AWS News Blog

New Amazon Climate Research Grants

Many of my colleagues are focused on projects that lead to a reduction in the environmental impact of our work. Online shopping itself is inherently more environmentally friendly than traditional retailing. Other important initiatives include Frustration-Free Packaging, Environmentally Friendly Packaging, our global Kaizen program, Sustainable Building Design, and a selection of AmazonGreen products. On the AWS side, the US West (Oregon) and AWS GovCloud (US) Regions make use of 100% carbon-free power.

In conjunction with our friends at NASA, we announced the OpenNEX (NASA Earth Exchange) program and the OpenNEX Challenge late last year. OpenNEX is a collection of data sets produced by Earth science satellites (over 32 TB at last count) and a set of virtual labs, lectures, and Amazon Machine Images (AMIs) for those interested in learning about the data and how to process it on AWS. For example, you can learn how to use Python, R or shell scripts to interact with the OpenNEX data, generate a true-color Landsat image, enhance Landsat images with atmospheric corrections, or work with the NEX Downscaled Climate projections (NEXDCP-30).

Amazon Climate Research Grants
We are interested in exploring ways to use computational analysis to drive innovative research in to climate change. In order to help to drive this work forward, we are now calling for proposals for Amazon Climate Research Grants. In early September, we will award grants of free access to supercomputing resources running on the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2).

The grants will provide access to more than fifty million core hours via the EC2 Spot Market. Our goal is to encourage and accelerate research that will result in an improved understanding of the scope and effects of climate change, along with analyses that could suggest potential mitigating actions. Recipients have the opportunity to deliver an update on their progress and to reveal early findings at the AWS re:Invent conference in mid-November.

If you are interested in applying for an Amazon Climate Research Grant, here are some dates to keep in mind:

  • July 29, 2014 – Call for proposals opens.
  • August 29, 2014 – Submissions are due.
  • Early September 2014 – Recipients notified; AWS grants issued.
  • November 2014 – Recipients present initial research and findings at AWS re:Invent.

To learn more or to submit a proposal, please visit the Amazon Climate Change Grants page.

Let’s wrap up this post with a quick look at an AWS HPC success story!

The Globus team at the University of Chicago/Argonne National Lab used an AWS Research grant to create the Galaxy instance and use EC2 Spot instances to run various climate impact models and applications that project irrigation water availability and agricultural production under climate change. You can learn more about this “Science as a Service on AWS” project by taking a peek at the following presentation:

Your Turn
I am looking forward to taking a look at the proposals and to seeing the first results at re:Invent. If you have an interesting and relevant project in mind, I invite you to apply now!.