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Overview: The global grand challenge posed by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) remains hindered by an incapacity to chart alternative sustainable pathways and analyze tradeoffs and synergies across local- and global-level policies. The urgent need to link global communities of practice on more than a researcher-to-researcher basis calls for a collaborative infrastructure that is not proprietary or excessively complex, and necessitates a strategy to leverage complementary expertise; integrate cross-disciplinary multiscale data and analyses; and systematically address communication, cultural, and procedural barriers. The proposed GLASSNET will be a deep integration across scientific teams and research communities undertaking global analyses in an international network of networks supported by the powerful GeoHub global bridging cyberinfrastructure. Three prominent U.S.-based networks (Global Trade Analysis Project (GTAP), Natural Capital Project (NatCap), and the Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Science Inc (CUAHSI) will partner with five vibrant foreign-based networks: Global Gridded Crop Model Intercomparison (GGCMI), GlobEcon, Inter-Sectoral Impact Model Intercomparison Project (ISIMIP), Global Land Programme (GLP), and Land Use Change Knowledge Integation Network (LUCKINet) to: 1) enable transformative analysis to facilitate decision making for sustainable development; 2) develop diverse human capital for analysis of tradeoffs and synergies among SDGs; and 3) form a network of networks to facilitate integration across research teams to advance knowledge and accelerate innovation towards sustainable pathways for development. GLASSNET will build a shared vision, harmonize data, deploy modeling tools, innovate training for diverse participants, test workflows to analyze tradeoffs and synergies across SDGs, implement sustainability plans, and disseminate network of networks convergence best practices.
Intellectual Merit: As the knowledge base needed to support achieving multiple SDGs currently resides mostly in fragmented form within different disciplines and research communities, GLASSNET network integration will harmonize data and methods to understand and quantify the inherent tradeoffs in SDG’s tied specifically to land and water resources—SDG 1, 2, 6, 12, 13, 14, and 15. To address global to local scale analyses, GLASSNET will bridge data and model results across different spatial scales beginning with piloting data ontologies and harmonizing common data inputs. Downscaling outputs of economic models and aggregating fine-scale economic and ecosystem results will present particular challenges, and our methodologies will represent a specific intellectual contribution to AccelNet. Advances will be co-produced by global scholars from diverse backgrounds, disciplines and nationalities, and the evaluation of network of network participant productivity will generate novel insights into the role of multi-teaming across the diverse participants in effecting research productivity and early career faculty development.
Broader Impacts: GLASSNET network of networks will unlock the global community’s ability to assemble high-quality and spatially explicit land, water, and ecosystem data from all countries; conduct deeper analysis and integration; and collaborate at a global level in assessing public and private returns to national and global investments in the SDG challenge. Comprehensive analysis of efficient, equitable, and sustainable use of land and water resources to achieve multiple SDGs will address a community-recognized grand challenge on a worldwide stage. GLASSNET will deliver transferable best practices to break down barriers to global communication and consensus processes necessary to integrate models, data, spatial scales, tools, disciplines, expertise, and cultures. The GeoHub geospatial cyberplatform will facilitate a wider set of diverse students and researchers access to rich, community-shared, integrated resources. GLASSNET mentoring, learning modules, data, tools, and research experiences for virtual and embedded participation will develop human capital and stimulate intellectual inter-change and convergence including with colleagues in Native American communities via the Geoscience Alliance for broadening Native American participation in the geosciences. Students and early career researchers will gain skills to lead knowledge generation in the inter-connections of human and natural systems from local-to-global scales. GLASSNET will demonstrate evidence-based training and educational innovations, synthesize community policy briefs and papers that engage a broader community of decision makers, and attract new users to a sustainable, global community of practice.
GLP Themes: Telecoupling of land use systems, Land-atmosphere processes, Land governance, Land change trade-offs for ecosystem services and biodiversity , Land management systems, Urban-rural interactions, Land use and conflict
GLP Methods: Co-production and transdisciplinarity, Consumer Preferences, Decision Making, Decision support systems and tools, Decision support tools and approaches, Econometrics, GIS, Institutional Analysis, Integrative Assessments, Interdisciplinary methods, Modelling, Participatory methods, Remote Sensing, Social network analysis, Spatial Analysis, Supply and value chains, Visualization/Scenarios