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UMBC Researchers Receive $1.8 Million Grant to Build a “Toolbox for Global Thinking”
[9/7/2011]--A team of UMBC researchers has received a
to develop an online infrastructure intended to vastly improve how scientists study land change. The new toolbox aims to allow researchers to rapidly share, compare and synthesize local studies and combine them with global datasets of human and environmental variables. A planned social-networking component would also allow researchers to more easily find one another and collaborate.
The simplest description: “A globally relevant Google scholar,” says Erle C. Ellis, the principal investigator on the grant and associate professor of geography and environmental systems at UMBC.
The toolbox, a “Global Collaboration Engine” (GLOBE), will facilitate the growth of land change science, an emerging field of study that is focused on understanding how human use of land affects the terrestrial biosphere, atmosphere and other Earth systems.
, in Ellis’ own words.
The project is highly interdisciplinary, involving environmental, geographic, computer and information scientists at UMBC. Joining Ellis on the research team as co-principal investigators are UMBC researchers Tim Finin, professor of computer science and electrical engineering; Wayne G. Lutters, associate professor of information systems; Tim Oates, associate professor of computer science and electrical engineering; and Penny Rheingans, professor of computer science and electrical engineering and director of the Center for Women and Information Technology.