19 December 2014
AGU Fall Meeting 2014: Day 3
Posted by Jessica Ball
Wednesday was a bit of a break in terms of activities for me. I had the chance to sit down and listen to some talks about multiparameter monitoring at volcanoes (including hearing about Diana Roman’s “BENTO Box” instrument platform, which reminds me of the ‘spiders’ that the USGS uses to get seismometers out to difficult field sites). Several talks also covered ways of combining different data sources (seismic, gas geochemistry, remote sensing, and field surveys) to paint a larger picture about a volcanic system than you might get with one or two alone. I’m a big proponent of this approach, given that as a grad student with a logistically-difficult field site and limited funding, I was forced to use a similar strategy for my research.
I took a brief break from blogging (for reasons I’ll get to in the next post) but did take my obligatory “look at my pretty blog banner” photo.
I also hung out in the exhibits hall and was lucky enough to get to play with the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ excellent 3D modeling system. It’s a hacked Kinect sensor hooked up to a projector suspended over a sandbox, and using the ranging in the sensor, it can project a topographic map and color contours onto any surface you create – in this case a sandbox with ‘topography’ – and then adjust it as you move the sand around. (You can also make it ‘rain’ on the model and fill up the basins and stream channels.) I’ve decided that this is the ultimate in cool toys for geologists this year and I want one, even though I’m not teaching anymore. (I mean, who could resist playing with this?)
In the evening I went to my last social media event, the first-ever Social Media Forum. In past years the Bloggers’ Forum has gotten bigger and bigger, and we’ve been forced to cut short discussions that could have gone on much longer. This year social media got its own forum, and it was exciting to see a table full of the leading lights of the Twitter-sphere. (I also may have caused “Tweetception” by tweeting the photo below of the panelists tweeting about Twitter…) There were some great discussions, and they’re all up (appropriately enough) on Twitter. I’ll have to see about Storifying them if someone hasn’t already done that!
It was a relatively relaxing day, which I needed, because Thursday was my ultimate networking experience. More on that later today!