Mark Schildhauer has been the Director of Computing at NCEAS since its inception in 1995, where he oversees the creation and maintenance of NCEAS’ cyberinfrastructure and technology staff and services, focusing on the scientific computing needs of NCEAS’ associated researchers. His technology research interests are primarily in the areas of informatics, the semantic web, scientific workflows, computer-supported collaborative research, and Open Science, all in the context of facilitating integrative environmental and conservation science.
Mark has been deeply involved developing and participating in many community-based informatics projects while at NCEAS, including the KNB Data Repository Project that developed the ecological metadata language, EML, and the linked Metacat metadata repositories that constitute the Knowledge Network for Biocomplexity or “KNB”; and the SEEK Project— which developed the scientific workflow application, Kepler, and explored how scientific workflows and formal ontologies can create interoperable analytical frameworks that facilitate replicating scientific results, and sharing of both data and code. Mark has been involved in several efforts aimed at developing semantic methods for enriching data interpretability, including the SONet and Semtools projects, where he and his colleagues developed the extensible observation ontology, OBOE, and a semantic annotation architecture that improves data discovery and re-use.
Currently, Mark is contributing to the DataONE Provenance and Measurement Semantics Working Group; the Botanical Information and Ecology Network (BIEN)—which is developing a standardized workflow and informatics engine for the integration of disparate sources of botanical information; the ISEES project developing a strategic plan for a nationally supported Institute for Sustainable Earth and Environmental Software; and the GeoLink project which will advance the use of techniques in Linked Open Data and the Semantic Web to help confederate disparate earth science data resources. He helped organize and instructed in Open Science for Synthesis (OSS), an intensive 3-week training program for early career researchers in the ecological and environmental sciences; and helped coordinate the first Open Science Codefest.
Mark has a Ph.D. in Ecology, Evolutionary, and Marine Biology from the University of California, Santa Barbara; and an A.B. in Biology from Harvard College. He started his career as a quantitative analyst and information technologist on several large-scale, multi-investigator ecological research projects through the 80’s. In the early 90’s he was Technical Coordinator for the Division of Social Sciences at UCSB, deploying servers and networked systems, and consulting on scientific software during a period of explosive growth of the Internet and its use by academicians. In that role he also became familiar with the analytical and informatics needs and practices of a wide variety of researchers outside of his primary area of expertise in ecological field sciences.