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Informatics and GIS Program

Posts Tagged: conferences

White House Launches new Climate Data Initiative...

We are in the lovely Indian Treaty room.And we were there! Kevin and I went to the White House (here is photographic proof.)

The President’s Climate Data Initiative was launched March 18th with the tagline: Empowering America’s Communities to Prepare for the Effects of Climate Change. The initiative is a complex partnership of government, industry, academia and local initatives to get the US ready for climate change. The overall goal of the climate data initiative is "Spark Innovation": release data, articulate challenges, turn data scientists loose.

We saw some very interesting short talks from a range of speakers. Here are some highlights:

Jack Dangermond highlighted the many initiatives that ESRI is pushing to help with climate resilience. Kathyrn Sullivan from NOAA discussed her concept of "Environmental Intelligence", which describes the use of data to create resilience. She says: "NOAA capture 20TB daily, they release 2TB daily. Upon that data stream are built all the climate businesses we have today. What would this industry be like if we release the other 18TB?" Ellen Stofan from NASA talked about new earth observation missions, including satellites for precipitation, soil moisture, CO2, winds, aerosols. She announced another "data driven challenge" called "coastal inundation in your community". Rachel Kyte from the World Bank called their multiple initiatives "Open Data for Resilience". She said that climate change may eradicate the mission of the World Bank, because of its disproportionate impact on poorer communities worldwide. Rebecca More from Google gave us a fantastic overview of the Landsat, climate and topography missions that Google Earth Engine is working on.

Here are some press links:

Posted on Thursday, March 20, 2014 at 12:55 AM
Tags: climate (7), conferences (39), Google Earth (5)

2014 Western Section of the Wildlife Society Meeting wrap-up

I recently attended the 2014 annual meeting of the Western Section of the Wildlife Society in Reno CA. The focus of the conference was on harnessing citizen science toward greater conservation.

I saw some interesting talks in my session (I was clearly the odd-talk-out in a session dominated by animal tracking (I spoke about our SNAMP website evaluation)). For example:

  • Peter Bloom discussed red-tailed hawk movements from banded bird recovery. The birds are banded as juveniles and observed by citizens and scientists. In this way their movements can be mapped: across southern California, across the Pacific flyway, and across the US.
  • Joe Burnett presented on the use of GSM transmitters to track California condor (the largest flying bird in north America) movement patterns. He caught us up on condor recovery and current threats (lead poisoning from foraging on wild game) to condors. He showed some very nice visualizations of wild condor flights between Ventana and the Pinnacles (including some stops for water and dead animal chomping) from the GSM transmitters and Google Earth. 
  • Shannon Rich looked at migration patterns of flammulated owls using light-level geolocators. "What is a flammulated owl”? you say: I will tell you. They are super cute tiny owls, with neat flame-like markings on their face and body. Geolocators are small (~1g) that record ambient light levels during the day, and from timing of sunrise and sunset, you can get latitude and longitude. These are not sending out signals, and you need to recapture the owl to download data. As always, I am stunned by the dedication and time it takes for wildlife biologists to gather their careful data on animal movement.
  • Russ Bryant talked about native honeybee habitat in North Dakota. He talked about the important services that bees give us: 95 agricultural plants benefit from pollination services (estimated at $15b). I did not know that ND is the top honey producer in the US. Colony collapse across the US has been profound. They used INVEST to explore the role of land cover and bee pollination to produce a pollinator habitat index, and a habitat connectivity for areas where bees had been captured. 

In the climate change session, I heard from a range of speakers on practical adaptation strategies, curriculum for climate change education (Whitney Albright), new tools and reports for grassland bird species conservation (Ryan Diguadio), landscape-scale conservation planning for bobcats in the San Diego area (Megan Jennings), and some neat genetics of the SF Bay’s salt marsh harvest mouse (Mark Statham). Also, Curtis Alling talked about local, regional and state climate preparedness planning, and dedicated a slide to Nice!

I also got to catch up briefly with ESPM grads Sarah Sawyer who is now at the Forest Service and Tim Bean, who is thriving at HSU. Alice, he suggested a trip up to Redwood State Park to check out the dark figure of crime in the tall trees. 

Posted on Friday, January 31, 2014 at 12:27 AM
Tags: conferences (39), ecology (12), wildlife (2)

Conference at UCB on Digital Privacy and Surveillance - March 6

Pan-Optics: Perspectives on Digital Privacy and Surveillance

March 6, 10:30 a.m.-4 p.m. 310 Sutardja Dai Hall, Banatao Auditorium

Featured Speakers: Rebecca MacKinnon, Senior Research Fellow, New America Foundation; Trevor Paglen, Artist, Social Scientist, and Author

Advances in drone aircraft, networked cameras, and recent disclosures about the NSA’s international and domestic surveillance activities have stimulated public protests, outrage from activists, and new policy discussions among elected leaders. This symposium will highlight emerging perspectives on visual privacy and consider the state of the art from a variety of disciplines and professions, including technology, journalism, filmmaking and the arts.

Though traditionally considered separate domains, visual and digital surveillance practices are being combined as machine vision, facial recognition and other technologies become more sophisticated and interoperable. Institutional surveillance by semi-autonomous drones and remote cameras, citizen video monitoring, and incessant photo-sharing and tagging on social networks enable perpetual documentation. The same tools can be used for both transparency and repression.

This symposium will bring together scholars and practitioners from a range of disciplines to discuss privacy protections, surveillance methods, and modes of resistance in a digital age. The program will feature two keynote addresses and two panel discussions that will explore emerging surveillance technologies and applications across a range of contexts, and then turn to resistant strategies employed by individuals and organizations in response.

Registration required: $20 General Admission,  $10 Faculty or Staff,  $5 Students

Posted on Tuesday, January 14, 2014 at 3:07 AM

GIS Day 2013 Report: Mulford Hall comes alive in a dark and stormy evening

Discovering the World Through GIS

November 20, 2013 -

UC Berkeley, Mulford Hall

GIS Day provides an international forum for users of geographic information systems (GIS) technology to demonstrate real-world applications that are making a difference in our society.

Berkeley's GIS Day 2013 was held at UC Berkeley's Mulford Hall for the eighth year in a row. This year's event was co-hosted by the Geospatial Innovation Facility (GIF) and GIS Education Center (GISEC) with support from the Bay Area Automated Mapping Association (BAAMA) and American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing NorCal (ASPRS). We had great talks from a number of speakers, including our very own Shufei Lei!

  • Laci Videmsky New California Water Atlas: Building a Digital Public Work: A New California Water Atlas
  • Larry Orman GreenInfo Network Data, Tools and Communication for Public Interest Geospatial
  • Jeanne Jones U.S. Geological Survey Pedestrian Evacuation Analysis for Tsunami Hazards
  • Dennis Klein Boundary Solutions, Inc. Parcel-Level GIS protocol adopted by Mill Valley to guide Sustainable Community Development by posing 3 questions: What’s your Walk, Transit, and Solar
  • Shufei Lei Environmental Science, Policy, and Management, UC Berkeley Measuring learning in adaptive co-management by mapping dialogues using Self-Organizing Map: Sierra Nevada Adaptive Management Project
  • Michelle Koo & Falk Schuetzenmeister Museum of Vertebrate Zoology & Geospatial Innovation Facility, UC Berkeley Place, Space and Time: Rescuing and integrating biological and environmental data in the face of global change
  • Bruce Joffe & Reg Parks GIS Consultants & Santa Rosa Junior College Supporting an Accessible Geodetic Control Network for California

We had over 120 people in Mulford Hall: presenting, listening, learning and networking. Thanks All!

For more information, please see the GIF website. 

Posted on Tuesday, November 26, 2013 at 5:25 PM
Tags: conferences (39)

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