The Federation of Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP) 2017 theme is Strengthening Ties Between Observations and User Communities. The theme is based on one of the goals in the 2015 - 2020 ESIP Strategic Plan, which provides a framework for the Federation’s activities over the next three years. The 2017 theme will be woven into meeting sessions, collaboration-area activities and community outreach, with the goal of improving dialogue between Earth sciences data producers, distributors and end-users.