Joe Hamman
Oct 29, 2017 · 3 min read

An earlier version of this announcement was first shared as an email to the Pangeo google group on Aug. 31, 2017.

Dear Friends and Colleagues

I am thrilled to share the news that NSF has decided to fund a proposal to support the Pangeo project!

Last December I reached out to you to enquire about interest in a collaborative proposal, and many of you expressed your enthusiasm. After lots of back and forth with managers of different programs, we decided to submit to the EarthCube program, which funds cyberinfrastructure projects related to Earth Science. The specific solicitation we responded to is here. Our project is technically called an “EarthCube integration.” This type of project requires a close link to “Geoscience Use Cases,” i.e. actual science applications. The need to closely intertwine the technical development and the scientific applications determined the structure of our proposal and the makeup of the team.

In the end, we ended up with the following team:

Columbia / Lamont:

National Corporation for Atmospheric Research / Unidata

Anaconda (Formerly Continuum Analytics):

Although many other people were interested in and supportive of this initiative, the proposal team includes people who were actually in a position to formally collaborate on an NSF proposal. This unfortunately excluded lone grad students and postdocs, as well as Stephan Hoyer (creator of xarray) himself. My only regret is that there was no easy way to directly involve the broader Pangeo community; we were constrained by the realities of NSF’s policies. On the upside, we have entrained several new people from Lamont into the project, including some prominent senior scientists who are not yet Xarray users but who recognize the importance of the tools we are building for scientific progress. Their involvement strengthened the “Use Case” aspect of the proposal, and they provide an ideal test case for observing and evaluating the transition of a research group from commercial to open-source scientific software. Please welcome them to our community.

The public details of the awards can be found here, on the NSF website (Columbia, NCAR; Continuum is funded via a subaward through Columbia.) In total, we will receive $1.2M over a three year period. Our goal is to leverage this funding to move forward the goals we have collectively identified through our workshop last year and other ongoing discussions. We plan to conduct all of this work openly and transparently, involving the broader community in every way possible.

I have published the proposal Project Description via figshare under a CC BY 4.0 license on Figshare:

The title of the proposal is “Pangeo: An Open Source Big Data Climate Science Platform.” I encourage anyone interested to browse the proposal and offer your feedback and suggestions. You may share and adapt this document as you wish, but please acknowledge the authors.

We plan to conduct all of our work via the pangeo-data GitHub organization. In particular, we have a new pangeo repo we are using just as an issue tracker and wiki:

Please join in these discussions freely!

I want to sincerely thank everyone who has been part of this initiative so far. Your ideas, enthusiasm, and energy have provided the motivation to get us to this point. I’m so excited about taking Pangeo to the next level!

Originally published at on October 29, 2017.


A community platform for big data geoscience

Joe Hamman

Written by

Computational hydrologist and data scientist @NCAR,



A community platform for big data geoscience

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