RFG 2018 Conference

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AGI and geo(sciences)-diversity.

Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than smart. This week, happenstance more than logic saw me going to Salt Lake City, in order to attend a one-day American Geosciences Institute (AGI) Member Society Council Meeting. AGI, like AIP, is a society whose members are societies[1]. This was to be AMS’ first meeting as a member society; important that someone should go! But the reasonable, more obvious choices from our leadership had conflicts.

My good fortune! The meeting proved both substantive and eye-opening.

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Traveling west a couple of time zones means a messed-up biological clock, insomnia, waking up early, a couple of hours before time for breakfast and the morning meeting. What to do? How to fill the time?

Well, maybe (full disclosure, what I’ve done all my life) cram for my finals. I’m here. Might as well learn something about AGI and not walk into their session cold.

Clicked on the AGI website. Clicked on About.

A lot of stuff there… a sample:

Fieldwork among the pixels: Virtual and augmented reality diversify geoscience education

Students going out into the field to gain hands-on experience and mapping skills is a time-honored tradition in geology. Now, teachers are using virtual and augmented reality technology to bring the field to the students.

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celestial longitude

celestial longitude . Angular distance east of the vernal equinox, along the ecliptic, between the circle of latitude of the vernal equinox and the circle of latitude of a point on the celestial sphere; measured eastward from the circle of latitude of the vernal equinox, through 360°. Cf: longitude. Syn: ecliptic longitude.

postabdomen

postabdomen (post-ab'-do-men). (a) The slender, attenuated posterior part of the abdomen of a scorpion, composed of five segments and a telson modified as a poison gland; the narrow posterior part of the abdomen of a merostome. (b) The telson of a crustacean. (c) A joint succeeding the third segment (abdomen) of the shell of a nassellarian radiolarian.

Cape Town faces a waterless future

The city of Cape Town, South Africa, is bone dry. In 2017, after two straight years of drought, a third drought year offered more of the same.. This past January, city leaders announced that they would shut off the taps to the municipal water supply in April because that was when “Day Zero” — the day when the water supply would run dry — was predicted to occur. Day Zero has since been pushed back to sometime in 2019, but, for 4 million Capetonians, living under the specter of a day without water is the new normal, and signs of that reality litter the city. Sometimes literally.
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Woo yeah perfect: hacking in Salt Lake City

Thirty geoscientist-coders swarmed into Salt Lake City this past weekend to hack at Church & State, a co-working space in a converted church. There, we spent two days appealing to the almighty power of machine learning.

Nine teams worked on the usual rich variety of projects around the theme. Projects included AIs that pick unconformities, natural language processing to describe stratigraphy, and designing an open data platform in service of machine learning. 

I'll do a run-down of the projects soon, but if you can't wait until then for my summary, you can watch the demos here; the first presentation starts at the 38 minute mark of the video. And you can check out some pictures from the event:

Popular Week of May 25, 2018

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