Newsletter of the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies by pengxuebo

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									                                         Newsletter of the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies
                                         www.strategies.org
                                                                                                                     2011

W      elcome to the 2011 edition of Observe, our annual overview of
       IGES programs and activities. If the events of the past year
      have taught us anything, it’s that environmental information
and a scientifically informed public have never been more important.
 Exhibit A was the Gulf oil              on Earth Observations V, the
                                                                                       Executive Roundtable: Business
                                                                                       Leaders Discuss Improved
                                                                                       Environmental Information with
 spill, which served as a stark          Alliance’s signature event, will              Top U.S. Officials
 reminder of how fragile our coastal     focus on a national strategy for
 waters and lands truly are, and         environmental intelligence.
 how little we know about our            Another major project of ours,
 oceans, especially deep below the       the IGES-led NASA Earth
 surface.                                Science Education and Public
 Meanwhile, record heat in the           Outreach Forum, continues its
 U.S. and Russia, and record             work with other NASA forums to
 snow in the Northeast, domi-            increase the effectiveness and ef-
 nated headlines and took lives, too.    ficiency of NASA’s education and
 Not to mention the catastrophic         public outreach programs.                     Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke (head of
 earthquake in Haiti, extreme flood-     Of course, our annual student                 table) discusses environmental information with
 ing in Pakistan, and the volcanic       contests in art, photography                  U.S. business leaders.




                                                                                       A
 eruption in Iceland that brought        and environmental research
 air traffic in Europe to a halt.
                                                                                              s part of IGES’s mission to
                                         are back again, inspiring the next
 Whatever environmental                  generation of scientists. And our
                                                                                              promote private sector input
 challenges arise in 2011                Earth System Science Education                        and participation in national
 and beyond, it’s clear that             Alliance (ESSEA) program is                   planning and strategy relating to
 information will be of the utmost       poised to make more strides in                environmental information, IGES
 importance—both accurate and            improving geoscience education.               convened the Executive Roundtable on
 comprehensive information about         I hope you’ll enjoy this edi-                 Environmental Information: Meeting
 our changing planet, and informa-       tion of Observe, which not only
 tion that helps promote a scientifi-
                                                                                       the Climate Needs of U.S. Business.
                                         describes our various projects,
 cally literate public better prepared   but also takes a look at why it’s
                                                                                       The roundtable, held Oct. 20, 2010, in
 to make informed decisions.             important that scientists com-                Washington, D.C., brought together
 With the lessons of 2010 in             municate their work to the public,            Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke
 mind, IGES’s Alliance for               and provides handy tips on biking             and NOAA Administrator Jane Lub-
 Earth Observations continues            to work in hot weather.                       chenco with a distinguished group of
 with its mission to ensure credible                                                   business leaders, who collectively com-
 and accessible environmental
 information for improved decision-
                                                                                       municated their interest in improved
                                             Nancy Colleton
 making. This year’s Forum                                                             environmental information and need
                                             IGES President
                                                                                       for the NOAA Climate Service.



           NASA                                   Art Contest                 Alliance                                    ESSEA
           Projects                               Winners                     for Earth                                   Courses for
           page 5                                 page 6                      Observations                                Educators
                                                                              page 9               Earth System Science   page 10
                                                                                                   Education Alliance
                                                                                       Roundtable participants                                                          ment investment in climate,
    ROUNDTABLE MEMBERS
    From left to right in the adjacent photo:
                                                                                     ranged from a former governor,                                                     weather and ocean services to
    Dan Berkenstock
                                                                                                                                                                        create new products and ser-
    Chairman and CEO                                                                                                                                                    vices for global markets.
    Skybox Imaging Inc .
    William H. Hooke
                                                                                                                                                                          A letter to Locke from Jack
    Senior Policy Fellow and Director of                                                                                                                                Cecil, roundtable chair and
     the Policy Program
    American Meteorological Society                                                                                                                                     president of Biltmore Farms,
    Gerald Sehlke                                                                                                                                                       summarized the roundtable
    Former President
    American Water Resources Association;
                                                                                                                                                                        discussion and communicated
    Advisory Scientist                                                                                                                                                  the following key points:
    Idaho National Laboratory
    John F.A.V. “Jack” Cecil
                                                                                                                                                                        l Both Fortune 500 companies
    President                                                                                                                                                              and smaller businesses will
    Biltmore Farms LLC
                                                                                                                                                                           benefit from the credible, ac-
    Nancy Colleton
    President                                                                        to a Microsoft executive, to an                                                       curate and accessible climate
    Institute for Global Environmental Strategies                                    expert on energy and national                                                         information that the NOAA
    George Briggs                                                                    security issues. A wide variety
    Executive Director                                                                                                                                                     Climate Service will provide.
    The North Carolina Arboretum                                                     of sectors vulnerable to climate                                                      This information will help
    The Honorable Gary Locke                                                         change were represented,
    U .S . Secretary of Commerce                                                                                                                                           corporations calculate the
    The Honorable Jim Geringer                                                       including water resources, the                                                        benefits of embracing clean
    Director, Policy & Public Sector Strategies                                      fishing and aquaculture indus-                                                        and renewable energies, and
    ESRI
    Jane Lubchenco
                                                                                     tries, the plants and landscape                                                       will enable improved private-
    NOAA Administrator                                                               sector, residential and com-                                                          sector planning, research
    Peter Gourlay                                                                    mercial building, and national
    President                                                                                                                                                              and decision-making that
    Maryland-Asia Environmental Partnership                                          security.                                                                             will minimize risk, create
    Kimberly T. Nelson                                                                  The interest in improved
    Executive Director, eGovernment
                                                                                                                                                                           jobs and build wealth.
    Microsoft                                                                        environmental information fell                                                     l The design and implementa-
    General Charles “Chuck” F. Wald                                                  into two categories: 1) The need                                                      tion of the NOAA Climate Ser-
    Retired Four Star General, U .S . Air Force;
    Director and Senior Advisor, Aerospace and                                       of companies to have access to                                                        vice must facilitate easy and
     Defense Industry                                                                credible environmental intelli-
    Deloitte Services LP                                                                                                                                                   efficient interaction between
    Jigar Shah                                                                       gence to manage risk effectively                                                      government and the users and
    CEO                                                                              and make informed decisions in                                                        providers of climate informa-
    Carbon War Room
    Bill Dewey                                                                       response to a changing climate;                                                       tion, especially the business
    Public Affairs Manager                                                           and 2) the opportunity for U.S.                                                       leaders and entrepreneurs
    Taylor Shellfish Company Inc .
                                                                                     business to leverage govern-                                                          who stand ready to invest in



       Featured Articles             IGES Helps Develop                                              Alliance for Earth                                                    Stunning Snapshots in 2010
                                     New Web Portal for                                              Observations:                                                         Earth Day Photo Contest  .  .  .  .  .  . p .13
    Inside This Issue of             NASA E/PO Community .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . p .3                 Giving Voice to the                                                   Top Stars: Showcasing
              OBSERVE                NASA Earth and Space                                            Private Sector  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . p .9      Exemplary Use of Hubble
                                     Science Education Activities .  .  .  .  . p .5                 ESSEA: Learn to Teach                                                 in Education  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . p .14
                                     Second-Grader Wins 2010                                         Earth as a System  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . p .10                 Carbon Benefits Project  .  .  .  .  .  .  . p .14
                                     Science/Art Contest  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . p .6          2010 Thacher Winners Show                                             Biking to Work in
                                     Recap: Forum on Earth                                           Power of Geospatial Data  .  .  .  .  . p .11                         Hot Weather .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . p .15
                                     Observations IV  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . p .7     2011 Thacher Environmental                                            Why Should Scientists
                                     Forum on Earth                                                  Research Contest for                                                  Communicate Their
                                     Observations V  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . p .8   Grades 9 –12  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . p .12          Science to the Public?  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . p .16


IGES Observe l 2011 l www.strategies.org                                                                                                                                                                                                     2
           climate-related services and           saves on fuel costs and            mitigation of and adaptation
           utilize them for economic and          makes fuel supply lines less       to climate change; and
           environmental gain.                    vulnerable to attack, and to       supports informed decision-
         l The climate services supply            anticipate the destabilizing       making by a multitude of
           chain begins with observa-             effects of climate change on       business sectors, govern-
           tions. A well-funded satellite         developing countries. As a         ments, and people across the
           and in situ observation pro-           major user of NOAA climate         nation and around the world.
           gram, and adequate comput-             information, DoD should be      l An effective public-private
           ing and data storage capabil-          engaged in the development         partnership is essential to
           ities, are critically important        and implementation of the          creating a NOAA Climate
           to the development of models           NOAA Climate Service.              Service that meets the needs
           that can predict regional-           l Much like the National             of its users and strengthens
           scale climate changes with             Weather Service fuels a            America’s competitiveness.
           greater certainty.                     $1.7 billion private sector     In closing, the letter stated that
         l Climate change is a tremen-            weather services industry,      the roundtable participants
           dous threat to America’s               the NOAA Climate Service        “strongly believe it is time to
           military operations. NOAA              has the potential to spur a     move the discussion of climate
           climate data is increasingly           multi-million dollar, if not    change beyond science to eco-
           used by the Department of              multi-billion dollar, climate   nomics, particularly to that of
           Defense (DoD) to improve               services industry that gener-   U.S. economic prosperity and
           its energy efficiency, which           ates thousands of jobs; aids    job creation.”




                                                  IGES Helps Develop New Web Portal
                                                  for NASA E/PO Community


                                                  I
                                                     GES helped develop and        (SMD) in carrying out educa-
                                                     is playing a key role in      tion and public outreach
                                                     the ongoing evolution of      (E/PO) programs. Program
                                                  a new website facilitating       leaders and team members
                                                  unprecedented interaction        can post announcements
                                                  and collaboration among          and calendar events, share
                                                  the broad and diverse NASA       work in progress, and par-
                                                  education and public outreach    ticipate in discussion groups.
                                                  community.                       Information that may be of
     Top: Marshall Shepherd talks about
     NASA’s role in understanding hurricanes;     Launched in 2010, smdepo.org     broad interest, such as meet-
     Bottom: At a NASA Jet Propulsion             provides resources to assist     ing notes or tips for getting
     Laboratory open house, engineers show
     hardware for planet-hunting telescopes.      those funded by NASA’s           involved in SMD education
                                                  Science Mission Directorate      and public outreach, can be


IGES Observe l 2011 l www.strategies.org                                                                               3
                                                          2009, are working to-       l Geophysical Informa-
                                                          gether and with NASA           tion for Teachers (GIFT)
                                                          to organize SMD educa-         workshops: middle and high
                                                          tion and public outreach       school teachers attended
                                                          into a coordinated effort      the workshops, which were
                                                          that effectively uses          held at the annual AGU Fall
                                                          NASA Earth and space           Meetings in San Francisco.
                                                          science discoveries, ex-       The forums, led by the Earth
                                                          pertise and resources.         science forum, worked
                                                            Recent and planned           together to plan and conduct
                                                          activities of the IGES-        NASA science and education
                                                          led Earth science forum        sessions.
       Ed Maibach, director of George Mason               include:                     l Detailed analysis and
       University’s Center for Climate Change                                            cataloguing of NASA Earth
       Communication, and Heidi Cullen, CEO
                                                 l   Monthly conference calls
       and director of communications for            for community members               science education products
       Climate Central, participate in a panel       to share information and            and projects, and helping
       on climate science communication at the       explore common issues.              to develop an online catalog
       2010 NASA Earth Science Education and
                                                 l   NASA Earth Science Edu-             for finding SMD E/PO infor-
       Public Outreach Community Meeting.
                                                     cation and Public Outreach          mation and resources. The
        accessed without logging into                Community Meeting, May              Earth science forum leads a
        the workspace.                               17–20, 2010, Airlie Center,         cross-forum team working
          The website is a project of                Warrenton, Va.: Over 70             to ensure that analysis and
        the NASA SMD Science Educa-                  NASA and NASA-funded                cataloguing is carried out in
        tion and Public Outreach Fo-                 education and outreach spe-         a consistent manner across
        rums. Each forum—Earth sci-                  cialists attended to discuss        the forums.
        ence, astrophysics, heliophysics             topics of common interest,        l Q&A series appearing on
        and planetary science—has its                plan collaborative activi-          smdepo.org with NASA or
        own workspace on the website                 ties, and learn more about          NASA-funded scientists in-
        for communicating, planning                  some of the latest advances         volved in E/PO. The series is
        and collaborating on activities,             in communications and               intended to encourage other
        projects and resources. There                education.                          scientists to participate in
        are also shared resources that           l   Ongoing series of profes-           E/PO.
        cut across all four forums.                  sional development webi-         “A major area of work for
          IGES leads NASA’s Earth                    nars. Topics include the use     the forums is engaging those
        Science Education and Public                 of social media in E/PO, new     involved in NASA science
        Outreach Forum—the first-ever                NASA education products,         education and public outreach,
        such forum for NASA’s Earth                  and other items and issues of    with the vision of going from
        science division—in partner-                 interest to the community.       300-plus individual activities to
        ship with the Universities               l   Developing an “Earth             a real community of practice,”
        Space Research Association’s                 Scientist E/PO Advocates”        said Theresa Schwerin, IGES
        Lunar Planetary Institute and                group to support scientists      vice president for education.
        NASA’s Goddard Space Flight                  with an interest and talent
        Center. The forums, created in               for E/PO.


IGES Observe l 2011 l www.strategies.org                                                                                  4
                                                  IGES’s Ongoing Work for NASA
                                                  Earth and Space Science Education

                                                  Earth and Space Science                Suscribe to the monthly e-mail
                                                  Education Video Professional           newsletter by sending an e-mail
                                                  Development Portal                     to ese_ed_newslist-subscribe@
                                                  IGES maintains a portal of videos      lists.hq.nasa.gov with “Subscribe”
                                                  for educators that explain, dem-       as the subject.
                                                  onstrate and present NASA Earth        Student and Educator Articles
                                                  and space science educational
                                                                                         on the NASA Portal
                                                  products and science content. The
                                                                                         IGES develops news and feature
                                                  site includes recordings of live
                                                                                         articles for the NASA website.
                                                  events conducted by IGES and by
                                                                                         These articles, geared toward
                                                  other organizations conducting
                                                                                         students and educators of varying
                                                  NASA Earth and space science
                                                                                         grade levels, explain NASA sci-
                                                  teacher professional development.
                                                                                         ence topics and highlight NASA-
                                                  Visit the site at:
                                                                                         supported educational materials,
                                                  http://video.strategies.org
                                                                                         programs and themes in Earth
                                                  NASA Earth and Space Science           and space science.
                                                  Education Product Review                As part of this work, IGES
                                                  IGES manages the peer review of        develops and writes the Earth
                                                  NASA Earth and space science           and Space Science Explorers
                                                  education materials. Panels of         Series, which features teachers
                                                  both scientists and educators          and scientists with a variety of
                                                  (e.g., classroom teachers, college     backgrounds and interests, all
                                                  faculty, NASA teacher trainers,        with a connection to NASA.
                                                  curriculum developers and nation-      Select articles are written in
                                                  al education standards experts)        three different versions, one for
    Top: Screenshot from an IGES-produced         review the products to ensure          each of three reading levels—
    video that tours an online NASA education     they are of high quality and meet      grades K–4, grades 5–8, and
    product.                                      rigorous standards, and to provide     grades 9–12 and up.
    Bottom: Emily Calandrelli, profiled last      feedback to product developers.        All IGES-Produced NASA Articles:
    year in the IGES-produced Earth and           Learn more at:                         http://www.strategies.org/NASA
    Space Science Explorers Series for the        http://nasareviews.strategies.org      articles
    NASA portal, floats during a moment of
    weightlessness on a reduced-gravity flight.   NASA Earth and Space Science           Earth and Space Science
                                                  Education News                         Explorers Series:
                                                  IGES compiles and produces an          http://science.nasa.gov/educators/
                                                  online listing and monthly e-mail      earth-space-explorers
                                                  newsletter detailing upcoming
                                                  educational programs, events,
                                                  opportunities and the latest
                                                  resources from NASA’s Science
                                                  Mission Directorate.
                                                  View the latest entries and archive:
                                                  http://www.smdeponews.org


IGES Observe l 2011 l www.strategies.org                                                                                      5
                                                                Second-Grader Wins 2010
                                                                Science-Art Contest with a Smile



                                                                N
                                                                        early 1,400 chil-
                                                                        dren explored
                                                                        the solar system
                                                                 and beyond—through
                                                                 stories, books,
                                                                 websites, movies and
                                                                 other resources—and
                                                                 then made a picture
                                                                 showing what they
                                                learned as part of the 15th annual
                                                IGES national science-art contest for
                                                                                            and Jerry Huang, a third-grader from
                                                grades 2–4, “My Place in Space!”
                                                                                            Washington state—tied for third place,
                                                The five winning pictures can be
                                                                                            all receiving $50 Visa gift cards.
                                                viewed online at www.strategies.org/
                                                                                               “This is the fourth year my students
                                                ArtContest along with winners from
                                                                                            have participated in this art contest,”
                                                previous contests.
                                                                                            said May Lee, who teaches both Yeh
                                                   “The winning pictures provide a color-
                                                                                            and Huang. “It encourages students
                                                ful insight into how these kids view the
                                                                                            to love science and art, and also gives
                                                universe and their place within it,” said
                                                                                            students a great opportunity to show
                                                Theresa Schwerin, IGES vice president
                                                                                            their talent.”
                                                for education. “The winners really let
                                                                                               Certificates of participation
                                                their imagination run free and showed
                                                                                            were made available to all contest
                                                some impressive artistic skills.”
                                                                                            participants.
                                                   Willy Yeh, a Washington state
                                                                                               “We’re always thrilled to see so many
                                                second-grader, won first place and a
                                                                                            teachers make the art contest an an-
                                                $100 Visa gift card with “We are the
                                                                                            nual activity in their class,” Schwerin
                                                World,” which showed a smiling boy
                                                                                            said. “It’s truly amazing the quality of
                                                with Earth at the center of his body,
                                                                                            artwork students so young can produce.
                                                and his arms and legs connecting to
                                                                                            And it’s gratifying to know they’re learn-
                                                different planets.
                                                                                            ing about the world and universe around
                                                   Alejandro Toledo Navarro, a New
                                                                                            them at the same time.”
                                                Jersey fourth-grader, won second
                                                                                            To view winning entries from all
                                                place and a $75 Visa gift card with
                                                                                            contests, please visit:
                                                “I am Mercury.” His artwork was
                                                                                            http://www.strategies.org/ArtContest
                                                later showcased on the education and
                                                public outreach website for NASA’s
                                                Messenger mission. The Messenger            Check www.strategies.org/ArtContest
    2010 Winning Art                            spacecraft is on its way to becoming          in September for information about
    This column, top to bottom: 1st Place—      the first to orbit Mercury.                        the 2011 IGES Art Contest .
    Willie Yeh; 3rd Place (tie)—Anu Iyer,
    Jerry Huang, and Josette Cruz. Top right:      And three students—Josette Cruz,         Entries are typically due in late October
    2nd Place—Alejandro Toledo Navarro.         a second-grader from New Jersey; Anu                   or early November .
                                                Iyer, a fourth-grader from Virginia;


IGES Observe l 2011 l www.strategies.org                                                                                                 6
                                           O
                                                    rganized by IGES and its       strategies. Only with the most
                                                    Alliance for Earth Ob-         comprehensive and accurate infor-
                                                    servations, the Forum on       mation, he added, can the nation’s
                                           Earth Observations IV—Climate,          assets and resources be success-
                                           Energy & National Security:             fully managed amidst a changing
                                           Meeting the Environmental Infor-        climate.
                                           mation Challenge—held June 9,              West Virginia Congressman
                                           2010, in Washington, D.C., brought      Allan Mollohan followed at the
                                           together those that develop the         podium with remarks about the
                                           tools to monitor the planet with        relationship between public policy
                                           those that need and use the infor-      and science, and the temptation
                                           mation to manage it. With day 51        policymakers face to, as he said,
                                           of the Deepwater Horizon disaster       “ignore science, or suppress science,
     Forum on Earth                        as backdrop, underscoring the           or even deliberately misuse science.”
                                           fragility of our environment and the
     Observations IV                       ripple effects of our decisions, the
                                                                                   As the policymaker of a coal state,
                                                                                   Mollohan said his evaluation of
                                           Forum highlighted the need for sus-     the climate bill, which he ulti-
                                           tained, robust, accurate and openly     mately voted against, had to factor
        Climate, Energy &                  available environmental data.           whether the proposed solution was
        National Security:                    Thomas Armstrong, senior advi-       realistic and whether it would be
           Meeting the                     sor for climate change at the U.S.      effective and regionally equitable.
                                           Department of the Interior (DOI),       He candidly admitted that “the
          Environmental                    kicked off the Forum with a key-        politics of climate change lags the
      Information Challenge                note that provided an overview of       science.”
                                           DOI’s Earth observation activities         Despite his vote, Mollohan
            June 9, 2010                   and the importance of environmen-       acknowledged that “we face critical
                                           tal information for sound decision-     choices on energy and climate—both
                                           making. Armstrong, attending in         will affect our national security
                                           place of DOI Deputy Secretary           for decades to come and both are
                                           David Hayes, who was called away        intimately connected to our economic
                                           at the last moment to testify on        prosperity. While we cannot post-
                                           Capitol Hill regarding Deepwater        pone choices until we have complete
                                           Horizon, highlighted the critical       understanding of climate and energy
                                           importance of maintaining and           technologies, we must have all the
                                           enhancing the health of our ecosys-     information we can get to guide our
                                           tems, both on land and at sea.          decisions—individual, corporate
                                              He stressed that scientific infor-   and governmental.” To that end
                                           mation derived from ground-based,       Mollohan, as chair of the House
                                           aircraft and satellite imagery is       Subcommittee on Commerce, Jus-
                                           vital to the stewardship of our         tice, Science, and Related Agencies,
                                           nation’s lands, and said that DOI       commissioned America’s Climate
                                           will work to ensure the continuous,     Choices, a suite of studies by the
                                           long-term availability of data es-      National Research Council.
                                           sential to supporting U.S. national        Conference participants also
                                           security, national and international    heard from Jigar Shah, CEO of the
                                           global carbon estimates, and cli-       Carbon War Room, and founder and
                                           mate mitigation and adaptation


IGES Observe l 2011 l www.strategies.org                                                                                   7
                                                     Shah argued that the average                     Three panels consisting of high-
                                                     person is not data driven, and                level government officials and
                                                     therefore communicating the facts             industry leaders promoted lively
                                                     in ways that prompt actions with              discussion around the topics of:
                                                     long-term, positive impacts on                l Responding to the Urgency of
                                                     the climate will take time and                   Climate Change—The New
                                                     persistence.                                     Information Demands and the
                                                       Other speakers and panelists                   Melting Arctic;
                                                     included:                                     l Monitoring Carbon; and
                                                     l Sherri Goodman, senior vice                 l Supporting a Broader U.S.
                                                        president, general counsel and                Climate and Energy Strategy.
                                                        board secretary, CNA.                         The Forum was organized by
    Left to right: Monica Medina, NOAA; Nancy        l Jack A. Kaye, Ph.D., associate              IGES and its Alliance for Earth
    Colleton, IGES; Jigar Shah, Carbon War Room.        director for research, Earth               Observations. Sponsors included
        CEO of SunEdison. The Carbon                    Science Division, Science Mis-             the U.S. Geological Survey, Na-
        War Room was co-founded by                      sion Directorate, NASA.                    tional Oceanic and Atmospheric
        British business mogul Richard               l Jim Ludes, Ph.D., executive                 Administration, NASA, Northrop
        Branson, with the goal of harness-              director, American Security                Grumman and Raytheon. Coop-
        ing the power of entrepreneurs                  Project.                                   erating partners included the
        and entrepreneurial thinking to              l Monica Medina, principal dep-               National Council for Science and
        unlock market-driven solutions to               uty undersecretary for Oceans              the Environment, the IUCN Com-
        climate change. One such solution,              and Atmosphere, NOAA.                      mission on Education and Commu-
        as Shah explained, centers around            l Rear Admiral David W. Titley,               nication, the American Security
        a Carbon War Room project that                  oceanographer and navigator of             Project, the American Institute of
        rates the fuel efficiency of ships—             the Navy; director, Task Force             Aeronautics and Astronautics, the
        by choosing to transport goods                  Climate Change, U.S. Navy.                 American Academy of Environ-
        on fuel-efficient ships, companies           l Vouter Weening, co-founder &                mental Engineers, and the Center
        can save millions of dollars on fuel            president, Institute for Environ-          for Strategic and International
        costs that are passed on to them.               mental Security; chair of the              Studies.
           As for the challenge of translat-            IUCN/CEC Specialist Group on               For more information, visit:
        ing climate knowledge to action,                Environmental Security.                    http://www.ForumOnEO4.com



                                                                  The Forum on Earth                      and strategies by which our civil,
                                                                  Observations V, scheduled               defense and commercial programs will
                                                                  for June 14, 2011, at the Hyatt         meet the nation’s priorities, which
                                                                  Regency Washington on Capitol           range from more accurate weather
                                                                  Hill, will focus on creating a na-      and climate models, to more robust
                                                                  tional strategy for environmental       and accessible information for emer-
                                                                  intelligence —actionable information    gency response, to a less vulnerable
                                                                  that enables decision-makers to bet-    and more energy efficient military.
   The Forum On                                                   ter respond to, adapt to and manage     A diverse community of stakehold-
   Earth Observations V                                           the changing planet.                    ers critical to the environmental
   June 14, 2011                                                  The Forum on Earth Observations         information supply chain will share
   Washington DC                                                  is the signature event of IGES’s Al-    their ideas, priorities and potential
                                                                  liance for Earth Observations. This     contributions for creating a cohesive
   Hyatt Regency on
   Capitol Hill                                                   year’s Forum brings together public     and comprehensive national strategy
                                               INSTITUTE                                                  for environmental intelligence.
                      Organized by:
                                               for
                                                GLOBAL            and private sector leaders to discuss
                                                ENVIRONMENTAL     the nation’s growing demand for         www.ForumOnEO5.com
                                                STRATEGIES
                                                                  improved environmental information


IGES Observe l 2011 l www.strategies.org                                                                                                          8
                                                     Alliance for Earth Observations:
                                                     Giving Voice to the Private Sector


                                                   ment; and e-blasts that keep        Director Thomas Karl and other
                                                   its members apprised of perti-      high-level NOAA officials;



        A
                n initiative of IGES, the          nent news and events related      l Co-sponsored IOOS Hill
                Alliance for Earth Observa    to the environment and Earth             Briefing;
                 tions works to ensure the    observations.                          l Moderated or participated on
        rapid and broad delivery of the                                                panels at NCSE’s “The New
        most timely, comprehensive and                                                 Green Economy” conference,
                                                    “The Alliance for Earth
        accurate environmental informa-                                                AAS Goddard Memorial
                                                Observations provides a unique
        tion for improved decision-making.                                             Symposium, “AIAA’s Inside
                                               venue for the Earth observations
        The Alliance:                                                                  Aerospace-Earth Observation
                                               community—industry, academia
                                                                                       Day” and “NOAA Day on the
        l Brings together those that              and other nongovernmental
                                                                                       Hill: Where Science Meets
          develop the tools to monitor the      organizations—to interact with
                                                                                       Service”; and
          planet with those that need and      each other and with federal, state
          use the information to manage it;         and local governments,”          l Co-branded “The Global Clean
                                                 said Steve Moran, director of         Energy Race: Competing in
        l Communicates to the public and
                                              space and environmental mission          Asia’s Renewable Energy Mar-
          decision-makers the importance
                                                    solutions at Raytheon.             ketplace” and “Forum to Honor
          of continued and sustained
                                                                                       Rita Colwell: Addressing the
          monitoring of the planet, and         “Through high-level community
                                                                                       Nexus between Climate Change,
          the best ways to do so; and          forums, off-the-record government
                                                                                       Water and Health.”
        l Educates its members on               meetings, and community white
          important related challenges of     papers and reports, the Alliance has
          the day to which their science      developed and presented consensus
          and technology solutions can be       positions on a number of issues
          applied.                            ranging from administration policy
        Alliance activities include educat-    and pending legislative actions to
        ing policymakers and the public        Earth observation program plans
        on the importance of environ-                and implementation.”
        mental information to climate
        change mitigation and adaptation      Key Alliance accomplishments in
        strategies, national security, and    2010 include:                          Thomas Karl, NOAA climate services
        response to other environmental,                                             transition director, briefs Alliance for
                                              l Convening the Forum on Earth
        economic and societal challenges;                                            Earth Observations members.
                                                Observations IV;
        organizing briefings, meetings and
                                              l Hill briefings with Senate and       For more information about the
        workshops that bring together
                                                House staff;                         Alliance for Earth Observations,
        leaders from the private sector
                                              l Briefings with USGS Executive        please visit:
        and government in the areas of
                                                Director Marcia McNutt, NOAA         http://alliance.strategies.org
        science, space and the environ-
                                                Climate Services Transition


IGES Observe l 2011 l www.strategies.org                                                                                        9
                                Earth System
                                Science Education
                                Alliance


 Atmosphere                 ESSEA: Learn to Teach            than 4,000 teachers have         n SUNSPOTS: Sunspot
                                                             completed an ESSEA course        activity waxes and wanes
                            Earth as a System                since the program’s incep-


                            A
                                                                                              with a maximum occurring,
                                   dust storm from China     tion in 2000.                    on average, every 11 years.
                                   brings an increased          ESSEA participants earn       When sunspot numbers are
                                    risk for asthma          undergraduate or graduate        low, the amount of solar
                            sufferers in the western         credit while learning to         energy reaching Earth is re-
                            United States. Melting polar     teach Earth system science       duced, which could result in
 Biosphere                  ice threatens sea levels         using inquiry-based class-       a temporary cooling effect.
                            high enough to submerge          room methods. Learning              Sample investigations for
                            an island nation along the       modules used in the courses      varying grade levels are
                            equator. And a cyclical          are available to anyone          provided within each mod-
                            decrease in solar energy         through the ESSEA website.       ule, as are links to related
                            can temporarily offset           Each module starts with a        resources and a listing of
                            the warming influence of         scenario (text and images)       national science education
                            greenhouse gases.                that sets the stage for inves-   standards addressed by the
 Lithosphere                   These are just a few          tigation of an Earth science     module. A series of modules
                            examples of how what             topic. Many of the modules       geared toward K–4 teachers
                            happens in one part of the       incorporate problem-based        explore the different parts
                            world or solar system can        learning.                        of the Earth system—air,
                            affect places and people far        New modules are added         land, water and life—from a
                            away, and how interwoven         regularly, including:            general, polar, climate and
                            Earth’s various components       n DUST WORLD: Dust may           oceans perspective.
                            really are. Understanding        be one of the least under-          “Studying Earth and global
 Cryosphere                 the connections among the        stood aspects of Earth’s at-     climate change is similar to
                            planet’s spheres—biosphere,      mosphere. Yet a dust storm       putting together a jigsaw
                            atmosphere, cryosphere, hy-      on one side of the globe can     puzzle. The more we look
                            drosphere and lithosphere—       travel to and affect areas       at the planet in terms of
                            is crucial to preparing          on the opposite side. The        interactions among its differ-
                            today’s students to meet the     impacts on weather, climate      ent components, the better
                            challenges of our complex        and health can range from        we understand how all the
                            and constantly changing          a decrease in hurricanes to      pieces fit together,” said Bob
                            environment.                     increased reports of asthma.     Myers, program manager for
 Hydrosphere
                               The Earth System Science      n SEA LEVEL CHANGE/              ESSEA. “The ESSEA courses
                            Education Alliance—an            COASTAL INUNDATION:              and modules allow teachers
                            IGES initiative sponsored by     More than half of the U.S.       and their students to take
                            NASA, NOAA and the Na-           population lives within 50       a critical look at potential
                            tional Science Foundation—       miles of the coast. Climate      threats to Earth’s health from
                            supports a network of more       change is expected to            a systems perspective, and to
                            than 40 educational institu-     produce differing amounts        grow in the critical thinking
                            tions across the country in      of sea level rise in different   skills needed to become envi-
                            offering a series of semester-   locations around the world,      ronmentally literate citizens.”
                            long, online Earth system        with hard-to-predict conse-      For course offerings, modules
                            science courses for K–12 and     quences for coastal commu-       and additional information:
                            informal educators. More         nities and economies.            http://essea.strategies.org


IGES Observe l 2011 l www.strategies.org                                                                                        10
                                                           2010 Thacher Winners Show
                                                           Power of Geospatial Data

                                                             Petach, from          crucial in solving today’s environ-
                                                          Boulder, Colo.,          mental issues. Multidisciplinary
                                                          earned the compe-        approaches allow us to tackle en-
                                                          tition’s first-place     vironmental issues from multiple
                                                          prize of $2,000          points of view.”
                                                          with a study                The second-place award of
                                                          that used water          $1,000 went to Eric Keen from
                                                          measurements, the        Bethesda, Md. He used satellite
                                                          Global Positioning       imagery and precipitation data
        Tanya Petach, First Place in                      System, and geo-         to investigate whether the al-
        2010 Thacher Contest.              graphic information systems to          tering of topography by moun-


        T
              oo much salt in the blood-   track salinity levels along the         taintop coal mining affects
              stream can raise your        Colorado River and its tributar-        precipitation patterns. Keen is
              blood pressure and strain    ies within Grand Canyon Na-             home-schooled and started the
        vital organs. Similarly, too       tional Park, and to identify the        11th grade in fall 2010.
        much salt in waters used for       most important sources of salt             Akshar Wunnava of Chan-
        irrigation can damage soil and     into the river. She also explored       tilly, Va., earned third place
        destroy plants.                    methods for reducing river salt         and $500 with a study that
                                           concentrations.                         evaluated the relative strength
          The high salinity of the Colo-
        rado River, which causes more         “The rivers of the West              of existing climate models,
        than $300 million in damages       support unique ecosystems,              and created a new model that
        per year according to the U.S.     agricultural development and            combined these strengths in
        Department of Agriculture,         urban needs. I became fascinated        an effort to better predict
        was the focus of Tanya Pe-         with these rivers while hiking          precipitation extremes, which
        tach’s winning entry into the      on the Colorado Plateau as a            are expected to increase in
        2010 Thacher Environmental         young child,” said Petach, who          frequency as a result of climate
        Research Contest. The contest,     entered her senior year in high         change. Wunnava, who entered
        an activity of IGES, awards        school in 2010, and was a 2010          his senior year in high school in
        cash prizes to grades 9–12 stu-    Intel International Science &           2010, finished first in the 2009
        dents whose projects show the      Engineering Fair award win-             Thacher contest.
        best use of satellites and other   ner. “The interaction between              Each of the winning students’
        geospatial technologies or data    field studies, geospatial analysis,     teachers were recognized with a
        to study Earth.                    and laboratory investigations is        $200 Amazon.com gift card.




                                       !
                                                                                 1600 Wilson Blvd ., Ste . 600
                   Sponsor a                Is your company or organization
                                                                                 Arlington, VA 22209
                                            looking for a way to support
                   STUDENT                  science education?                   www.strategies.org
                    CONTEST                 Contact IGES for sponsorship         E-mail: info@strategies.org
                                            opportunities .


IGES Observe l 2011 l www.strategies.org                                                                                 11
                                              2011 Thacher Environmental
                                              Research Contest for Grades 9–12

                                              Entries due by April 11, 2011

                                              third place. Entries can be         Geospatial tools and data
                                              submitted by individuals or       have numerous uses in science
                                              teams. In the case of team        research, ranging from climate
                                              entries, the cash award is        prediction to archaeology. They
                                              split equally among the win-      can be used to improve our un-
                                              ning team members. Winners        derstanding of Earth systems,
                                              are also featured in an online    including interactions within
                                              Encyclopedia of Earth article.    and among the atmosphere,
                                                In addition to the student      biosphere, geosphere and
                                                                                hydrosphere. They also can be


        F
                                              prizes, teachers of the first-,
              rom the massive Gulf            second- and third-place           used to improve the quality of
              oil spill to the continued   students or teams receive a          our lives by supporting weather
              decline of Arctic sea ice,   $200 Amazon.com gift card.           prediction, natural hazards
        satellites and other observing     If participation is part of an       monitoring, agriculture, land-
        instruments proved crucial in      after-school club or other activ-    use planning, coastal manage-
        2010 in monitoring the many        ity independent of school, the       ment, transportation, public
        environmental changes—both         student or team can identify         health, emergency response
        natural and human-induced—         an adult “coach” who would           and other fields.
        occurring on global, regional      be eligible for this award (e.g.,      The Thacher Environmental
        and local scales.                  a parent, club leader, etc.).        Research Contest (formerly
        The 2011 Thacher Environmental     Entries must be received by          the Thacher Scholars Award)
        Research Contest, sponsored by     April 11, 2011, and are judged       was founded in honor of former
        IGES, challenges high school       by IGES staff.                       IGES board member Peter
        students (grades 9–12) to con-        Eligible geospatial tools and     Thacher, who was a leader in
        duct innovative research on our    data include satellite remote        promoting the use of satellite
        changing planet using the lat-     sensing, aerial photography,         remote sensing. During his
        est geospatial tools and data,     geographic information systems       distinguished career, Thacher
        which in recent years have         (GIS) and Global Positioning         served as deputy executive
        become increasingly accessible     System (GPS). The main focus         director of the United Nations
        to the public.                     of the project must be on the        Environment Program, NASA
          The best projects receive        application of the geospatial        advisor and, at the time of his
        cash awards in the amount of       tool(s) or data to study a           death, president of the Earth
        $2,000 for first place, $1,000     problem related to Earth’s           Council Foundation/U.S.
        for second place and $500 for      environment.


                      For more information on the 2011 Thacher Environmental Research Contest,
                                 please visit: http://www.strategies.org/ThacherContest

IGES Observe l 2011 l www.strategies.org                                                                          12
                                                                     Middle Schoolers Snap Stunning
                                                                     Nature Shots in the 2010 IGES
                                                                     Earth Day Photo Contest
                                                                     More than 800 students in grades 5–8
                                                                     took part in a unique national contest to
                                                                     photograph our changing world, in our fourth
                                                                     annual Earth Day Photo & Essay Contest.




                                                Along with their photograph of           Jessica Steinort, a seventh-
                                             something changing in their local        grader from Scarborough, Maine,
                                             environment, middle schoolers            won second place with her picture
                                             submitted an essay answering the         of a road flooded out by a torrent of
                                             following questions:                     water (center left). Steinort wrote:
                                             n What is the change taking place        “This road was changed by the force
                                             in your photograph?                      of nature faster than a running ga-
                                             n What may be causing the change?        zelle, as are many natural disasters.
                                             n Was the change expected?               Hurricanes, tornadoes, tsunamis,
                                             n How might the change impact            these are all this flooded-out road on
                                             surrounding areas, including people?     a massive scale. One change, one ex-
                                                                                      tra inch of snow, one more droplet of
                                             n How might this picture look dif-
                                                                                      water, can change the world forever.
                                             ferent in the future?
                                                                                      Blink and you’ll miss it.”
                                                Entries were judged by IGES staff
                                                                                         Third place went to Andrew
                                             based on relevance to the contest
                                                                                      Broffman, an eighth-grader from
                                             theme (depiction of change in the
                                                                                      East Norwich, N.Y., whose colorful
                                             environment), uniqueness and over-
                                             all appearance of the photo, and         snapshot captured flowering tree
                                             quality of the written explanation.      branches framing a blue sky with
                                                                                      clouds and birds (bottom left).
                                                Martin Serrano, a sixth-grader
                                             from Rye Brook, N.Y., earned first          The top 3 winners received a digi-
                                                                                      tal camera, digital photo frame and


     T
                                             place with his photograph of a yel-
           his was the fourth annual         low jacket building a nest (top left).   digital photo keychain, respectively.
           Earth Day Photo and Essay         “Our environment is constantly chang-    The top 10 (including the top 3)
           Contest held by IGES.             ing in beautiful ways. What we see in    winners received their photograph
     “We’re delighted that so many young     my photograph is a queen yellow jack-    in a commemorative frame.
     students had the chance to discover     et building a nest after having mated
     the value and fun of documenting the    with one or several male wasps,”
     nature and science of our changing                                               To view the winning photos from
                                             reads an excerpt from Serrano’s es-
     planet through photography,” said                                                this year and previous years—and
                                             say. “This yellow jacket will soon lay
     IGES President Nancy Colleton.          eggs and store them separately in the    for information on our 2011 Photo
     “The quality of the entries was truly   small cavities of the sack also shown    Contest (entries due mid-May)—
     remarkable and made it quite chal-      in the photograph. This way every egg    please visit: http://www.strategies.
     lenging to select the winners.”         will have its own cell.”                 org/EarthDayPhoto


IGES Observe l 2011 l www.strategies.org                                                                                       13
        Top Stars: Showcasing                            In July 2010, 14 educators                               Gold Star winners received the
                                                      received “Gold Stars,” awarded                           following prizes (in addition to
        Exemplary Use of Hubble                       to the best of the best—as judged                        previously awarded Top Stars
        in Education                                  by IGES and NASA scientists                              prizes):


        T
              op Stars, a NASA-sponsored              and educators—from the entries                           l An official letter of commenda-
              contest celebrating the 20th            selected as Top Stars during the                            tion from NASA.
              anniversary of Hubble, has              contest’s four rounds of competi-                        l An invitation to present their
        produced a collection of nearly 20            tion. Examples of Gold Star-                                entry to other educators nation-
        award-winning education products.             winning products include:                                   wide using the NASA Digital
        Educators wanting to incorporate              n PLAYGROUND PLANETAR-                                      Learning Network.
        Hubble into formal and informal                   IUM—A curriculum that                                l A pair of IMAX movie tickets to
        settings can download Top Stars                   teaches elementary school stu-                          see “Hubble 3D.”
        activities from the Showcase sec-                 dents about constellations and                       l A “Hubble 3D” movie poster for
        tion of the Top Stars website—                    the myths surrounding them.                             classroom display.
        http://topstars.strategies.org.                   Younger students design and
                                                                                                                 Educators selected as Gold
           The Top Stars contest invited                  create their own planetarium
                                                                                                               Stars were also to be featured in
        U.S. formal and informal educa-                   using a dome-shaped play-
                                                                                                               articles on NASA’s website.
        tors to submit their best examples                ground climber, while older stu-
                                                          dents analyze Hubble images.                           “All of our Gold Star and Top
        of using NASA’s Hubble Space                                                                           Star winners should be extremely
        Telescope in science, technology,             n TWENTY YEARS OF
                                                                                                               proud of their work,” said Bonnie
        engineering or mathematics                        HUBBLE—Middle school
                                                                                                               McClain, NASA Hubble education
        (STEM) education. IGES con-                       students create a timeline of
                                                                                                               plan co-lead. “Educators and stu-
        ducted the contest in cooperation                 Hubble events and discover new
                                                                                                               dents around the world will benefit
        with the Space Telescope Science                  vocabulary using foldable cards.
                                                                                                               from their effective use of Hubble in
        Institute, which manages the                  n THE LIFE AND DEATH OF                                  high-quality education products and
        Hubble Space Telescope for NASA.                  BOB (a.k.a. NGC 6397)—                               activities.”
        Submissions were accepted from                    A slide show and supplemental
        individuals and from teams of up                                                                       For more information, including
                                                          images chronicle the use of Hub-
        to four members. Entries included                                                                      access to all Top Stars activities,
                                                          ble images through a semester-
        any combination of text, graphics,                                                                     please visit:
                                                          long, college-level introductory
        video and photos.                                                                                      http://topstars.strategies.org
                                                          astronomy course.




                         I
                            GES organized the public roll-out            and led by the World Wildlife Fund and Michi-
                            event for the Carbon Benefits Project        gan State University. By combining ground-
         Carbon             (CBP). The program, titled “Unlocking        based measurements with remote sensing
         Benefits            Carbon’s Promise: Breakthroughs in Mea-     technology and statistical analysis, the CBP
                         suring, Monitoring, and Management,” took       will assess the levels of carbon stored through
         Project         place at the World Wildlife Fund headquarters   sustainable land management practices,
                         in Washington, D.C. The CBP is a project of     allowing some of the world’s poorest people to
                         the United Nations Environment Programme,       benefit from carbon sequestration by plugging
                         funded by the Global Environmental Facility,    them into the world carbon market.
                                                                                  David Reed, WWF senior vice president, policy,
                                                                             speaks at the Carbon Benefits Project roll-out event.



IGES Observe l 2011 l www.strategies.org                                                                                                               14
                                               Biking to Work in Hot Weather
                                               John Ensworth
                                               IGES Senior Science Education Specialist

                                               carry off some heat and cause              traffic over your shoulder. Place
                                               sweat to evaporate off your skin (a        an absorbent cloth (or wear a
                                               very efficient way to cool, which is       headband) under the helmet to
                                               why most bicycle clothing is made          combat this. Without the benefit
                                               to wick sweat from your skin). But         of evaporative cooling, you could


        H
               ot weather presents a host      if you have to ride with the breeze,       even overheat on a cool but humid
               of challenges for those of      this won’t help as much.                   morning (again, we see just how
               you who bike to and from           Simply for the sake of visibility,      important evaporative cooling is
        work. But it doesn’t have to stop      you probably already (or certainly         to the body). Slow down and enjoy
        you in your tracks. There are          should) have a light-colored jersey        the ride!
        many things that you can do to         top. Many helmets are light-                  Afternoon heat and humidity can
        make yourself more comfortable         colored as well. Alternatively,            be deadly. If you push too hard,
        while and after you ride in the        you can get a helmet cover with            even slowing down or stopping for
        heat (and sometimes the humidity       a light color, but get one that is         a while may not be enough to cool
        too), besides packing work clothes     very porous, since the air coming          you down. Beware of signs of heat
        and finding a shower at the office     through the helmet will cool you           stroke: chills, dry clammy skin,
        (don’t discount the value of finish-   more than anything else.                   cramps, disorientation, nausea or
        ing with cold water to help you           As for the pants, well, almost          vomiting. If you begin to feel any
        stop perspiring).                      all bicycling shorts are black. And        one of these symptoms, then stop,
        WATER                                  wearing white shorts might look            get in the shade or an air condi-
        Make sure you have plenty of fresh     like underwear… this may be                tioned building, drink lots of water,
        water with you. It won’t increase      one accessory that just needs to           and (if you don’t recover quickly)
        your bicycle weight too much           remain dark.                               call for medical help—always pack
        to have a second water bottle                                                     your cell phone, and personal ID
                                               HUMIDITY
        mounted on the frame or in the                                                    with an emergency contact number
                                               Summer humidity (or the lack of
        bags on the back. If your commute                                                 in case someone else must make a
                                               it) should figure into your comfort
        is longer, consider filling your                                                  call on your behalf.
                                               as much as temperature does. If
        water bottle with just crushed ice.    you are in the desert Southwest,           When it comes down to it, the key
        There will be a cold drink ready       for example, you may get a chill           to bicycling in hot weather is the
        for you within 15 to 20 minutes.       in the cool dry mornings and need          same as it is for riding in rainy or
        Most convenience stores will al-       a light windbreaker, but then              cold conditions or when it’s dark:
        low you to refill your bottle with     have to ride home in air at or over        PREPARATION. Being prepared will
        more crushed ice if you need it.       100F—it may be a dry heat, but             make the difference between an
        LIGHT-COLORED CLOTHING                 it’s still darn hot.                       experience you want to repeat ev-
        Whether you are on or off the bike,       In more humid regions of the            ery day of the year, or something
        the standard advice in the summer      country, actual morning tem-               you quit for seasons at a time. The
        is to wear light-colored clothing.     peratures may not seem overly              hot weather shouldn’t stop you,
        On a 100-degree day, a white car       uncomfortable. But with moderate           but if it taxes you—slow down
        will be around 135F inside while       to high humidity, the sweat you            and smell the flowers!
        a black car could reach 190F           do generate won’t evaporate. That
                                                                                          This is the fourth installment in a
        (source: National Safe Kids Orga-      means clothing can get soaked
                                                                                          series on biking safely and comfortably.
        nization). The advantage cyclists      and water may even pool under
                                                                                          See the first, second and third install-
        have over a car interior is that we    your helmet, potentially releasing
                                                                                          ments in the 2007, 2008–2009, and
        are out in the wind. The air will      into your eyes when you check for
                                                                                          2010 issues of Observe, respectively.


IGES Observe l 2011 l www.strategies.org                                                                                             15
                                               Add in a world where policy ad-           will have a disproportionate role
      Why Should Scientists                 vocates on both sides cherry-pick            in guiding the public opinion of
      Communicate Their                     the science to suit their interests,         science and research, which will
      Science to the Public?                and where the blogosphere has                ultimately have a very negative
                                            blurred the line between news                effect on our ability to conduct
         Dan Stillman
         Science Communications
                                            and opinion, and what you have               meaningful research.”
         Manager, IGES                      is a public being bombarded by a                Rogers notes that scientists
                                            constant and confusing stream                who get involved in education




        M
                                            of climate change news and                   and outreach not only promote a
                 ore and more, the
                                            commentary.                                  more scientifically literate public,
                 answer is because if          This is why organizations such            but also become better scientists.
                 they don’t, someone        as the American Geophysical                      “The ability to explain complex
                 else will.                 Union have, in recent years,                 phenomena to an audience using
           Now, that’s not always a bad     launched campaigns to connect                simple terms and concepts requires
        thing. There are plenty exam-       climate scientists directly with             you to have a comprehensive
        ples—in print, on the Web and on    the media. The AGU’s most                    understanding of the topic at hand,
        TV—of reporters, science writ-      recent effort in this area, which            especially when fielding questions
        ers and bloggers—accurately         ran for two to three months                  from an audience,” Rogers said.
        and objectively communicating       starting in late 2010, involved              “Being able to operate in ‘public’
        the latest science research and     about 700 scientists.                        mode improves your abilities as a
        discoveries.                           It’s also why Matt Rogers, a              scientist to interact professionally
           There are, however, just as      research scientist at Colorado               with other scientists. The extra
        many cases in which science is      State University and education               experience in public speaking and
        miscommunicated, twisted or         and public outreach lead for                 interaction makes for more confi-
        reported out of context, some-      NASA’s CloudSat mission, is                  dent and meaningful professional
        times inadvertently and other       outspoken about the need for sci-            interactions.”
        times intentionally. Exhibit A:     entists to engage with the public               If that’s not motivation enough,
        Climate change.                     about climate change.                        Rogers has one more reason
           Climate change is an inher-          “I’d suggest reading any                 scientists should consider tak-
        ently challenging topic to com-     newspaper publishing letters to the          ing their science directly to the
        municate to the public. First,      editor where writers are expressing          public—the very survival of sci-
        it deals largely (though not ex-    opinions on climate change—the               ence itself.
        clusively) with changes expected    fundamental components of sci-               “Ultimately, an educated public
        to occur far in the future. Such    ence are not being communicated,             who understands the fundamentals
        changes and their consequences      and the level of discourse about             of science will be enthusiastic in
        are naturally more difficult for    science topics in the general public         supporting scientific research, and
        people to grasp than those in the   is shockingly uninformed,” Rogers            will respond to research results in
        here and now, like an approach-     said. “If scientists are not part of         an informed manner,” Rogers said.
        ing heat wave or winter storm.      the discussion, then other parties



                                            About IGES
                                            The Institute for Global Environmental Strategies is a trusted leader in Earth and
                                            space science education, communication and outreach, and in fostering national and
                                            international cooperation in global Earth observations. These efforts—designed to
                                            improve understanding of, and response to, natural and human-induced changes
                                            in the Earth system—require multidisciplinary approaches to complex and critical
               1600 Wilson Blvd.            environmental, economic and societal challenges.
               Suite 600
               Arlington, VA 22209          Located in Arlington, Va., IGES was established in 1994 and is a 501(c)3
                                            nonprofit organization supported by public and private entities.
               www.strategies.org


IGES Observe l 2011 l www.strategies.org                                                                                         16

								
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