Earth Surface Processes Institute (ESPIn) 2020: extended registration deadline April 10


ESPIn is a 10-day immersive training experience for 25 graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and/or early career faculty at the CSDMS Integration Facility at the University of Colorado Boulder. ESPIn is designed to allow participants to make advances on critical earth surface processes research questions by teaching cyberinfrastructure skills. ESPIn will offer hands-on training in numerical modeling, best programming practices, open source software development, collaborative coding and version control, Landlab and pymt, high performance computing, and model uncertainty quantification.

Curriculum - a combination of doing and learning:

  • Team projects
  • Open Source Modeling and Model Design
  • Introduction to the Shell
  • Introduction to Version Control with git and GitHub
  • The Anaconda Distribution
  • Basics of Python Programming
  • Existing Models and Toolkits for Modeling Earth Surface Processes
  • Python Programming for ESP Scientists
  • Mapping and GIS functionality and Python
  • Python for Model Developers
  • The Basic Model Interface
  • High-Performance Computing
  • How Good Is My Model?

ESPIn will start with 'big idea' poster presentations of all participants, these will help with forming small teams interested in similar topics. Several days will be dedicated to working in small teams on authentic research, data analysis, and coding projects. Participants can also work on developing and advancing their own research codes. In addition, there will be dedicated time for a local field trip, peer-to-peer networking, and professional development. A mix of experienced scientists, visiting faculty, software engineers, and research computing experts will provide instruction. Get a taste of the more technical skill content being covered by our team by checking out our past and future webinars and lectures. ESPIn will conclude with team presentations on code advances and research outcomes, and set up participants to continue to develop ideas.

Participant costs (enrollment, accommodation based on shared rooms, breakfast and lunch on teaching days) are supported for 20 participants by ESPIn. However, applicants are responsible for the cost of transportation to and from Boulder, Colorado, for dinners, and all other incidental expenses. We have an additional 5 slots open for participants who can fund their own attendance, registration for full summer institute participation is $1250.


  • Irina Overeem
  • Mark Piper
  • Nicole Gasparini
  • Leilani Arthurs
  • Benjamin Campforts
  • Faculty Guest Instructors (TBD)


Please fill out this Google form for application (extended deadline April 10):

Required documents (you have to upload while filling out the Google form):

Motivation letter for attendance (250 words max)
Why are you interested in earth surface process modeling? What research questions are you working on? Does your own research involve models. What experience do you have in numerical modeling and data analysis? What models or programming languages and skills do you already know? What do you want to learn?

Statement about need for support
Please indicate in your letter whether you are applying for stipend/support, and whether you would also attend in case you’d have to pay registration of $1250.

Statement on how your participation contributes to diversity and inclusion (150 words max)
We will select participants to come from diverse disciplinary backgrounds and education/career stages, with slots reserved for underrepresented minorities (racial and ethnic background, gender, sexual orientation, veteran status, first-generation) or those with a track record in advocating for diversity and inclusion. Explain in a sort statement how your participation would increase diversity in earth surface science.

Resume (2p max)
Be sure to list your proficiency with coding and model development

Participants will be selected based on relevance of research interests and goals, diversity of disciplinary backgrounds, career stage, modeling and coding experience.

For questions regarding ESPIn application and general info, contact us at:

Important dates

  • February 7: Application opens
  • April 10: Application deadline
  • May 15: Notification Date
  • 13-21st August: Summer Institute