CBEO History

The CBEO project is funded through the National Science Foundation's 2005 program for '"Cyberinfrastructure for Environmental Observatories: Prototype Systems to Address Cross-Cutting Needs (CEO:P)", the objective of which is to develop and deploy “prototype cyberinfrastructure for environmental observatories," and to thereby “demonstrate viability in order to inform the planning of, and development of, an environmental cyber-infrastructure [CI] for large-scale, environmental observing systems.” Funded under NSF grant #0618986, the Chesapeake Bay Environmental Observatory (CBEO) is a prototype to demonstrate the utility of newly developed CI components for transforming environmental research, education, and management. The CBEO project uses a specific problem of water quality (hypoxia) as means of directly involving users and demonstrating the prototype’s utility.

The CBEO is in fact an outgrowth from an earlier 2004 NSF-funded collaborative research planning grant entitled ""CLEANER: Concept Development Toward a Collaborative Large-Scale Engineering Analysis Network for Environmental Research with Focus on the Chesapeake Bay," which was conducted as a collaborative research project among the Chesapeake Research Consortium's Chesapeake Community Modeling Program, the Johns Hopkins University, the University of Delaware, and the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Sciences. The NSF-sponsored CLEANER program that sponsored this planning grant and some other early "test bed" grants has now been subsumed, along with some the hydrologic observatory programs developed through CUAHSI into a larger effort to motivate and design a within a larger project design a WATer and Environmental Research Systems Network ( WATERS Network). The WATERS Network is under consideration through NSF’s Major Research Equipment and Facilities Construction (MREFC) rubric and is envisioned by its current design teamas "a network of sites, sensors, tools, and people -- an initiative to transform science and engineering of the water environment. ... The purpose of the WATERS Network is to create the infrastructure for modeling and information acquisition to address the core question: How are human pressures and climate trends changing the water cycle, and how can we predict and better manage water availability and quality for future generations and ecosystems?" Through its on-going efforts, the CBEO is helping to inform the WATERS Network design and even making some inroads toward better use of existing data, models, and data-streams in answering important science and engineering questions for the Chesapeake Bay.