About science & communication
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About science communication

About science & communication

“The publications of scientists concerning their individual work have never been so copious—and so unreadable for anyone but their fellow specialists. This has been a great handicap to science itself, for basic advances in scientific knowledge often spring from the cross fertilization of knowledge from different specialties.”

— Isaac Asimov, 1965


About science communication

What are our goals?

  • To effectively build relationships with our audiences ...

    • There are fish

    • Give people some fish

    • Teach people to fish

    • Equip people to fish

    • Take people fishing

    • … because information is the new currency.

Raise awareness

Educate (Informally)

Educate (Formally)

Enable & Empower

Interact & Facilitate


About science communication

David Herring • 301-614-6219 or 202-358-5703 • [email protected]

Evolving Our Earth-Sun Science EPO Program

• Who are our target audiences?

• Some strategic considerations

• Earth Observatory as case study

• NEO as a future direction

• Ideas for the future


About science communication

Stratified Model of Our Target Audiences

Decision Makers

Sci Policy Leaders

  • Moving up the pyramid, these audience segments decrease in size while increasing in influence

NASA HQ

  • NASA needs better internal communications & synergy, as well as across-agency collaborations

Commercial & Operational

Data User Communities

Public Media

  • Characterize the information needs, wants & expectations of each segment, then tailor our products/programs accordingly

Educators & Students

Underrepresented publics

Museums, Science Centers, and After School & Community-based Programs

  • At ~40 million American adults, the ‘science attentive public’ is a particularly beneficial audience to target

Science Attentive Public, Citizen Scientists

Public Continuum

Science Interested Publics

Residual Public


About science communication

Working Groups Mapped to Audiences

Decision Makers

Sci Policy Leaders

  • Group 1: Inreach / Outreach

    • - Looks at improving internal communications, particularly regarding policy relevance &/or societal applications

NASA HQ

Commercial & Operational

Data User Communities

Group 2: Public Media

Public Media

  • Group 3: Formal Education

    • Targets national & state decisionmakers

    • Emphasis on unique data sets & tools

Educators & Students

Museums, Science Centers, After School, Community-based Programs

Underrepresented publics

  • Group 4: Informal Ed

    • Earth Explorers Institute

    • Earth to Sky

    • Earth Observatory

    • NEO

Science Attentive Public, Citizen Scientists

Public Continuum

Science Interested Publics

Residual Public


About science communication

Our IPY Workshop Goals & Objectives

1. Promote Earth Science literacy among our audiences

2. Increase support for NASA’s Earth Science Enterprise

  • • Convey the importance and uniqueness of NASA Earth science program and its myriad applications among science policy leaders

    3. Develop the next generation of Earth scientists

    4. Learn to communicate (self-evaluate and establish feedback loops)

    • Develop improved communication tools & techniques

    5. Support development of applications with commercial and operational entities

    6. Enable and empower our communications partners (e.g., museums, science centers, media providers)


About science communication

Our EPO Main Messages

  • NASA conducts Earth system science

    • The Earth is a dynamic, interconnected system

    • NASA produces new insights into our changing planet

    • Earth science is important and useful for our future

    • Earth science improves quality of life

    • Earth science is a dynamic profession, done by real people

    • Earth science is a viable career path

    • NASA supports Earth system science education (formal & informal)

  • NASA collects and shares unique data sets

    • NASA observes the whole globe and global changes from the unique perspective of space

    • To understand global change, we need NASA’s ability to provide a global perspective

    • There are limits to our natural resources that we are able to observe


About science communication

Our EPO Main Messages

  • NASA drives new technology development

    • NASA technologies are essential to observing & understanding changes in the Earth’s climate system

    • NASA provides state-of-the-art new remote sensors

    • NASA observes the whole globe and global changes from the unique perspective of outer space

    • To understand global change we need NASA’s ability to provide a global perspective

    • NASA also observes the Earth from aircraft-based and surface-based platforms as well


About science communication

http://neo.sci.gsfc.nasa.gov


About science communication

Kevin Ward • 503-977-2970 • [email protected]

Alex McClung • 301-867-2115 • [email protected]

David Herring • 301-614-6219 or 202-358-5703 • [email protected]

  • GOAL

    • To significantly increase the demand for NASA RS data while dramatically simplifying public access to georeferenced images

  • OBJECTIVES

    • Couple the ability to browse NASA satellite images with the ability to order matching data via a single, integrated gateway

      • Initially, the MODIS data set (Version 1)

      • Ultimately, a representative megaset of EOS data (Version 2)

    • All images georeferenced & downloadable

    • Clickable shopping cart w/ facility for order HDF data from DAACs

    • A gateway that manages users’ expectations, details about images & data, links to software tools, customer support contact info, etc.

    • Scalable so that can also eventually include other missions’ data, model data, and GIS data

      • Version 1 to be published as ‘open source’


About science communication

Who will come to NEO & why?

  • Our target audience is relatively unsophisticated, non-traditional data users

    • Formal & informal educators

    • Museum & science center personnel

    • Professional communicators

    • Citizen sciences & amateur Earth observers

  • Their four main reasons to visit NEO

    • To obtain Earth images for a publication (articles, posters, kiosks, etc.)

    • To obtain and port images over to analytic tools for formal or informal educational lessons (ICE tool, Multi-spec, etc.)

    • To obtain and display images in geospatial browsers that enable data layering (World Wind, ArcGIS, GeoFusion, GoogleEarth, etc.)

    • To browse scenes and then order HDF data with the click of a button


About science communication

Sample Collaborations with Museums

National Museum of Natural History Forces of Change

Tokyo Science Museum “GeoCosmos” (~20-foot spherical TV)


About science communication

Little Expertise with NASA Data


About science communication

Conceptual Overview

Routinely producing, harvesting & indexing of global & regional images

MODIS Discipline Groups’ Science Computing Facilities

MODIS

Rapid Response System

Credit goes to the MODIS discipline groups & MRR Teams doing the “heavy lifting”

N E O

ECHO

GES DAAC

LP DAAC

NSIDC DAAC


About science communication

Initial MODIS Data Products

  • Atmosphere Products

    • • Aerosol optical thickness• Cloud fraction / cloud mask

    • • Fraction of fine aerosol• Cloud particle radius

    • • Water vapor• Cloud optical thickness

  • Ocean Products

    • • Sea surface temperature (day)• Water-leaving radiance

    • • Chlorophyll concentration

  • Land

    • • Land cover classification• Snow & Ice cover

    • • Daily surface reflectance• 8-day albedo

    • • Global fire maps

    • • Land surface temp (day & night time)

    • • Normalized Difference Vegetation Index

    • • Leaf Area Index


About science communication

Image Specs & File Format

  • Spatial resolutions

    • 1 km, 5-minute granules: 1800 x 1800 and 300 x 300 pixels

    • Global-scale products at 0.1 and 1 degree: 3600 x 1800 and 360 x 180

    • Platte Carre is our preferred projection

  • Temporal resolutions

    • 1 day, 8 or 16 days, 1 month

  • File format

    • 8-bit binary number arrays, grayscale for products

    • Natural color is the exception

    • Users have the option of accepting our palettes, or devising their own


About science communication

Compatible with GoogleEarth

  • Screen shot

    • MODIS Level 2 SST over New Zealand

    • Opacity adjusted in GE

    • A good indicator of open compatibility & wide utility of NEO


About science communication

http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov

  • Prototyping began in 1998 with 1.5 FTE and no budget (three people donating their time)

  • First published in April 1999

    • Today, we’ve grown to 6 FTE!

  • Still lacking budget stability

    • We are at risk of losing some or all of this effort from year to year


About science communication

Quantitative Assessments

  • First published Earth Observatory on April 29, 1999

    • In February 2002, the EO & VisEarth were the #1 and #3 most popular Web sites at GSFC, respectively

    • Both sites remain among the Top 5

  • Total unique visits in April 2004: 496,412

    • Total unique visitors in April: 244,332

    • An average of 8,144 unique visitors per day

  • Total amount of data served: 586 GB (19.5 GB per day)

    • An average of 626 global data sets served per day

  • Total subscribers: currently 37,576 (gaining ~9 per day)

    • 1st year: 9,254 (~ 23 per day)

    • 2nd year: ~17,000 (~ 21 per day)

    • 3rd year: 23,940 (~ 19 per day)

    • 4th year: 34,216 (~ 28 per day)

    • 5th year: 37,576 (~9 per day)


About science communication

Quantitative Assessments

(seehttp://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/SurveyResults/)

  • From May 4 - 18, 2004, we surveyed both site subscribers & visitors and received a total of 3,717 (+1,896) responses

• 509 Teachers (14%,+2%)

• 238 Students (6%, -4%)

• 673 Scientists (18%)

• 224 Media Professionals (6%, +2%)

• 94 Legislative Officials (3%)

• 1,979 “None of the above” (53%)


About science communication

2004 Survey Results

  • If you had easy-to-use software and easy access to RS data, would you take up Earth observation as a hobby?

    • Almost two-thirds (63%) said “Yes” and 29% (+2%) said “Maybe”


About science communication

2004 Survey Results: The Public

  • Many people are not aware of NASA’s Earth Science Enterprise

    • 28% of public visitors to Earth Observatory did not know NASA studies the Earth before visiting our site

  • 91% of public visitors said the EO makes them want to learn more about Earth

    • 34% Strongly agree

    • 57% Agree

    • 7% report “no influence”

    • 1% each either “disagree” or “strongly disagree”

The EO makes folks want to learn more.

Strongly disagree

Disagree

No influence

Strongly Agree

7%

34%

57%

Agree


About science communication

2004 Survey Results: Teachers

  • Teacher Feedback (511 respondents, +287)

    • 50% (+13%) were undergraduate or higher, 30% (+3%) were 9 - 12 grades, 13% (-8%) were 6 - 8 grades, 6% (-9%) were K-5

    • 67% (+4%) of respondents teach Earth science or related course(s)

    • Most of our respondents encourage students to visit the EO — 35% (-17%) said “Often,” and 41% (+12%) said “Sometimes”; 11% said “Never”

    • Most of our respondents incorporate materials from the EO into their class- room lessons

      • 29% (-15%) said “Often,” & 43% (+5%) said “Sometimes”; 12% (-2%) said “Never”

Very often

Never

9%

12%

Fairly often

Once or twice

21%

16%

43%

Sometimes


About science communication

2004 Survey Results: Students

  • Student Feedback (239 respondents, +59)

    • 87% (+6%) were undergraduate or higher, 8% were grades 9 - 12 (-5%), and 3% (-2%) were grades 6 - 8

    • Interestingly, 74% (+6%) said their teachers “Never” encouraged them to visit the EO — indicating students are finding it on their own

    • 66% (-3%) of respondents have used the EO as a reference tool when doing schoolwork assignments, while 34% (+3%) have “Never”

Use the EO for schoolwork assignments?

Never

Yes


About science communication

2004 Survey Results: Students

  • Student Feedback (239 respondents, +59)

    • The EO helped 55% of student respondents to consider taking science courses in the future

    • The EO helped 36% of respondents to consider becoming scientists

Considering future science coursework?

Considering becoming a scientist?

Strongly disagree

Strongly agree

Disagree

Disagree

19%

6%

9%

42%

Strongly agree

27%

No influence

Agree

No influence

Agree

55%

36%


About science communication

2004 Survey Results: Scientists

  • Scientists’ Feedback (672 respondents, +325)

    • 83% of respondents not affiliated w/ ESE or EOS; 17% said “Yes”

    • Scientists read popular articles outside their disciplines quite frequently — 16% (-10%) said “Daily,” 12% said “5 to 6 times per week,” 19% said“ 3 to 4 times per week,” and 31% (+4%) said “1 or 2 times per week”

    • 56% (+21%) consider the EO as a viable medium for publication, while only 18% (-10%) said “No”

    • 98% of respondents rated the content in the EO as “Good” or “Very high” quality

      • 2% rated us “Average”

      • One individual rated us “Very low”

Rate the quality of EO content

Average

Very low

Very high

High


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