GLEON CDI – computational thinking to advance lake network science

The GLEON Cyber-enabled Discovery and Innovation (CDI) program, funded by the US National Science Foundation, uses computational thinking to advance lake network science. We view ‘computational thinking’ as tight coupling between advanced methodologies in computer science and ecology that melds rapidly expanding and diverse data sets with novel ecosystem models. Embedding CDI technologies in GLEON not only delivers the power of cyber infrastructure to lake scientists but empowers lake scientists to guide the rapid evolution of those technologies toward their needs. We believe the results will be new technologies that enable new science and a generation of ecologists who better understand the potential of computational thinking and how to realize that potential toward their scientific goals.

Science Applications

GLEON Cyber Infrastructure Ecosystem


  • LakeBase: the repository of limnological, political, economic, and social information about lakes of the world
  • Vega (and Vega tools): the data repository of lake sensor networks
  • Unstructured Data: a web portal for finding environmental, economic, and social information relevant to lakes


  • Open-source numerical model: numerical simulation software that couples lake hydrodynamics and water quality in 1-3 dimensions
  • Model coupling: development of standardized interface between hydrodynamic models and chemical/biological models innovated to suit specific research questions
  • GLEON CDI WORLD MAPProject Specific Innovations: analytical models suited to a particular science question


  • Lake Simulator: A service that packages, forwards, and runs thousands of simulations in a distributed computing environment
  • Condor: Distributed computing management software that supports GLEON computing
The GLEON CDI is funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation