Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature

parcThursday September 10, 2009  4 p.m. – 5 p.m.

David Hammond, Environmental Chemist, GO2 Water, Inc.

George E. Pake Auditorium, PARC, 3333 Coyote Hill Rd, Palo Alto, California, USA

(This presentation is FREE and open to the public.  There is free parking, and the venue is handicapped accessible.  No registration is required.  Seating is on a first come first served basis.)

Biomimicry is an emerging discipline based on the logic that we can look to nature for ideas on how to design better products and processes. Nature’s laboratory of evolution boasts 3.8 billion years of experience, during which the best ideas have persisted and mistakes have been eliminated. Furthermore, nature’s strategies for solving life’s most fundamental challenges are mostly constrained to conditions of ambient temperatures, pressures and chemistries. It would serve us well to pay closer attention to the diverse and wondrous solutions the earth’s many creatures have devised. This talk will present some principles of biomimicry, suggest methods for advancing the field, and share a wide variety of actual case studies.

David Hammond is an environmental chemist with a broad interdisciplinary background in physical, biological and social sciences. He received his M.S. from the Energy & Resources Group and Ph.D. in Agricultural & Environmental Chemistry, both at the University of California, Berkeley, where he specialized in Chemical Ecology–the interaction of plants and animals at the chemical level. While at UC Berkeley he was honored with two Regents Fellowships and the Macy Award for excellence in entomology. He has consulted to private industry concerning cork production, pest management, biological wastewater treatment, sustainability, and biomimetic product design, including work for Nike, IDEO, and Dial.  David founded a non-profit organization in Guatemala that teaches Permaculture to small farmers, has 2 patents for naturally-derived insecticides, has several peer-reviewed publications, and speaks Spanish and Portuguese. He is a founder of GO2 Water, a company that designs ecological wastewater treatment facilities for cities and industry, using engineered natural systems to yield clean water, bioenergy and nutrients. In his free time he enjoys travel, photography, ultimate frisbee, and gardening.

Multi-scale Rendering with Geometry Collapse and a Symbol Knowledge Base

caj…from The Cartographic Journal

“This paper discusses a novel methodology for multi-scale rendering of geographic features depending upon changes in visual scale. The methodology consists of geometry collapse and a symbol knowledge base. Two collapse algorithms are implemented: polygon to point and polygon to line. In particular, we develop a partial collapse algorithm for linear features. A river is represented by lines and polygons depending on the width. To render features with scale changes, a symbol knowledge base is designed to specify scale ranges and symbols for each feature. Finally, a multi-scale rendering tool is developed and applied to the map of Camp Lejune, NC. The symbols in the knowledge base can be accumulated and adapted for various mapping applications.”

HPABM: A Hierarchical Parallel Simulation Framework for Spatially-explicit Agent-based Models

122570989…from Transactions in GIS

“A Hierarchical Parallel simulation framework for spatially-explicit Agent-Based Models (HPABM) is developed to enable computationally intensive agent-based models for the investigation of large-scale geospatial problems. HPABM allows for the utilization of high-performance and parallel computing resources to address computational challenges in agent-based models. Within HPABM, an agent-based model is decomposed into a set of sub-models that function as computational units for parallel computing. Each sub-model is comprised of a sub-set of agents and their spatially-explicit environments. Sub-models are aggregated into a group of super-models that represent computing tasks. HPABM based on the design of super- and sub-models leads to the loose coupling of agent-based models and underlying parallel computing architectures. The utility of HPABM in enabling the development of parallel agent-based models was examined in a case study. Results of computational experiments indicate that HPABM is scalable for developing large-scale agent-based models and, thus, demonstrates efficient support for enhancing the capability of agent-based modeling for large-scale geospatial simulation.”

10th National Conference on Science, Policy, and the Environment: The New Green Economy

NGEConferenceID_clr_stacked copy_HMPGThe National Council for Science and the Environment (NCSE) will be holding the 10th National Conference on Science, Policy, and the Environment: The New Green Economy on 20-22 January, 2010 in the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in the heart of Washington, DC.

NCSE’s national conference engages leading thinkers and doers from a diversity of disciplines, sectors, and perspectives in a structured conversation about the meaning of the green economy and how investment in green education, research, and jobs can help solve both the economic and environmental crises.

Welcoming roughly 1,500 attendees, The New Green Economy will bring together leaders in sustainable business, environmental policymakers, civil society, university faculty, students from across the nation, and educated citizens.

NCSE uses a multi-disciplinary and multi-sectoral approach that engages involved scientists and decisionmakers from a wide range of organizations. Our conferences are highly interactive, including renowned speakers, topical symposia to explore issues in more depth, and breakout sessions to develop (and publish) recommendations on how to advance science and connect it with policy and decision-making.

More information

Lessons of the Chesapeake: Fairfax County Educators Turn Green for Water Quality

…from the Springfield Connection

“The project, still in development, is built on NG FieldScope, a new Web-based mapping, analysis and collaboration tool that engages students as citizen scientists investigating real-world issues. It is part of National Geographic’s effort to bring Web-based geospatial technologies to the classroom. With FieldScope, students are able to see their own experiences and water quality samples in the context of the larger Chesapeake Bay watershed and estuary ecosystems.”

Combining Ontologies to Automatically Generate Temporal Perspectives of Geospatial Domains

cover-medium…from GeoInformatica

“This paper describes an approach for automatically combining geospatial and temporal ontologies such that a geospatial domain can be analyzed over multiple temporal granularities. Terms from a geospatial ontology are combined with terms from a temporal ontology to form cross products that provide an integrated spatiotemporal framework. This framework is multi-granular, highlighting elements from the geospatial ontology at different domain times. We show how pairs of ontologies represented in Protégé can be used as the input for deriving cross products and how the results of this technique can be used as a basis for querying and retrieving new perspectives on geospatial domains. Visualizations of cross product spaces highlight the geospatial–temporal combinations of terms as well as the different relations that link these terms and improve the understanding of the structure of the spatiotemporal framework. Methods for filtering terms from the cross products are also investigated in order to prune the resulting frameworks and remove irrelevant or unnecessary terms.”

An Introduction to Surfaces and Terrains: Podcast

podcast_iconESRI Podcast: In Part 1, Clayton Crawford, a product lead on the ArcGIS 3D Analyst team responsible for terrain datasets, and Colin Childs, an instructor with the ESRI Educational Services division, discuss how surface data is stored and managed in ArcGIS, what a terrain dataset is, and some common uses of terrain datasets. Crawford explains why terrain datasets can be a good solution for ArcGIS 3D Analyst users who work with large amounts of surface data.  In Part 2, Crawford and Childs discuss what a terrain dataset is, how it is created, and what types of data it can manage. Crawford also shares suggestions, best practices, and the typical workflow for creating a new terrain dataset.

Part 1:

  • Listen or download: MP3 [14:24 | 6.61 MB]
  • Read the transcript [PDF]

Part 2:

  • Listen or download: MP3 [19.57 | 9.15 MB]
  • Read the transcript [PDF]

Interactive Workshop on Spatial Technologies for Career & Technical Education

September 11, 2009 in Denver, Colorado

Sponsored by the Colorado Community College System, Colorado Geographic Alliance, and ESRI


Spatial technology is incorporated into many aspects of our work and life. Geographic Information Science involves the use of various cutting-edge computer-aided technologies in areas that include manufacturing, medicine, communications, planning and agriculture. It represents a commercially viable area in which employers require a steady supply of well-qualified practitioners. However, demand for geospatial technicians in the United States is growing faster than the pool of qualified candidates. As a result, there is a growing need for two-year colleges to partner with high schools in designing spatial technology career pathways that lead students through well-planned secondary course sequences and into articulated two-year postsecondary programs. The creation of this secondary-to-postsecondary “pipeline” of students is critical to the success of producing enough qualified technicians to meet industry needs.

In an effort to support and promote the inclusion of geospatial applications in Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs in Colorado, the Colorado Community College System (CCCS), the Colorado Geographic Alliance (COGA) and the Environmental Systems Research Institute, Inc.  (ESRI) will be offering a free one-day interactive Workshop on Spatial Technologies for Career and Technical Education at the Colorado Community College System Lowry Campus in Denver.

CCCS supports secondary and post-secondary CTE programs in the state of Colorado. COGA supports geography education in elementary and secondary schools and is funded by the National Geographic Education Foundation and the Colorado Geographic Education Fund. ESRI is the world leader in GIS, supporting those making daily decisions with GIS in education, business, government and other sectors.

Workshop Information

September 11, 2009, 8 a.m. – 3 p.m., Colorado Community College System
8 a.m. – 12 noon
Lowry IT Building 758, Rooms 138-140
1059 Alton Way, Denver, CO
12 noon – 3 p.m.
Lowry Conference Center, Building 697
1061 Akron Way, Denver CO

(Optional hands-on session to work with GIS – assistance provided
for your GIS-based projects – 3 p.m. – 5 p.m.)

Purpose of the Workshop

  • To inform participants about career opportunities and the growing need for geospatial technicians.
  • To demonstrate, through hands-on activities, interactive lessons that can be used in the classroom
  • To frame opportunities to create new secondary-to-postsecondary programs in geospatial technologies and/or to infuse geospatial instruction into existing technical programs and STEM courses.
  • To provide participants geospatial resources for planning and implementing geospatial education at their institutions.

Who Should Attend?

  • Secondary/Postsecondary CTE Administrators and/or Instructors – learn how to create new secondary and post-secondary programs in spatial technologies or to infuse spatial technologies into existing IT, Communications, Health, Manufacturing and Agriculture programs!
  • Secondary STEM Coordinators/Instructors – learn how to enhance existing science, technology, engineering and math courses!

Registration Instructions

To register online, please visit

Registration deadline is August 31, 2009, and is limited to 50 participants. The workshop is provided free of charge. Participants are responsible for any travel and lodging. Continental breakfast and lunch will be provided the day of the workshop. All registrants will receive a registration confirmation e-mail with an agenda, map, directions and hotel recommendations. Registrants will also be placed on a mailing list to receive additional workshop information and updates.

More Information

Pat Sagrillo
CTE Special Projects Coordinator
Colorado Community College System

Flu Trackers Encourage Patients to Blog About It

washingtonpost…from The Washington Post

“Think you have the flu? In some places, you can now go directly to the Internet and report your symptoms to officials eager to spot outbreaks.

“Say you feel sick, but before you see a doctor you search the Web for information, or blog or Twitter about the flu. Your worries will be detected by companies prowling the Internet for disease trends.

“If you actually come down with the flu, and the doctors want to know who you’ve been in physical contact with, your trusty cellphone could soon tell them.

“And someday, scientists hope, this “infodemiology” might help forecast and track a flu epidemic the way experts monitor the weather. ”