The National Research Council of Italy (CNR) is a public organization; its duty is to carry out, promote, spread, transfer and improve research activities in the main sectors of knowledge growth and of its applications for the scientific, technological, economic and social development of Italy. To this end, the activities of the organization are divided into several macro areas of interdisciplinary scientific and technological research: biotechnology, medicine, materials, environment and Earth System sciences, information and communications, advanced systems of production, judicial and socio-economic sciences, classical studies and arts. CNR is distributed all over Italy through a network of institutes aiming at promoting a wide diffusion of its competences throughout the national territory and at facilitating contacts and cooperation with local firms and organizations.

The activities of the Department of Earth System Science and Environmental Technologies (CNR-DTA) are carried out by a staff of approximately 1100 people from 29 institutes, supported by approximately other 800 collaborators. CNR-DTA is tackling some of this century's key environmental issues as the Climate Change, Natural Hazards and Sustainability of Natural Resources. CNR-DTA delivers independent research, survey, technologies and knowledge transfer in the Earth and environmental sciences to advance knowledge of the planet as a complex and interacting system. The mission of CNR-DTA is to gather knowledge and predict the behaviour of the Earth system and its resources to help a sustainable future for the planet and its mankind.

The research groups involved in ECOPOTENTIAL represent different Institutes within CNR (ISAC, IIA, IBAF, IDPA, IAC) and include expertise on EO data analysis and interpretation, in-situ ecosystem monitoring data (as leaders of the Italian LTER Network), reconstruction of past ecosystem changes using proxy data (also as coordinators of the ERC Project “Early Human Impact”), ecosystem and climate impact modeling (as leaders of the GEO Ecosystem Task), climate downscaling/upscaling (as leaders of the ECRA CP “Changes in the Hydrological Cycle”) and open-access data distribution web infrastructures (as leaders of the GEO-Discovery and Access Broker of the GEOSS Common Infrastructure, GCI).


Principal investigators:

Antonello Provenzale is the Director of the Institute of Geosciences and Earth Resources (IGG) of the Italian National Research Council. Research interests in Earth System Science, data analysis and interpretation, climate-ecosystem interactions and ecosystem modeling, risks associated with climate change, climate downscaling/upscaling. Golden Badge Award of the European Geophysical Society (EGS) in 1997. Dozor Fellowship of the Ben Gurion University in Beer Sheva (Israel) in 1996. JILA Visiting Fellowship of the University of Colorado, Boulder (USA) in 1997. Member of the Summer Program on Geophysical Fluid Dynamics at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, MA, USA. Invited professor at the Ecole Normale Superieure in Paris in 2005, at the Université Pierre et Marie Curie in Paris in 2008 and 2009. Coordinator of the GEO Ecosystem Task “Global Ecosystem Monitoring”. Coordinator of GEO-GNOME: the GEO Global Network for Observations and information in Mountain Environments. Coordinator of the Collaborative Program “Changes in the Hydrological Cycle” of the European Climate Research Alliance (ECRA). Past coordinator of the Interdisciplinary Working Group “Nonlinear Processes in Geophysics” of the EGS, past Vicepresident for Europe of the “Committee for Mathematical Geophysics” of the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics (IUGG). Node coordinator in EU, ESF and nationally funded projects (the last is FP7 IP ACQWA). Coordinator of the National Project of Interest “NextData” of the Italian Ministry for Education, University and Research. Author of more than 150 papers in the international peer-reviewed scientific literature. Editor of four volumes and two journal issues. Authors of science dissemination books and texts for documentary movies.
He is the coordinator of Ecopotential project.


Palma Blonda is Senior Researcher at CNR-IIA since 1984. Her research activity focuses on multi-source Earth Observation (EO) data segmentation, classification, data fusion, change detection. She developed soft computing techniques and expert knowledge driven approaches. She has coordinated the FP7-SPACE.2010.1.1-04 project titled: BIOdiversity Multi-Source Monitoring System: from Space TO Species (BIO_SOS). Scientific responsible of classification and change detection research activity carried out as Partner within previous European projects: LEWIS-EVG1-CT-2001-00055, focusing on the development of a Landslide Early Warning Integrated System and FP7-ENV-2009-1-244088-FIRESENSE project. She was involved in many national projects supported by the Italian Space Agency (ASI), ENEA, Ministries. Member of IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Society and ESA-EUSC Image Information-Mining Group (IIMG).
Her role in Ecopotential is vice-leader of WP4 (Earth Observation Data Generation and Harmonization).


Stefano Nativi is head of the Florence Division of CNR-IIA. Research interests deals with Earth and space science informatics and interoperability. Member of GEO Infrastructure Implementation Board (IIB) and of the GCI Providers WG of GEOSS, coordinating the development and operation of the GEO DAB. Co-chair of the Science & Technology Committee of GEOSS from 2009 to 2012. Member of the Informatics Task Force (ITF) of the European EU-BON project and of the GEO-BON WG8 (Data Integration and Interoperability). He founded and has been President of the ESSI (Earth & Space Science Informatics) Division of EGU (European Geosciences Union) from 2008 to 2013. He is member of the executive committee of the ESSI Focus Group of AGU (American Geophysics Union). He is member of the “Metadata” Drafting Team of INSPIRE and of the Steering Committee of the “e-infrastructure and Data Management” CRA of the Belmont Forum. He is co-chair of the OGC Earth System Science Domain WG and of the netCDF Standardization WG. He represents the CNR at the Open Data Access WG of Science Europe. He has taught “Systems for land management”, “Information Systems”, “Software Engineering” and “Geoinformation Infrastructure in Earth Observation and Earth System Science” at the Universities of Padua, Florence, and Friedrich Schiller in Jena.
His role in Ecopotential is leader of WP10 (Ecopotential Virtual Laboratory Platform).