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Virtual Research Environments: creating online collaborative environments to support research in the Earth Sciences and beyond (co-organised with American Geophysical Union)
Convener: Lesley Wyborn  | Co-Conveners: Ben Evans , Helen Glaves 
 / Thu, 12 Apr, 15:30–17:00
 / Attendance Wed, 11 Apr, 15:30–17:00

Virtual Research Environments (VREs)and the underpinning infrastructures are increasingly being developed and deployed to support collaborative research across all domains including the Earth Sciences. VRE’s can support a range of research classes, from a small group of researchers seamlessly investigating secure or distributed data collections, to highly skilled researchers accessing specialised environments that facilitate complex processing workflows on supercomputers. They can also be repurposed for use in teaching classes for undergraduates to school classes of any age.

Widely known as as Virtual Research Environments in Europe; in Australia as Virtual Laboratories, and in the USA as Science Gateways: other terms used include, Virtual Observatories, Co-laboratories, Collaborative Interactive Environments and Analytics Platforms/Engines. All require nationally/internationally coordinated infrastructures to underpin them.

Although many VRE initiatives currently operate in isolation from one another there needs to be greater awareness both between these virtual collaborative environments and with potential users to foster new collaborative opportunities for developing consistent environments and to improve adoption/uptake of successful use-cases.

This session will focus on new and existing virtual collaborative environments including the technologies used; underpinning infrastructures; recognized challenges; and future visions for the evolution of these e-infrastructures.