Meet a TReNDS Expert: Robert Chen

Written by TReNDS Staff

In the Meet TReNDS series, we introduce you to TReNDS' experts, staff, and friends–leading individuals and organizations in the broader data for development community.

 

Meet...

TReNDS co-chair Robert Chen, Director of CIESIN, Columbia University

About Robert

Robert S. Chen is director of CIESIN, the Center for International Earth Science Information Network, a research unit of the Earth Institute at Columbia University in New York. He manages the Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC), part of NASA’s network of Earth science data centers and a regular member of the World Data System of the International Science Council. Chen co-chairs the Thematic Research Network on Data and Statistics (TReNDS) of the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network, the Data Sharing Working Group of the Group on Earth Observations (GEO), and the Research Data Alliance (RDA)-CODATA Legal Interoperability Interest Group. He served on the UN Secretary-General’s Independent Expert Advisory Group on the Data Revolution for Sustainable Development in 2014. Chen received his Ph.D. in geography from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and holds B.S. and M.S. degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Q&A

TReNDS Staff: In your career, what area of data for development have you primarily focused on?
Robert Chen: I have primarily focused on interdisciplinary geospatial data and applications.

What emerging area of data for development are you most eager to tackle in your own work?
The development of trustworthy, interdisciplinary data services to support decision-making

What emerging area of data for development are you most eager to see addressed by the community at large?
Greater interoperability and usability among different data systems to support data integration and applications

What is the most interesting use of data you've seen?
Multi-state Fleet Response Working Group’s GeoCollaborate, a centralized visualization and access tool for trusted data and information, designed to support decisions about the movement of private sector utility repair fleets and associated resources across state borders in response to disasters. More here: frwg.geocollaborate.com

 
Mapping infrastructure restoration needs in the United States.   Source  : Multi-state Fleet Response Working Group

Mapping infrastructure restoration needs in the United States. Source: Multi-state Fleet Response Working Group

 

What are you most eager to engage in with TReNDS?
The POPGRID Data Collaborative