Tool Time Descriptions

The following hands-on-computers sessions will be offered at the workshop. We invite all participants to bring their own laptops or plan to work together with another person.

Please download and install recommended software prior to the workshop for sessions of interest so that you can participate fully during the session.

Using Google Earth to teach Earth System Science--Sessions 1 and 2, Room C113

Steve Kluge, Fox Lane High School, Bedford, New York

In this session, participants will be introduced to a recently completed manual for educators interested in developing Google Earth based lessons. Designed for use by novice GE users interested in getting a lesson up and running in a short time, it includes suggested lesson topics and types, an interactive lesson planner, and detailed, illustrated instructions for including links and images in placemarks, and for draping images over the land surface. There are also links to useful free software and tips on hosting and linking to images and documents from within your project. Steve will walk you quickly through the manual, and help you get started using some of the advanced features of Google Earth. Participants will also be given the opportunity to explore existing (and editable) Google Earth lessons and tours appropriate to Earth Science/System classes.

Download and install the free Google Earth software before the session begins from

My World GIS--Sessions 2 and 3, Room C211

David Smith, Northwestern University and Betsy Youngman, Phoenix Country Day School

Use My World GIS to explore a critical area of climate change research: glacial melting and its potential impact on the ocean currents. You will explore evidence demonstrating the increased melting of glaciers in Greenland. Observe how the addition of fresh water to the North Atlantic threatens to alter the ocean's salinity in the North Atlantic region. Using up-to-date animations, visualize why the the Oceanic Conveyor Belt in the North Atlantic, where colder, denser water sinks and initiates the conveyor is so important to ocean circulation and climate change. Designed to meet the needs of students and teachers, My World combines the power of a full-featured GIS environment with the support and structure required by novice users in an educational environment.

We will also demonstrate the ability of My World to access data from the Live Access Server at Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory. This is from an EET chapter that is currently under development, Detecting El Nino in Sea Surface Temperature Data

Before the workshop download and install a 45-day trial version of My World.
Additionally, please download the following project files to your desktop for use during the workshop.

Teacher background materials are available for the Greenland Melting lesson.

ESRI ArcGIS--Sessions 1 and 3, Room C115

Jennifer Boehnert, National Center for Atmospheric Research

Environmental Systems Research Institute Inc (ESRI) is one of the nation's leading commercial Geographic Information System (GIS) software companies. In this Tool Time session, participants will explore the use of ArcGIS 9.2 desktop software. GIS is not only a visualization tool but it is a tool for spatial analysis and visual understanding of phenomena and their impacts. Using the latest capability for ArcGIS to directly read netCDF data (common atmospheric data format), we will explore through space and time NOAA's North American Model (NAM) weather forecast. Then we will use output from the Community Climate System Model (generated by NCAR for the 4th Assessment Report of the IPCC) to identify potential areas of permafrost loss, the impacted infrastructure, and its economic cost for the year 2090.

ArcGIS 9.2 60-day evaluation CDs will be available to all participants, please install the software prior to the session. Also please install Service Pack 2 (ArcView 9.2 Evaluation Edition)

Download data for the Tool Time session at

STELLA - Systems Thinking Software for Education & Research-Session 1, Room C211

Sarah Silverberg, University of New Hampshire

The focus of the STELLA tool time session will be on using the free "isee" player to run STELLA models. The isee player is ideal for students because it allows them to explore a model, but not make changes that are vital to how the model runs. Participants will have an opportunity to learn about the range of isee player capabilities and a tutorial which is being designed in both printable and on-screen formats to guide teachers and students through a model for the first time. There will also be plenty of opportunity to explore a forest biomass accumulation model and its associated activities, although these are currently under development at this time. We will also touch on the many other resources available on the isee systems website, including other versions of the STELLA software, already available tutorials, and additional models that are available for classroom use.

There are two free options for running STELLA models and the one you choose will be dependent on what you want to accomplish. For this workshop you will only need the isee player. A 30-day trial version is also available if you would like to make alterations to a model or create your own model in STELLA, but this is not necessary for this workshop. The trial version is a great way to decide if you want to purchase the software, but it does not allow you to save models you have created. Downloads for both versions are available for Mac and PC. For the tool time session, please download the Forest Biomass Model (v2) ( PRIVATE FILE 188kB May11 07).

PSICAT-A graphical tool for documenting stratigraphic columns--Session 2, Room C115

Josh Reed, Iowa State University

PSICAT, the Paleontological Stratigraphic Interval Construction and Analysis Tool, is a cross platform graphical editing tool for creating, viewing, and editing core description diagrams. It provides a drawing environment similar to popular graphics applications like CorelDRAW but is customized to the task of creating core description diagrams. It captures data, e.g. depth, grain size, and lithology, as the user draws and provides advanced visualization, data analysis, and searching capabilities. The data and diagrams captured in PSICAT can be output in multiple formats.

In this tool time session, participants will be introduced to PSICAT and will use it to construct core description diagrams for some example core images. Participants will explore some of the advanced features of PSICAT including outputting their diagrams at various scales and resolutions, integrating external datasets, and extracting the PSICAT data as Excel spreadsheets for further analysis.

PSICAT is freely available from CHRONOS. Participants are encouraged to download and play with the software prior to the session.

NI2k (NASA Image 2000)--Session 1, Room C212

Bill Beaver, Science Approach

Use NASA Image 2000 to ask the question: "Where did the ozone go?"

NASA Image 2000 (NI2k) is an image processing and analysis tool that was developed for the Goddard Space Flight Center's (GSFC's) SEEImage project. Built Java Advanced Imaging libraries, the software is available from NASA GSFC under its open licensing agreement. NI2K is being updated by Aquilent for Science Approach's NIEHS-funded Powers of Inquiry project. The source code and executables will be made available to the public domain in the coming months. Accordingly, the software could be used as a development platform for earth science education projects.

In addition to functions common to image processing programs, NI2k can display pixel intensity, pixel location relative to the image, latitude and longitude values and their corresponding projected coordinates (for geo-coded images only) and provides non-destructive image annotation including text, symbols, lines and polygons. HDF format conversion and display capability is currently being added.

This session will explore the lesson "Where Did the Ozone Go? Exploring the Public Health Implications of a Hole in the Sky." Participants will use NI2k to measure atmospheric ozone levels in density-calibrated satellite images. In addition, they will measure the size and depth of the Antarctic ozone hole and track changes in Antarctic ozone levels and the size of the ozone hole since 1979.

GeoMapApp--Session 3, Room C113

Michael Taber, Colorado College

Monterey Bay, California in GeoMapApp

GeoMapApp is global topography database developed by the Marine Geoscience Data System GeoMapApp uses Java™ systems to integrate topography, maps, and photography. A new OpenGIS Web Feature Service Interface Standard (WFS) is allows for requests of geographical features across the web using platform-independent calls. Users can interact with over 100 data sets, including seismic reflection profiles, geochemical analyses, seismicity, and shipboard measurements. Users may also import their own data from tab separated Excel or Ascii tables. GeoMapApp is freely available for Unix/Linux, Macintosh, and Windows platforms

Participants in the GeoMapApp Tooltime session will explore ocean floor topography, including ridge and subduction zone profiles, as well as explore existing geophysical and new surface datasets.

NEO (NASA Earth Observations)--Sessions 1 and 3, Room C212

David Herring, NASA and Kevin Ward, SSAI

NASA Earth Observations (NEO) dramatically simplifies public access to georeferenced imagery of NASA remote sensing data. NEO targets the unsophisticated, non-traditional data users who are currently underserved by the existing data ordering systems. These users include formal and informal educators, museum and science center personnel, professional communicators, and citizen scientists and amateur Earth observers. This brief tutorial will provide an overview of the system including the current dataset holdings, image processing capabilities, and other features of the site.