WP5: Training, outreach and sustainability actions

Training Objectives

Proper integration of ACTRIS-2 in National, European and International landscape is key to its sustainability beyond the term of the project. It will require actions towards both end-users and stakeholders that will address education, training, and dissemination of ACTRIS results to the community and the public. In parallel, actions are required to implement integration strategies in the ESFRI context and further connect with international atmospheric observation programmes and networks. Specific objectives are: • To ensure proper training of scientists/engineer across the ACTRIS components and beyond, and to expand interoperability of ACTRIS DC outside the RI. • To enhance cooperation with international programmes and networks. • To ensure the long-term sustainability of ACTRIS by engaging in world-class RI design with appropriate links to current and new ESFRI projects, interaction with stakeholders and end users and with national ACTRIS initiatives. • To coordinate proper dissemination of the ACTRIS results and initiatives.

Description of work

Task 5.1: Training and education

Efficient use of ACTRIS Research Infrastructure platforms requires both knowledge of the scientific relevance of observations and skills to optimize use of instruments and data sources within the experimental framework. ACTRIS-2 will maintain its unique cross-border training courses that have made the reputation of the RI. The aim is to offer opportunities within and outside the ACTRIS consortium to train new users on the ACTRIS products and tools. Different training courses will be offered corresponding to different user typologies. Two basic courses dedicated towards use, quality control and data submission procedures will be organized (some under the umbrella of GAWTEC) and are most targeted to new users. Two advanced courses for specific training on newly developed ACTRIS tools and products will be organized for advanced users in the academics, capitalizing successful training activities engaged in ACTRIS. On-site training activities will also include dedicated ACTRIS courses held outside Europe to international associated partners and an online MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) -type ACTRIS course directed towards new operators of observing facilities (to be accessed through the ACTRIS data centre). Continuing the successful experience in ACTRIS, internal tutorial workshops will be organized in co-location with GAs to improve knowledge transfer amongACTRIS-2 partners and associated.

Task 5.2: Establishing full interoperability with data centres of atmospheric infrastructures

Internal interoperability between the topic data centres and the data portal has been established in ACTRIS but work is still needed to expand interoperability to other data portals outside of ACTRIS, mostly with those relevant to atmospheric studies. The task comprises at least three aspects:
1) data access modalities/data policy;
2) vocabularies and data formats used in data exchange;
3) protocols for exchange of metadata and data.
ACTRIS-2 will advance the integration of its participating data centres by further developing the data policy to a unified data policy modelled onto the WMO GAW fair-use data policy, in close cooperation with other projects such as the cluster project of environmental research infrastructures (ENVRI+). This will implement the EU requirements of free and open data access and simplify data exchange significantly. For vocabularies and data formats, the emerging community standard of CF standard names and corresponding NetCDF data format specifications will be used, and vocabulary defined with the convention where missing. Also for metadata and data exchange, existing or emerging standards will be deployed (OAI-PMH for metadata, OGC WFS for data exchange). With this strategy, the ACTRIS-2 data infrastructure will connect to larger data infrastructures such as the WMO Information System, GEOSS and with most data centres of environmental research infrastructures.

Task 5.3: Long-term sustainability plans of ACTRIS at national and European levels

This task capitalizes the work already initiated within ACTRIS. At national level, ACTRIS is officially established in 15 EU countries through administrative structures that differ from country to country either as independent association or included in a broader framework with other RIs in the environmental domain. At the European level, the ACTRIS European roadmap strategy towards ESFRI has already been initiated. The task will focus on several activities, such as 1) to define a clear ACTRIS roadmap for the next 5 to 10 years. This will be achieved by reinforcing cooperation with other infrastructures of the atmospheric domain (IAGOS, ICOS in primis) and the wider research communities within the atmospheric science; 2) to consolidate and enhance interoperability with other research infrastructures in the atmospheric subdomain. This is performed by organizing a series of meetings for discussing with other atmospheric RIs the required level of interoperability for technologies (including QA/QC), training and outreach. Interoperability with data management is dealt in Task 5.2and the interactions with RIs in the larger environmental domain will be performed in the context of ENVRI+. Whenever necessary, ACTRIS will import and apply ENVRI reference models to improve ACTRIS data management and enhance the interoperability with other environmental RIs. 3) to maintain and enhance activities of the several national ACTRIS initiatives currently on-going in 15 different member states. This is achieved providing to national entities all information and material needed to maintain and improve current national structuration and enhance communication with national stakeholders. The task will raise awareness at national and, possibly, regional levels for opportunities to consolidate national coordination and investments in ACTRIS activities such as for example the use of European Structural and Investment Funds in line with the relevant smart specialisation strategies.

Task 5.4: International and strategic collaboration with operating networks

There is a great potential for improving the integration of observations across the various international networks engaged in systematic atmospheric long-term observations. International collaboration and establishment of joint procedures and standards is therefore essential to ensure implementation of common strategies for international networks. Further, there is a need to develop cost-efficient monitoring capacity in regions currently inadequately covered. The specific task is to improve comparability of data, work towards more uniform data quality standards, share QA/QC approaches in relation to ACTRIS calibration facilities, increase synergy of measurements and prevent unnecessary duplication and, finally, promote the ACTRIS concept outside Europe. This will be done in the international framework of GAW and GCOS. This includes also the transfer of standards and methodologies to more operational networks (e.g. those covered by the EU Met Services in EUMETNET, EMEP, whenever possible). The second aspect within task 5.4 is to ensure proper representation of ACTRIS and adoption of ACTRIS standards, when applicable, in international initiatives such as COOPEUS, RDA, PEEX, ILEAPS, IGAC, etc.