views of policy making. I heard rumors that the state legislature wants to defund the entire Arizona State University, so maybe it was not too successful, but it is something to look into.
DR. RAMAMURTHY: As atmospheric scientists, geoscientists, and geoinformatics people, almost all of the data we produce has societal relevance. It is important not to stop with scientific informatics, but to try to determine a way to interface it with decision-support systems and other kinds of policy tools. In the climate change arena, everyone is focusing on mitigation and adaptation, because it is not just whether the globe is going to be two or four degrees warmer in the next 50 or 100 years, but what it means for the watershed, for agriculture, for urbanization, for coastal communities, and so forth. It is absolutely critical that the scientific information systems and geoinformatics systems can interface with the other tools and other systems. We do not build those systems in my program, but we do think about interfacing with geographic information systems, such as what needs to be extracted from climate-change models to help people talk about what the agricultural picture is going to look like 50 years from now, whether for growing wheat or barley or something else.
DR. GOODMAN: I have a question for the people from the funding agencies. Dr. Hey said “some serious information technology, but nothing research grade.” This is a huge problem. Here is a true story. At a meeting I had yesterday we had an undergraduate researcher who works with a postdoctoral student on a project, who said, “I do not know where we are going to put these data, because we need a couple of terabytes, and the computation facility has a lot of security systems, so they will not let us run the right software,” and so on. I knew that my assistant had some extra money from the division and that she bought a stack of 40 boxes of terabyte drives, so I gave a terabyte drive to each of the researchers, and I solved the problem. The point is that there was an obstacle and that there was no person whose job it was to facilitate that and to make the data usable and streamlined for the future. So my question is, How are we going to pay those people in the future? Where are we going to get those people?
DR. BERMAN: If we think about the impact of digital information—what we need to store, how long we need to store it, how we need to curate it, and how we need to respond to data management policies—the university libraries are reconceptualizing themselves and can step into that role, but they need some help. So the question is, How can we jumpstart the system, so that when universities are thinking about infrastructure costs, they consider the data bill along with the water bill, the liability insurance, and so on?