[Federal Register Volume 88, Number 73 (Monday, April 17, 2023)]
[Pages 23415-23416]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2023-08029]



A Unified Data Framework for DOE Biological and Environmental 

AGENCY: Office of Biological and Environmental Research (BER), Office 
of Science, Department of Energy (DOE).

ACTION: Request for information.


SUMMARY: The Biological and Environmental Research (BER) Program, as 
DOE's coordinating office for research on biological systems, 
bioenergy, environmental science, and Earth system science, is seeking 
input on the need and the structure of a unified data framework that 
links or integrates existing data activities within BER. Information 
produced in response to this request may be used by the BER Advisory 
Committee (BERAC) to help inform and recommend to BER a strategy for 
next-generation data management and analysis within a unified 

DATES: Written comments and information are requested on or before 
October 31, 2023.

ADDRESSES: Interested persons may submit comments by email only. 
Comments must be sent to [email protected] with the subject line 
``BER unified data''.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Requests for additional information 
may be submitted to Dr. Tristram O. West, (301) 903-5155, 
[email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: A charge was issued from the Director of 
Office of Science on October 13, 2022, to the BER Advisory Committee 
(BERAC) to (1) review the existing and anticipated capabilities in data 
management and supporting infrastructures that are relevant to the 
breadth of BER science and (2) recommend a strategy for next-generation 
data management and analysis within a unified framework. The Director's 
charge letter may be found here: https://science.osti.gov/ber/berac/Reports/Current-BERAC-Charges. Information collected through this 
request for information, in addition to other informational sources, 
may be used by BERAC to recommend strategies to further integrate and 
strengthen BER's data infrastructure in support of BER research. It may 
also be used by the BERAC in fulfilling its October 13, 2022, charge 
from the Director of the Office of Science to recommend a strategy for 
next-generation data management and analysis within a unified 

Request for Information

    The objective of this request for information is to gather current 
and future science questions within BER's mission space that would 
require a more integrated data infrastructure for data access, 
processing, and use spanning more than one research area. Current BER 
research areas are provided online: https://science.osti.gov/ber/Research. Supported research includes Atmospheric Science; Earth and 
Environmental System Modeling; Environmental Science; Bioenergy and 
Bioproducts; and Plant and Microbial Genomics. Current data archives 
and activities that support BER research areas include, but are not 
limited to, ARM https://www.arm.gov/, ESS-DIVE https://ess-dive.lbl.gov/, ESGF https://esgf.llnl.gov/, KBase https://www.kbase.us/
, NMDC https://microbiomedata.org/, MSD-LIVE https://msdlive.org/, and 
JGI https://jgi.doe.gov/.
    Information is specifically requested on how a more unified data 
infrastructure may better facilitate current or future science 
questions, and what components or technologies are needed to develop a 
more unified data infrastructure. Answers or information related, but 
not limited, to the following questions are specifically requested:
    1. Do you conduct research in one of the BER research areas (i.e., 
Atmospheric Science; Earth and Environmental System Modeling; 
Environmental Science; Bioenergy and Bioproducts; or Plant and 
Microbial Genomics) and, if so, which area(s)? Please limit additional 
detail on your area(s) of research interest to a brief paragraph.
    2. What new or existing research areas might benefit from 
improvements in data availability or access across research areas, 
potentially enabling scientific breakthroughs--and why?
    3. What data improvements, including those of accessibility and 
integration, could facilitate new or existing research or scientific 
    a. Are there current data sets that should be linked or integrated 
into existing data infrastructure to facilitate existing or new 
research? If so, which data sets should be so linked or integrated and 
    b. Are there current barriers to accessing or integrating data from 
(a) different DOE sources (e.g., ARM, JGI, ESS-DIVE, MSD-LIVE) or from 
(b) different sources separately maintained by DOE and another Federal 
agency? If so, what are those barriers and how might they be addressed 
to allow for improved data access and integration?
    c. What data infrastructure improvements would best support model-
experiment feedbacks; facilitate data synthesis and analysis for multi-
disciplinary research; and enable application of advanced statistical 
techniques, including artificial intelligence and machine learning? 
Please include a brief explanation as to how each identified 
improvement would support each of these listed tasks.
    d. What current barriers need to be addressed in developing a 
unified infrastructure to promote greater use by a more diverse 
community of users, with a focus on improving diversity, equity, and 
inclusion within data usage and application?
    While the questions provided above can help guide thinking on this 
topic, any input is welcome that may assist BERAC in developing a next-
generation data infrastructure in support of BER mission science. The 
information provided through this request will assist

[[Page 23416]]

in developing specific strategies that the DOE Office of Science may 

Confidential Business Information

    Pursuant to 10 CFR 1004.11, any person submitting information that 
he or she believes to be confidential and exempt by law from public 
disclosure should submit via email two well-marked copies: one copy of 
the document marked ``confidential'' including all the information 
believed to be confidential, and one copy of the document marked ``non-
confidential'' with the information believed to be confidential 
deleted. DOE will make its own determination about the confidential 
status of the information and treat it according to its determination.

Signing Authority

    This document of the Department of Energy was signed on April 3, 
2023, by Asmeret Asefaw Berhe, Director, Office of Science pursuant to 
delegated authority from the Secretary of Energy. The document with the 
original signature and date is maintained by DOE. For administrative 
purposes only, and in compliance with requirements of the Office of the 
Federal Register, the undersigned DOE Federal Register Liaison Officer 
has been authorized to sign and submit the document in electronic 
format for publication, as an official document of the Department of 
Energy. This administrative process in no way alters the legal effect 
of this document upon publication in the Federal Register.

    Signed in Washington, DC, on April 12, 2023.
Treena V. Garrett,
Federal Register Liaison Officer, U.S. Department of Energy.
[FR Doc. 2023-08029 Filed 4-14-23; 8:45 am]