• Sea ice

NSIDC wins dark data recovery award

award ceremony
NSIDC technical services manager Dave Gallaher (second from the left) and NSIDC data specialist Garrett Campbell (third from left) receive the award from Integrated Earth Data Applications director Kerstin Lehnert (left) at the American Geophysical Union's Cryosphere Reception.— — Credit: IEDA

A project by the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) that produced the earliest satellite maps of Arctic and Antarctic sea ice has been given the International Data Rescue Award in the Geosciences. The award encourages improvements in the preservation and access of research data, particularly of dark data—untagged and untapped data that are found in repositories and have not been analyzed or processed.

The award was announced last week during a reception for cryospheric scientists at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco.

NSIDC's Nimbus data recovery project recovered, reprocessed, and digitized infrared and visible data from the NASA Nimbus I, II, and III missions. Before the project, tapes of the data languished and gathered dust in a government storage facility. The project has yielded the earliest satellite maps of Arctic and Antarctic sea ice. NSIDC technical services manager Dave Gallaher, data specialist Garrett Campbell, and NASA scientist Walt Meier comprise the project team.

The NSIDC Nimbus project was one of sixteen entries to competition. Honorable mentions were awarded to oldWeather, where more than 17,000 citizen scientists read and transcribed handwritten historical weather records; the recovery of nuclear explosion signals archived at Borovoye, Kazakhstan; and a project to process Australia's Landsat data holdings.

The Integrated Earth Data Applications and Elsevier Research Services organizes the competition. This year's judges included members of the U.S. Geological Survey, the British Geological Society, the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, the Research Data Alliance, Geoscience Australia, and the San Diego Supercomputer Center.

For more information on the NSIDC Nimbus Data Recovery Project, visit the project Web site and our Monthly Highlights feature.

To learn more about the award, visit the Elsevier Web site.

Media Contacts

Natasha Vizcarra
National Snow and Ice Data Center
+1 303.492.1497

David Gallaher
National Snow and Ice Data Center
University of Colorado Boulder

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