Abstract: Assessing stewardship maturity — the current state of how datasets are documented, preserved, stewarded, and made accessible publicly — is a critical step towards meeting U.S. federal regulations, organizational requirements, and user needs. The scientific data stewardship maturity matrix (DSMM), developed in partnership with NOAA’s National Centers of Environmental Information (NCEI) and the Cooperative Institute for Climate and Satellites-North Carolina (CICS-NC), provides a consistent framework for assessing stewardship maturity of individual Earth Science datasets and capturing justifications for transparency. The consolidated stewardship maturity information will allow users and decision-makers to make informed use decisions based on their unique data needs. This DSMM was applied to a widely utilized monthly-land-surface-temperature dataset derived from the Global Historical Climatology Network (GHCN-M). This paper describes the stewardship maturity ratings of GHCN-M version 3 and provides actionable recommendations for improving the maturity of the dataset. The results from the use case study show that an application of DSMM like this one is useful to people who produce or care for digital environmental datasets. Assessments can identify the strengths and weaknesses of an individual dataset or organization’s preservation and stewardship practices, including how information about the dataset is integrated into different systems.