Dr. M. Lee Allison, Arizona State Geologist and Director of the Arizona Geological Survey, died on August 16 from a critical head injury incurred over the weekend. Lee was a passionate advocate for geoinformatics and new ways to share, collect, and use information relating to the geosciences, and held leadership roles in geoinformatics projects of national and international significance.
From 2013-2015, Lee served as Co-Chair of the Belmont Forum e-Infrastructure and Data Management Secretariat and Steering Committee during the scoping phase of the project, and at the time of death as PI and Champion of the Belmont Forum e-Infrastructure Coordination, Communication, & Collaboration Office. He was a PI of the Test Governance project for NSF’s EarthCube Initiative from 2013-2016. He was a member of the National Science Foundation’s Advisory Committee for Cyberinfrastructure and the North American member of the OneGeology Board of Directors since 2013. Additionally, he was Chair of the National Data Repositories Working Group and served as Chair of the Geoinformatics Division of the Geological Society of America for the 2014-15 term. He steered the development of the National Geothermal Data System (funded by US Department of Energy) and the US Geoscience Information Network.
As Lee would wish, the work of the eI&DM project will continue to move forward. The Secretariat Coordinating Group (SCG) continues to plan for eI&DM’s robust participation in the upcoming International Data Week in Denver in mid-September, which will include a day-long workshop on 10 September by the leaders of the four Action Themes to refine the eI&DM work program further for the remainder of 2016 and through 2017 and to plan the calls and other activities we have developed. In addition, the Coordination Officer (Bob Samors, AZGS), Data Information Officer (Mark Thorley, NERC) and the other theme leaders have all been appointed; the operations of the eI&DM Secretariat are well underway and will continue without interruption. Project leadership plans to provide a full report on eI&DM’s progress to the Belmont Forum Principals at the Belmont Forum Plenary meeting in Doha in late October, and will report to the GPC and SAB as activities develop.
Thanks to all for the commitment continually shown to the eI&DM project and to the principles of geoinformatics, data sharing, and open science that Lee chanpioned with unflagging enthusiasm and dedication.