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Designing Synthesized Knowledge of Past Environments (SKOPE)


The National Science Foundation has funded our research team to design and prototype SKOPE  (Synthesized Knowledge of Past Environments), an online research tool that will provide state-of-the-art information about the environment experienced by humans at a given a place and time, past or present. In response to a specific query, SKOPE will extract the latest data from diverse online databases. Using explicit and repeatable procedures, it will process the data to yield a cutting-edge synthesis of environmental information specifically tailored to the user’s request. Initially the tool will be developed for the Southwest US over the last 2000 years, but it will be designed to be readily extended to other places and times.

SKOPE is conceived as a tool that can serve diverse professional and academic communities. For example, planners could use its long-term environmental reconstructions to investigate vulnerabilities in existing infrastructure that are outside the experience provided by the historic record. It could be used by archaeologists examining the social consequences of long-term climate changes, or ecologists investigating long-term changes in biodiversity or ancient species distributions.  More broadly, it empowers investigations that rely on long-term environmental data.

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant Nos. SMA 1439591, SMA 1439603, and SMA 1439516 to Arizona State University, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Washington State University, respectively.

SMA-1439591-Kintigh, SMA-1439516-Kohler, SMA-1439603-Ludaescher

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Project PI(s)

PI: Keith Kintigh (Arizona State); PI: Timothy Kohler (Washington State); PI: Bertram Ludäscher (iSchool at Illinois)
Project Contact: Bertram Ludäscher
Funded by: National Science Foundation
Grant number: SMA-1439603

Research Area(s)

Data Curation
Research and education initiatives focused on challenges associated with the curation and federation of digital collections for long-term distributed use.  Work in this area relates to all parts …

Data-driven Science
Activities in this domain aim to improve information transfer and integration, technology development and sustainability, and collaboration in the practice of science.  Several current cyberinfra…

Project Team


Franz, N. M., Musher, L. J., Brown, J. W., Yu, S., & Ludäscher, B. (2019). Verbalizing phylogenomic conflict: Representation of node congruence across competing reconstructions of the neoavian explosion. PLoS computational biology, 15(2), e1006493.
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Bocinsky, Kyle, Keith Kintigh, Timothy Kohler, Bertram Ludäscher, Ann Kinzig, Carla Van West, Margaret Nelson, Adam Brin, Sarah Oas, Johnathan Rush, Timothy McPhillips, and Yang Cao. Toward effective cyber-infrastructure support of socio-environmental research. Poster presented in organized session, The Robustness and Vulnerability of Food Production and Social Change: An Evaluation of Interdisciplinary Concepts Using Archaeological Data, Models, and Ethnographic Observations. Society for American Archaeology, 80th Annual Meeting, San Francisco, California. 17 April 2015.
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McPhillips, T., Song, T., Kolisnik, T., Aulenbach, S., Belhajjame, K., ... & Ludäscher, B.  (2015, February). YesWorkflow: A User-Oriented Language-Independent Tool for Recovering Workflow Structure, Provenance, and Semantics from Scripts. Paper presented at the 10th International Digital Curation Conference, London, UK.
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Kintigh, K. W., Altschul, J. H., Kinzig, A. P., Limp, W. F., Michener, W. K., Sabloff, J. A., Hackett, E. J., Kohler, T. A., Ludäscher, B., & Lynch, C. A. (2015). Cultural Dynamics, Deep Time, and Data: Planning Cyberinfrastructure Investments for Archaeology. Advances in Archaeological Practice 3(1):1-15. doi:10.7183/2326-3768.3.1.1
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