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18 February 2013
Remote Sensing and Planetary Processes: An Interview with Dr. Alex Hayes
Dr. Alex Hayes is Assistant Professor of Astronomy at Cornell University. Hayes uses spacecraft-based remote sensing to study the properties of planetary surfaces, their interactions with the interior, and if present, atmosphere. Recently, he has focused on studying the coupling of surface, subsurface, and atmospheric processes on Titan and Mars.
12 June 2012
Citizen-scientists answer call for Icelandic volcano ash samples
When Iceland’s Grímsvötn volcano erupted in May 2011, ejecting 0.7 cubic kilometers (0.2 cubic miles) of ash far up into the atmosphere, most of the material headed north to the pole. Computer models predicted the path of the plume, satellites beamed back images, but one researcher turned to a low-tech and inexpensive method of tracking the ash fall – cellophane sticky tape.
20 April 2012
Sadness, frustration, and ultimately admiration surround space shuttle Discovery’s welcome to Smithsonian
On Thursday, I went to the Udvar-Hazy Center to witness Discovery being rolled into the center’s space hangar. There, former U.S. Senator John Glenn, who became the oldest person in space when he launched aboard Discovery in 1998, gave a five-minute speech about the legacy of the space program, praising the ship behind him.
“Space shuttle Discovery is the star with the most extensive record of all the shuttle fleet,” he said, before expressing sadness that the shuttle program had ended, perhaps before its time. As he turned to sit, a man behind me in the audience said quietly, “Godspeed, John Glenn.”
23 March 2012
Tsunami preparedness briefing on Capitol Hill stresses disaster education
A year after the tsunami that devastated the Japanese coastline, the United States still needs to ramp up its tsunami preparedness, experts say. Scientists at a March 21 Capitol Hill briefing in Washington, D.C., stressed the importance of detecting tsunamis before they reach coastlines and educating the public on tsunami dangers.
21 December 2010
Earthquake monitoring with smartphones and websites
Want to contribute to earthquake science? Your smartphone can be an earthquake measuring device. Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley have been developing a smartphone application that uses the phone to measure acceleration during an earthquake and report that data to researchers for processing. Shideh Dashti of the University of California Berkeley reported on initial tests of the system in Fall Meeting’s session S51E: Engaging Citizens In the Collection …
20 December 2010
A constant drumbeat to effectively communicate science to the public
The message came from multiple sources: the AGU Council meeting on Sunday, Monday’s Union lecture presented by Obama’s science advisor John Holdren, Michael Oppenheimer’s Stephen Schneider lecture, the many of the natural hazards presentations including Julia Slingo’s Union lecture, book authors, public speakers, senate staffers. The advice was near-universal: Scientists have an obligation to communicate science clearly and effectively to the public.
17 December 2010
Communicating climate change: How to win over the public
An overflowing room of AGU Fall Meeting attendees learned they must lose their jargon and have a clear message to most effectively communicate about climate change science. The Tuesday workshop, organized by AGU’s Public Information Office, featured author Chris Mooney, climate communications trainer Susan Joy Hassol, and climate researcher and professor Richard Somerville.
16 December 2010
Senate staffer gives tips to stop science from becoming politicized
The NRC’s America’s Climate Choices reports released earlier this year can have a greater impact in Congress if discussion about them were to be elevated to the level of committee hearings, according to Kevin J. Rennert, a staffer on the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. Rennert was one of the speakers in the PA41A: America’s Climate Choices I panel this morning.
In addition, the scientists involved with preparation of these reports need to have one-on-one meetings with senators, Rennert said. “The science has become unbelievably politicized.” However, that “goes away with individual meetings,” he said.
“Seeing” Fall Meeting with New Eyes
Yesterday, as I was leaving my hotel in Union Square I saw a man in the hotel lobby with a red-tipped cane. With some worries about intruding where help was not needed I asked him if there was anything I could do. He said that he wanted to get a cab. I offered my elbow and we left the hotel. I asked where he was going. When he replied, “Moscone,” I realized he was going to the AGU meeting. I said I was too, thinking we might share the cab. Instead we ended up walking, and I had the real pleasure of getting to know Peter Rayner, an atmospheric scientist from Melbourne, Australia.
Getting involved in politics might be easier than you think!
Are you interested in the intersection between science and society? Do you know where to get started? Does it seem too time consuming or challenging? Don’t worry: Getting involved in politics might be easier than you think! AGU hosted a lunch workshop on Tuesday entitled “Communicating with Congress” with past AGU Congressional Science Fellow, Karen Wayland. Karen is currently the climate and energy advisor for the Speaker of the House …