Dr. Peter Fox died on March 27, 2021.
> The Earth and space science informatics community, and the wider data
> community, has lost a titan. We want to express our condolences to his
> partner, Erica Veil, his family, and his colleagues at RPI Tetherless
> World Constellation (TWC) <https://tw.rpi.edu/> including his current and
> past research group members and all of his collaborators.
> Peter touched many lives. In his passing, we all have lost a friend,
> mentor, and great leader. We know this short tribute covers just a fraction
> of Peter’s impact. A Kudoboard memorial
> <https://www.kudoboard.com/boards/vRCwxvmK> has been set up to capture
> all of our memories from around the world and develop a deeper
> understanding of the legacy that Peter leaves.
> Peter was known for convening the community. This message is shared by the AGU
> Earth and Space Science Informatics (AGU ESSI)
> <https://connect.agu.org/essi/home>section
> <https://connect.agu.org/essi/home>*,* the EGU Earth and Space Science
> Informatics division (EGU ESSI) <https://www.egu.eu/essi/home/>, the Earth
> Science Information Partners (ESIP) <http://esipfed.org/>*, *and t
> <http://www.c3dis.com/1945>he Australian Earth and Environmental Science
> Information Partners (E2SIP <http://www.c3dis.com/1945>)
> <http://www.c3dis.com/1945>, the Geological Society of America
> Geoinformatics and Data Science division
> <https://www.geosociety.org/GSA/about/divisions/GSA/Division/home.aspx?hkey=b8ea4194-f991-4f17-9fe3-6dcec24df81e>,
> the Research Data Alliance (RDA) <http://rd-alliance.org/>, and CODATA
> <https://codata.org/>, all organizations that Peter founded or championed
> during his incredible career.  In 2012, when he received the Martha Maiden
> Lifetime achievement award from ESIP, which honored his demonstrated
> leadership, dedication, and collaborative spirit in advancing the field of
> Earth Science information Peter said, “Your opinion of me is none of my
> business … rather I really care  about what we’ve done and how we’ve done
> it as that is the most important thing.”
> As we grapple with the news of the loss of our dear friend, the
> international data science community comes together to collectively
> remember him. Peter made significant contributions to the Earth and space
> science informatics community. From 1991 to 2008, Fox was at the High
> Altitude Observatory (HAO) of NCAR in Boulder, Colorado, as Scientist until
> 1995, and Chief Computational Scientist from 1995 to 2008. As a Tetherless
> World Constellation senior chair and professor of Earth and Environmental
> Science, Computer Science and Cognitive Science and director of the
> Information Technology and Web Science Program at RPI, Peter made
> significant contributions to both domain science and informatics as he and
> his group supported distributed scientific repositories and addressed “the
> full life-cycle of data and information within specific science and
> engineering disciplines as well as among disciplines (Source:Wikipedia
> <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Fox_(professor)>).”
> Helen Glaves, President of EGU said, “There are no words and so many words
> all at once. We are deeply saddened and shocked by the passing of Dr. Peter
> Fox. He was a pillar of the informatics community, and pivotal in
> establishing the ESSI Division of EGU. In 2012 this contribution was
> recognised by his peers when Peter received the Ian McHarg Medal for his
> role in establishing informatics as a genuine discipline within the Earth
> Sciences. We are grateful for the legacy that Peter Fox leaves and starting
> with this collaborative remembrance, we are carrying his generous,
> collaborative spirit forward.”
> In the United States, Peter partnered with NASA, NOAA, USGS, and the US
> Global Change Research Program. Dr. Rahul Ramachandran, Project Manager and
> Senior Scientist, NASA said “Peter’s contributions to the NASA Earth
> Science Data community have been immense. His research in Informatics and
> Data Science has had a lasting impact in defining the direction of science
> data and information system evolution. But more importantly, he was
> genuinely selfless in sharing his knowledge and touched so many lives. He
> taught so many of us to be good researchers, gracious colleagues,
> supportive mentors, and above all, to be generous human beings.”
> Peter began participating in ESIP in 2005 and in 2007, he founded ESIP’s
> Semantic Web cluster, now the Semantic Technology Committee, to bring
> experts from around the world together around Earth science semantic
> technology.  Peter was instrumental in the formation of AGU ESSI and EGU
> ESSI. Peter served as ESIP’s president from 2014-2016, during a pivotal
> period of transition. He continued his involvement recently, when he
> supported the US-Australian discussions on forming the Earth and
> Environmental Science Information Partners, E2SIP. Peter felt strongly that
> his fellow Australians really needed to combine with equivalent efforts in
> ESIP and ASAP to maximise impact from both continents and avoid reinventing
> the wheel separately from the rest of the world.
> Peter was a treasured member of the first Research Data Alliance (RDA)
> Technical Advisory Board (TAB)
> <https://rd-alliance.org/about-rda/our-leadership/rda-technical-advisory-board.html> from
> 2013 to 2016 and was instrumental in setting up and driving the RDA in its
> early years. Even when he finished his term on TAB, Dr. Fox continued to be
> involved in RDA groups and the community. In his keynote speech entitled
> “Can it get any more important than this?”, during the Opening Plenary
> session of the RDA Launch, 18 March 2013 in Goteborg, Sweden, Dr. Fox had
> many golden nuggets to impart to the audience, including “Work as if you
> have already succeeded. Data needs to be a first class citizen, an object
> of conversation.” He argued for a focus on cultural activity of standards
> adoption as well as technical activity of standards creation. He
> characterised the Research Data Alliance as a socio-technical system.
> “These have best practices which we [RDA] should be following. It is not
> only about the data, it is about people, and the alliance.” No truer words
> were ever spoken about RDA.
> Peter’s intellectual influence has been felt in a number of ways in CODATA
> Task Groups and activities.  The current flagship initiative ‘Making Data
> Work for Cross-Domain Grand Challenges’
> <https://codata.org/initiatives/strategic-programme/decadal-programme/> has
> roots in many places, including discussions with Peter on how to better
> address issues of interoperability, how to draw lessons from informatics
> work in many domains (including the Earth sciences), and how to engage more
> effectively with some of the International Scientific Unions that make up
> the ISC (International Science Council) <https://council.science/> community.
> Indeed, within the International Union of Geophysics and Geodesy, Peter was
> instrumental in establishing the Commission for Data and Information
> <http://www.iugg.org/about/commissions/ucdi.php> and was its first
> Chair.  Peter served on two successive strategic planning exercises for
> ICSU (one of ISC’s predecessor organisations), the Strategic Committee on
> Information and Data
> <https://council.science/publications/report-from-the-ad-hoc-strategic-committee-on-information-and-data/> (2008)
> and the Strategic Coordinating Committee on Information and Data
> <https://council.science/publications/ad-hoc-strategic-coordinating-committee-on-information-and-data-sccid-report/> (2011).
> The first of these led directly to the creation of the World Data System
> <https://www.worlddatasystem.org/> as an international programme,
> building on the previous World Data Centres and the Federation of
> Astronomical and Geophysical Data analysis Services.
> Peter was a pioneer leading the Earth science community in acknowledging
> the scientific contributions of informatics. This leadership was recognized
> during 2018 when Peter became AGU ESSI’s first AGU Fellow. He was also
> recognized during 2018 by AAAS as an elected Fellow in recognition of his
> extraordinary achievements in advancing science.
> Recently, Peter was the Editor in Chief of Earth and Space Science
> <https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/hub/journal/23335084/editorial-board.html>.
> He felt that this journal had a pivotal role to play in the community.  The
> journal scope spans all of the Earth, planetary and space sciences, and the
> journal notably welcomes papers presenting key data sets, observations,
> methods, instruments, sensors, and algorithms showing their value and
> application. By giving a place for important informatics and technical
> contributions, he furthered the value of scientific datasets and
> observations. The editors of the journal were personally selected to ensure
> “usefulness of publications over traditional metrics.”  He valued
> everyone’s contribution. Just last week he authored a thank you
> <https://doi.org/10.1029/2021EA001735> from all of the journal editors to
> all the reviewers for 2020. AGU Executive Vice President Brooks Hanson
> noted that also, “Peter freely and eagerly shared his advice, knowledge,
> inspiration, and leadership broadly with all the other AGU editors and
> staff, and beyond.  He wanted the journal to make a difference in science,
> and to move us forward faster. In one of our last conversations, he said
> how much he loved being an editor for these reasons.”
> An outstanding mentor, Peter encouraged his students to take leadership
> roles – all three of the current student representatives to the GSA
> Geoinformatics and Data Sciences Division governance team are Peter’s
> students. Peter did not limit his guidance to students. Denise Hills (ESIP
> Vice President, AGU ESSI Immediate Past President, GSA GIDS Past Chair)
> expressed her experience with his mentorship as, “Peter was kind, generous,
> and supportive yet didn’t take any nonsense from anyone about anything.
> This includes any nonsense you may have believed about yourself. He has
> believed in me when I did not, and more amazing to me – convinced me to
> believe in myself. My professional and personal life would look very
> different, and very much less enriched, without his influence.”
> Peter’s mentorship extended far and wide, Dr. Chris Mattman, NASA JPL
> echoed the importance of Peter’s mentorship saying, “I first came to know
> Peter Fox during a time in which he was running four or five concurrent
> large National Science Foundation projects. For any one person to run two
> concurrently is a feat but that was Peter. I was introduced to him by my
> mentor Rob Raskin and came to be immediately impressed with Peter’s
> humility, intelligence and quick wit. We collaborated for over a decade and
> I consider him a mentor and a dear friend. I will miss him greatly, as will
> the world.”
> Former ESIP Executive Director from 2010-2014, Carol Meyer summed it up
> well when she said, “Peter Fox was a brilliant man, one who had clarity
> about everything that had his attention. Peter was exceptional in every
> sense of the word – intelligent, compassionate, talented, thoughtful,
> generous, stylish and funny. The world is a better place because of his
> contributions.”
> Please share your Peter Fox stories through the Kudoboard
> <https://www.kudoboard.com/boards/vRCwxvmK>. More will be planned to
> remember Peter at upcoming meetings and conferences.
> Acknowledgement and Contacts for groups
> This post was collaboratively written by Erin Robinson (Metadata Game
> Changers, Past ESIP Executive Director), Ken Casey (NOAA, ESIP President),
> Jeff de La Beaujardière (NCAR, AGU ESSI President), Helen Glaves (EGU
> President), Hilary Hanahoe (RDA Secretary General), Brooks Hanson (AGU
> Exec. VP of Science), Denise Hills (ESIP Vice President), Simon Hodson
> (CODATA Executive Director), Danie Kinkade (WHOI/BCO-DMO, AGU ESSI
> President-Elect), Jens Klump (CSIRO, EGU ESSI Chair), Carol Meyer (US Chess
> Federation, Past ESIP Executive Director), Rahul Ramachandran (NASA
> IMPACT), Kenneth Rubin (GSA GIDS President), Susan Shingledecker (ESIP
> Executive Director), Shelley Stall (AGU Sr. Director, Data Leadership) and
> many others.
> If you contributed and are missing please email Erin Robinson (
> erin at metadatagamechangers.com).
> We are grateful for the truly global collaboration across the following
> organizations:
>    - The American Geophysical Union (AGU)
>    - AGU Earth and Space Science Informatics Section (ESSI)
>    - CODATA
>    - The Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP)
>    - The European Geosciences Union (EGU)
>    - EGU Earth and Space Science Informatics Division (ESSI)
>    - The Earth and Environmental Science Information Partners (E2SIP)
>    - Geological Society of America Geoinformatics and Data Science
>    Division (GIDS)
>    - The Research Data Alliance (RDA)
> The text is freely available for anyone or organization in the Earth
> science informatics community to use as they remember Dr. Peter Fox.
> --
> ___________________________
> *Call for Sessions, SciDataCon
> <https://codata.org/events/conferences/international-data-week-2021/call-for-sessions-scidatacon-2021/> part
> of International Data Week <https://internationaldataweek.org/>: deadline
> extended to 30 April 2021 <https://www.scidatacon.org/IDW2021/>*
> *Open Science for a Global Transformation:* Call for Papers for
> a Special Collection in Data Science Journal in relation to the UNESCO
> Recommendation on Open Science
> <https://codata.org/open-science-for-a-global-transformation-call-for-papers-for-a-special-collection-in-data-science-journal/>
> *Data for Resilient Cities Podcast Series: *CAG-CEPT and
> CODATA Podcast Series
> <https://codata.org/initiatives/strategic-programme/codata-connect/cag-cept-and-codata-podcast-series-on-data-for-resilient-cities/>
>  | Subscribe <https://crdf.org.in/podcast/data-for-resilient-cities> |
> SoundCloud <https://soundcloud.com/dataforresilientcities>
> *February 2021 publications*
> <https://codata.org/february-2021-publications-in-the-data-science-journal/> in
> the CODATA Data Science Journal <https://datascience.codata.org/>
> *Stay in touch with CODATA:*
> Stay up to date with CODATA activities: join the CODATA International
> News list
> <http://lists.codata.org/mailman/listinfo/codata-international_lists.codata.org>
> Looking for training and career opportunities in data science and data
> stewardship?  Sign up to the CODATA early career community-run data
> science training and careers list
> <http://lists.codata.org/mailman/listinfo/data_science_training_lists.codata.org>
> Follow us on social media! Twitter <https://twitter.com/CODATANews> -
> Facebook <https://www.facebook.com/codata.org/> - LinkedIn
> <https://www.linkedin.com/in/simon-hodson-b3711a11/> - Instagram
> <https://www.instagram.com/codatainternational/>
> ___________________________
> Asha Law | Program Assistant, CODATA | http://www.codata.org
> E-Mail: asha at codata.org
> Tel (Office): +33 1 45 25 04 96
> CODATA (Committee on Data of the International Council for Science), 5 rue
> Auguste Vacquerie, 75016 Paris, FRANCE
> _______________________________________________
> CODATA-international mailing list
> CODATA-international at lists.codata.org
> http://lists.codata.org/mailman/listinfo/codata-international_lists.codata.org
> The CODATA International list is for announcement of of activities, events
> and outputs by CODATA and by other organisations and initiatives.  It is
> also for discussion of all issues related to data.  It is an open
> subscription list with only lightweight moderation to remove spam.
> Messages posted on the list by third parties do not necessarily imply
> endorsement by CODATA.
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.codata.org/pipermail/codata-international_lists.codata.org/attachments/20210330/fff53172/attachment.html>

More information about the CODATA-international mailing list