Infrastructure for collaborative science and societal applications in the Columbia River estuary

António M. Baptista, Charles Seaton, Michael P. Wilkin, Sarah F. Riseman, Joseph A. Needoba, David Maier, Paul J. Turner, Tuomas Kärnä, Jesse E. Lopez, Lydie Herfort, V. M. Megler, Craig McNeil, Byron C. Crump, Tawnya D. Peterson, Yvette H. Spitz, Holly M. Simon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


To meet societal needs, modern estuarine science needs to be interdisciplinary and collaborative, combine discovery with hypotheses testing, and be responsive to issues facing both regional and global stakeholders. Such an approach is best conducted with the benefit of data-rich environments, where information from sensors and models is openly accessible within convenient timeframes. Here, we introduce the operational infrastructure of one such data-rich environment, a collaboratory created to support (a) interdisciplinary research in the Columbia River estuary by the multi-institutional team of investigators of the Science and Technology Center for Coastal Margin Observation & Prediction and (b) the integration of scientific knowledge into regional decision making. Core components of the operational infrastructure are an observation network, a modeling system and a cyber-infrastructure, each of which is described. The observation network is anchored on an extensive array of long-term stations, many of them interdisciplinary, and is complemented by on-demand deployment of temporary stations and mobile platforms, often in coordinated field campaigns. The modeling system is based on finiteelement unstructured-grid codes and includes operational and process-oriented simulations of circulation, sediments and ecosystem processes. The flow of information is managed through a dedicated cyber-infrastructure, conversant with regional and national observing systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)659-682
Number of pages24
JournalFrontiers of Earth Science
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2015


  • Columbia River
  • cyber-infrastructure
  • estuaries
  • numerical modeling
  • observations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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