Wednesday March 1st: CryoCloud: Accelerating discovery for NASA Cryosphere communities with open cloud infrastructure


Pangeo Showcase Talk by Tasha Snow at Colorado School of Mines
Tasha Snow received her MSc in 2014 from the University of South Florida and her PhD in 2019 from the University of Colorado Boulder. Tasha’s work focuses on how oceans interact with glaciers in Greenland and Antarctica, and she is developing new ways to apply satellite thermal infrared imagery to study these systems. She specializes in remote sensing, machine learning, cloud computing, and open-source science. One of her most exciting projects at the moment is leading the CryoCloud cloud-computing project ( to help usher NASA Cryosphere communities into the cloud and to help build open-source science infrastructure and community best practices.
Science is not composed of isolated groups of practitioners, but is rather an interconnected network of communities of practice, with members who fluidly move between them. Infrastructure for scientific research and collaboration should leverage this structure to make science more productive and inclusive. NASA (along with many other scientific entities) has started to adopt practices consistent with this natural structure of contemporary science. Communities such as Project Jupyter and your own (Pangeo) have pioneered a model for the inclusive, interconnected, and data-intensive practices of the future through cloud-based JupyterHub workflows. However, substantial barriers exist for individual users to make the transition from their local systems to the cloud to accomplish research goals: cloud cost opacity, infrastructure deployment complexity, and a general lack of community awareness and knowledge, among others. We can overcome these barriers by building upon existing cloud-workflow models and creating infrastructure that allows researchers to seamlessly move their workflows wherever they can do their best work. To optimize and expand this cloud-based model, we have established a managed computing platform, called CryoCloud, in partnership with the International Interactive Computing Collaboration (2i2c) team and developed community expertise in using this platform. We draw on the NASA Cryosphere community as a use-case. Specifically, we deploy open-source infrastructure in a cloud environment adapted to the needs of researchers, use this infrastructure to provide cloud and community expert-led hackathon-style training workshops, and work with the experience of these practitioners to advance the development of new and existing open-source tools for collaborative, open-science research. This cycle of interconnected practice, research, and development helps us better understand the evolving needs of researchers working in this manner. Thus we can adapt our tools to facilitate the growth of multi-community infrastructure and build the technical knowledge needed to facilitate NASA’s open-source, interconnected, and science-accelerated vision of the future.

1 Like