Demo Sessions and Share Fair Abstracts

Presenters, Their Affiliations, and Content for Demo Session and Share Fair at AccessData 2008

Designing and Creating Earth Science Lessons with Google Earth - A Teacher's Manual

Steve Kluge and Drew Patrick of Resources for GeoScience Education

Supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation (EAR-0426260), the authors created and field tested a manual for educators to use in the development of Google Earth (GE) based classroom lessons. Designed to help novice GE users interested in getting a lesson up and running in a short time, it includes suggested lesson types and topics, an interactive lesson planner, and detailed, illustrated instructions for embedding links and images in placemarks, and for draping images (such as maps) over the land surface. There are also links to useful free software, and tips on where and how to host and link to images and documents from within a project. An appendix reviews downloading, installing, and navigating GE. Field testing involved 10 novice GE "developers" invited by the authors and charged with creating a lesson that contained links, images, and overlays in GE. 5 experienced "mentors" selected from a group of educators who had previously contributed to the DLESE sponsored NY State Landscape Regions in Google Earth project were on hand to help the developers if they needed it. After final editing the manual is available on the web and as a .pdf document here:, and printed copies will be available at the workshop, too.

Remote Sensing Data, Tools, and Outreach at University of Alaska

Dr. Rudiger Gens, Remote Sensing Scientist, Alaska Satellite Facility

In this session I will demonstrate 'MapReady' a freely downloadable remote sensing software package generated by us at the Alaska Satellite Facility (ASF). This package accepts data from ASF and other facilities. It can terrain correct, geocode, and save to several common image formats including GeoTIFF. Image and metadata viewing software is included in the package. More information on this tool is available at (this site may be offline)

I will also display selected remote sensing education outreach products supported by the Alaska Space Grant Program and ASF. More information on these products is available at

What's New in NEO?

Kevin Ward & David Herring, NASA GSFC / SSAI and NOAA Climate Program Office

The data collection in NASA Earth Observations (NEO) has been growing so that today there's more climatologically comprehensive listing of data products to help support studies of Earth's climate system. Plans are underway to refine the interface and to add additional analytic functionality. This presentation will briefly describe the current status and future evolutionary directions of NEO.

GeoBrain Online Data Access and Analysis

Meixia Deng and Liping Di, CSISS at George Mason University

GeoBrain, a NASA funded project, builds an online learning and research environment with many cutting-edge capabilities in geospatial data publishing and accessing, information processing and retrieving, and knowledge building and sharing by adopting and developing latest Web services and knowledge management technologies. This demonstration addresses the online data access and analysis capabilities of this unique online environment by introducing the functionalities and usages of the GeoBrain Data Download Web Portal with interoperable, personalized, on-demand data access and services (IPODAS) and the GeoBrain Online Analysis System (GeOnAS). The GeoBrain online learning and research environment is freely available to worldwide users and has great potentials to make impacts and differences to the global geoscience higher education.

Use of Color in Data Visualization

Robert Simmon of SSAI/NASA GSFC

Color selection in data visualization is not merely an aesthetic choice, it is a crucial tool to convey quantitative information. Properly selected colors convey the underlying data accurately, in contrast to many color schemes commonly used in visualization that distort relationships between data values. Judicious use of color also allows multiple datasets to be layered together, which helps to create graphics that tell stories of cause and effect. I will explain theories of color use in visualization, and show methods for selecting effective color palettes.

Why is My World being developed and what can be done with it

Colleen Buzby & David Smith, NU and GLOBE

GLOBE's Earth System Science Project: Watershed Dynamics The Watershed Dynamics project presents a new set of educational materials addressing water resource availability. Where does your water come from? Do you always have enough or is the supply limited where you live? What factors affect the quantity and seasonal availability of the water where you live? As part of the ESSP Initiative, the Watershed Dynamics project offers students the opportunity to conduct investigations of watershed behavior for local, regional, and national scales, using scientific meteorological and hydrological datasets. Students investigate the inter-relationships between precipitation, evaporation and surface runoff using My World GIS, a geographic information system (GIS) specifically designed for educational use. Emphasis is placed on water availability in different regions of the country and how these variables change throughout the year.

Introduction to NODC and WOD

2 posters: Sheri Phillips, NODC Marine Data Stewardship; Daphne Johnson, NODC Ocean Climate Laboratory and World Data Center A for Oceanography

An introduction to various data and services provided by the National Oceanographic Data Center and the NODC Ocean Climate Lab.

Data servers running at Asia-Pacific Data-Research Center

Yingshuo Shen, Sharon DeCarlo, Jim Potemra and Peter Hacker

Our mission is to increase understanding of climate variability in the Asia-Pacific region by developing the computational, data management, and networking infrastructure necessary to make data resources readily accessible and usable to researchers and general users; and by undertaking data-intensive research activities that will both advance knowledge and lead to improvements in data preparation and data products. Varies servers (TDS, GDS and Dapper/Dchart) and accessing our data products through these servers will be demonstrated during the session.

Visualization on an Interactive Sphere: Layered Data through Celestia

Eric J. Pyle, Dept. of Geology & Environmental Science at James Madison University

Earth science education has not always benefited from the revolution in instructional technologies, compared with other science disciplines. Many sources of geoscience data, however, rely heavily on visual data or descriptions of quantitative data that can be visualized. The display of such data, especially the multiple layers these data often posses, can be problematic in an interactive, customizable manner. Fortunately, an open-source software package called Celestia is available that can be adjusted to various classroom settings, allowing for the creation of add-ons to show these multiple layers of materials, spatial relationships, and time. This presentation will share the customization of Celestia, looking at (a) Earth through different geologic, oceanographic, and atmospheric lenses; (b) the Earth through time, including plate position reconstructions and suggestions for paleoclimate reconstructions; and (c) transposition of similar ! ! measurements and data sources to other planetary objects, suggesting the complexity of their geology. Directions for lesson design, image manipulation, scripting, mission simulation, and virtual laboratory exercises will also be shared.

"Teaching About Climate Change to English as A Second Language Students"

By Patricia Muller, McNary High School ESL Coordinator/Teacher, Keizer Oregon

Ideas and techniques to make data and content accessible to all students will be shown. Support materials will be demonstrated such as concept maps, computer activities, and informational texts. Using the newly released book, "How We Know What We Know About Our Changing Climate" by Lynne Cherry and Gary Braasch and its accompanying teacher's guide, students learn about the work of scientists involved in the study of climate change.

Building Weather Layers for Virtual Globes: Global Clouds and Tropical Cyclones

Joe Turk of Marine Meteorology Division, Naval Research Laboratory Monterey, CA & Steve Miller of CIRA/Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO

Virtual globes provide an effective framework for efficiently demonstrating meteorological and oceanographic concepts such as weather and climate to not only specialized weather forecasters, but to students and the public audience. Within the past 10 years, a wide variety of publically available environmental satellite-based data has become available to users and gained popular exposure. NRL has maintained a popular web-based tropical cyclone (TC) website (NRL TC-Web) with a diverse selection of environmental satellite imagery covering worldwide tropical cyclones since 1997. The NRL TC-Web was recently adapted for use within the Google Earth framework. The resulting NRL Tropical Cyclones on Earth (TC-Earth) application has a simple interface that is designed around a series of placemarks that follow each storm track history, allowing the user a wide range of freedom to choose data types, image overlay combinations, find satellite overpass times and locations, and animate image sequences. We also will discuss and demonstrate the global cloud layer that was recently (November 2007) implemented into Google Earth's "Weather" layer, providing users access to near realtime (under 2-hour latency) depictions and 24-hour animations of global cloud conditions. The cloud layer is generated from a composite of merged geostationary and low-Earth orbiting satellite data, combined with analysis from global numerical weather prediction (NWP) model, and processed to depict clear and cloudy areas in a visually intuitive fashion.

CREW Water Cycle Research

CREW (Center for Research on Environment and Water)

Earth is a unique, living planet due to the abundance and vigorous cycling of water. Water is essential to life and directly impacts and constrains society's welfare, progress, and sustainable growth. Consequences of the Earth's climate are realized through changes to the water cycle. The importance of water as the fundamental basis for life on Earth cannot be understated; climate changes and changes to the water cycle itself affect all populations indiscriminately. The need for understanding water cycle variability and its relationships with water availability and water-related natural hazards are well documented, and have provided a justification for wide ranging efforts to promote adequate observations (and historic reconstructions) to quantify the variability of water and energy cycle components. CREW's mission is to quantify and predict water cycle and environmental consequences of earth system variability and change through focused research investments in observation, modeling, and application. CREW integrates research across traditional disciplines and government entities to develop an end-to-end program that transitions theoretical research to academic/public education and real-world application CREW's assets are the provision of long-term global and regional data sets of critical water-cycle variables from satellite and surface-based observation, advanced data assimilation products, and a close collaboration with COLA (an IGES partner center) and other multiple partner centers of excellence (e.g. University of Maryland - Baltimore County, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP), etc.).

DataTools: A Professional Development Program to Facilitate the Effective Use of Earth Science Data and Analysis Tools in the Classroom

Tamara Shapiro Ledley, Nick Haddad, Carla McAuliffe, LuAnn Dahlman TERC, Cambridge, MA

Providing quality data-rich educational modules that promote in-depth scientific inquiry investigations by students addresses only half of the problem of using data for learning. In order for students to effectively engage with the scientific data to answer questions about the real world, it is imperative that their teachers are 1) comfortable with the data and the tools used to analyze it, and 2) feel prepared to support their students in this complex endeavor. The Tools for Data Analysis in the Middle School Classroom (DataTools) professional development program supports teachers in 1) learning to use a set of freely or commonly available tools with a wide range of Web-based Earth science data, 2) exploring how to teach the use of these tools to their students, 3) identifying the data that they can use to teach topics required by their curricula, and 4) implementing investigations using these data and tools in their classrooms. This poster describes the elements of the DataTools program (, which makes extensive use of the Earth Exploration Toolbook (EET,, to prepare teachers to learn to locate and download Web-based data, use data analysis tools to conduct an investigation, and integrate the use of the data and tools in their curriculum.

Earth Exploration Toolbook Workshops: Web-conferencing and Teleconferencing Professional Development that Helps Teachers and Students Analyze Web-based Scientific Data

Carla McAuliffe, Tamara Shapiro Ledley, LuAnn Dahlman, TERC, Cambridge, MA

The EET Workshops project ( provides professional development that enables teachers to incorporate Web-based scientific data and analysis tools into their teaching, in ways that meet their curricular needs. Science, math, and technology teachers participate in a pair of workshops that are conducted in a combined Web-conference and teleconference format. In the first workshop, the EET Data Analysis Workshop, participants are introduced to the National Science Digital Library (NSDL) and the Digital Library for Earth System Education (DLESE). They also walk through an Earth Exploration Toolbook (EET) chapter ( and discuss ways to use Earth science datasets and tools with their students. In a follow-up second workshop, the EET Implementation Workshop, teachers share how they used these materials in the classroom by describing the projects and activities that they carried out with students. Through National Science Foundation funding, teachers receive a $120 stipend for their participation. The unique format of EET Workshops professional development enables, often widely distributed end users, to engage in interactive, real-time instruction. In this poster and demonstration, we will describe the elements of an EET Workshop pair, demonstrate the capabilities of the Web-conferencing software we use, and discuss how you can become involved in this project.