Sea-floor Sediments Illuminate 53 Million Years of Climate History

joides_peat1_f…from the National Science Foundation

“The Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) drillship JOIDES Resolution is returning to port in Honolulu this week after a two-month voyage to chart detailed climate history in the equatorial Pacific Ocean. The expedition was the first of two back-to-back voyages of a scientific project called Pacific Equatorial Age Transect (PEAT). It was the first international scientific drilling expedition after the JOIDES Resolution underwent a multi-year transformation into a 21st-century floating science laboratory.”

Lidar Solutions in ArcGIS

pointfileinfomapcolorrampspacingClayton Crawford, Product Engineer in ESRI’s Software Products Group’s 3D Team.   He has been writing a series of posts on the Geoprocessing blog called “Lidar solutions in ArcGIS”.  These posts cover Lidar processing tasks and workflows, and will show how to manage these vast point collections and outline approaches for mining information from them.

Here is a list of topics Clayton plans to cover, with links to the four posts already completed:

CCSM Climate Change Projections Available for Download

globalThe National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR)’s GIS Initiative Climate Change Scenarios GIS data portal is intended to serve a community of GIS users interested in climate change. The free datasets of climate change projections can be viewed on-line and/or downloaded in a common GIS (shapefile) or text file format. Many 2D variables from modeled projected climate are available for the atmosphere and land surface. Climate change projections were generated by the NCAR Community Climate System Model (CCSM) for the 4th Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Earth System Grid: Climate Model Datasets as Community Resources

esgThe Earth System Grid II (ESG) is a research project sponsored by the U.S. DOE Office of Science under the auspices of the Scientific Discovery through Advanced Computing program (SciDAC). The primary goal of ESG is to address the formidable challenges associated with enabling analysis of and knowledge development from global Earth System models. Through a combination of Grid technologies and emerging community technology, distributed federations of supercomputers and large-scale data & analysis servers will provide a seamless and powerful environment that enables the next generation of climate research.

High-resolution, long-duration simulations performed with advanced DOE SciDAC/NCAR climate models will produce tens of petabytes of output. To be useful, this output must be made available to global change impacts researchers nationwide, both at national laboratories and at universities, other research laboratories, and other institutions. To this end, we propose to create a new Earth System Grid, ESG-II – a virtual collaborative environment that links distributed centers, users, models, and data. ESG-II will provide scientists with virtual proximity to the distributed data and resources that they require to perform their research. The creation of this environment will significantly increase the scientific productivity of U.S. climate researchers by turning climate datasets into community resources. In creating ESG-II, we will integrate and extend a range of Grid and collaboratory technologies, including the DODS remote access protocols for environmental data, Globus Toolkit technologies for authentication, resource discovery, and resource access, and Data Grid technologies developed in other projects. We will develop new technologies for (1) creating and operating “filtering servers” capable of performing sophisticated analyses, and (2) delivering results to users. In so doing, we will simultaneously contribute to climate science and advance the state of the art in collaboratory technology. We expect our results to be useful to numerous other DOE projects. The three-year R&D program will be undertaken by a talented and experienced team of computer scientists at five laboratories (ANL, LBNL, LLNL, NCAR, ORNL) and one university (ISI), working in close collaboration with climate scientists at several sites.

Planet Action Panel Discussions Scheduled for 2009 ESRI International User Conference

planetactionlogoPlanet Action is a non-for-profit collaborative initiative launched in June 2007 to encourage the Earth observation and geographic information professionals to help address climate change-related issues. Planet Action was launched by Spot Image, and partners include ESRI, UNESCO, CNES, CRISP, DEFINIENS, DigitalGlobe, ITT, and NSPO.

Planet Action will be holding two panel discussions at the ESRI International User Conference in San Diego, California on Thursday, 16 July 2009.

Session I: 1:30 p.m. to 2:45 p.m.
Session II: 3:15 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Location: Room 32 A

With more than 30 ground station partners, Planet Action is truly an international effort. Come hear from a selection of our 85 grantees from around the world about their on-the-ground projects and how they have made use of their spatial technology grants from Planet Action.

  • Mario Hernandez, UNESCO
  • Peter Ndunda, Green Belt Movement
  • Aurelie Shapiro, WWF
  • Andrew Scanlon, Eco-Institute
  • Rosanna Rivero, Everglades Foundation
  • Pierre Duquesne, Brazil Spot Image
  • Dr. James Sheppard, Center for Reproduction of Endangered Species (CRES)
  • Nancy Briggs, Orangutan Foundation International
  • Birute Galdikas, Orangutan Foundation International
  • Leslie Bolick, Orangutan Foundation International

ESRI UC web site

Planet Action Day: 09 June 2009

r1956_3_logo_paday_170This year Planet Action is celebrating its second anniversary and will be holding the first Planet Action Day conference in Toulouse, France.  We look forward to welcoming all our partners, experts, project leaders, and more.  An exhibition space will showcase projects supported by Planet Action (posters and demos), as well as partners having contributed to the projects.  The evening session will be open to a broader public.

GIS and Citizen Science: Volunteers Needed in Maryland


Patuxent Riverkeeper, with the assistance of its volunteers, strives to provide stewarardship over the Patuxent River watershed. Volunteers can participate in the following programs.

  • Citizen Water Quality Monitoring – In association with the University of Maryland’s Chesapeake Biological Lab and the Morgan State Estuarine Research Center, volunteers are trained and supplied with water quality testing supplies and access to the online data collection system.
  • Patuxent Roughnecks – Hardy outdoors persons are recruited for mapping, hiking, surveying, planning and clearing sections of the Patuxent river. Their goal is to keep water trails open to paddlers. Efforts are coordinated with local landowners. GIS mapping has been improved dramatically by the Riverkeeper efforts.

For more info and online volunteer application:

Tsunami Modeling and GIS


“…boosted by technological advances in computing power, tsunami modeling, GIS, and NOAA’s DART (Deep-ocean Assessment and Reporting of Tsunamis) network, researchers are creating a new set of tsunami inundation maps for coastal California. The maps are based on a computational code that calculates how a tsunami evolves over variable ocean depth and topography (surface shapes and features), and then computes the area that will likely be inundated by the tsunami.

“As part of the mapping project, the Tsunami Research Center at the University of Southern California is also evaluating several potential local and distant tsunami sources to determine which ones are most likely to cause destructive tsunamis in California.”