Bruce Wilson

Bruce Wilson

Group Leader, Environmental Data Science and Systems
Environmental Sciences Division
Oak Ridge National Laboratory
1 Bethel Valley Road, B-1507
P.O. Box 2008; MS-6407
Oak Ridge, TN 37831-6407
Phone: +1-865-574-6651
Fax: +1-865-574-4665

Current Projects and Roles

  • Group Leader, Environmental Data Science and Systems: This group includes the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Archive, the Carbon Dioxide Information and Analysis Center, and the ORNL Distributed Active Archive Center.
  • Manager, ORNL Distributed Active Archive Center (DAAC) for Biogeochemical Dynamics:  The ORNL DAAC is funded by NASA to archive and distribute "ground truth" measurements from field studies relating to global climate issues.  We also archive models and model results from regional and global climate models, we index data from a number of other related data centers, and we have tools for subsetting some types of data (such as the MODIS Land Products). 
  • Cyberinfrastructure Lead, USA National Phenology Network: Phenology is the study of periodic plant and animal life cycle events and how these are influenced by seasonal and interannual variations in climate. Examples include the timing of leafing and flowering, agricultural crop stages, insect emergence, and animal migration. All of these events are sensitive measures of climatic variation and change, are relatively simple to record and understand, and are vital to both the scientific and public interest.  USA NPN is an emerging network which seeks to collect and combine phenological data from a variety of sources, to provide continental scale data on the changes in ecosystems.
  • Co-Investigator, Discovery, Access, and Delivery of Data for the IPY (DADDI): This International Polar Year (IPY) project is funded by NASA, is a joint effort between four different data centers, and has a mission to create an information gateway for Arctic coastal processes.  We expect that this information gateway and the best practices that are developed  from this work will be used in other IPY data management efforts. 
  • Co-Investigator, Modeling And Simulation Thematic Data Center (MASTDC) for the North American Carbon Program (NACP).  This project is also funded by NASA and its mission is to provide a collection of datasets in standardized units and projections which can then be used by modeling and synthesis researchers in their NACP work.  We will also store model results from these efforts. 
  • Senior Research Associate and Lecturer, University of Tennessee School of Information Sciences.  

Research Interests

  • Environmental and Ecological Informatics, particularly the storage, retrieval, and analysis of data associated with global climate issues.  I'm particularly interested in the data architecture and systems architecture aspects of environmental and ecological informatics problems.
  • Cybersecurity and cyberinfrastructure in open research:  How can we ensure the integrity of our systems and protect the privacy of our customers while still providing open access to data?  What's the best way to structure the cyberinfrastructure for a given set of research problems?
  • Phenology: the study of the timings of annual events in plants and animals
  • Multivariate data analysis, particularly the application of latent variable methods (e.g. Principal Components Regression and Partial Least Squares regression) to scientific problems.
  • The social aspects of data use and re-use.  In particular, I'm interested in ways of encouraging researchers to share their data, ways of creating better cite-ability for datasets, and ways of training students in the creation and maintenance of metadata.


Ph.D., Analytical Chemistry (Chemometrics), University of Washington
Advisor: Professor Bruce Kowalski
B.S. Chemistry & Mathematics, Michigan State University

Professional Memberships and Activities

  • Member, Association for Computing Machinery
  • Member, American Geophysical Union
  • Member, International Chemometrics Society.