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Virtual Poster Sessions Changing the Face of Scientific Communication
01.13.12
 
Poster presentations are a time-honored tradition of communicating scientific research and achievements to peers. Students and professionals gather to display and discuss their work, fostering a dynamic system of feedback that promotes scientific discovery.

DEVELOP team from Stennis Space Center

First place -- the Stennis team, from left: Cody Dockens, Mollie Nunex, Renane Burbank and Jason Jones (DEVELOP Stennis assistant center lead). Credit: NASA


DEVELOP team from Langley Research Center

Second place and People's Choice Award -- the Langley team, from left: Kenneth Hall (project lead), Taylor Beard, Ande Ehlen and Myles Boyd. Credit: NASA


DEVELOP team from JPL

Third place -- the JPL team, from left: Cathleen Jones (science advisor), Austin Madson, Katrina Laygo (DEVELOP JPL center lead) and Antony Bina. Credit: NASA

DEVELOP, a NASA Applied Sciences Program internship is moving beyond the conventional format of the traditional poster session and has brought the standard practice to a modern arena to reach a larger audience.

The program is in cooperation with the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and its Earthzine, an online publication.

Earthzine recently hosted the third DEVELOP virtual poster session. Instead of displaying paper posters detailing objectives and results, each "virtual poster" was a web-hosted short video that presented the students' research.

DEVELOP research teams were able to interact with readers from around the world through a discussion feed active during the nearly three weeks the posters were live as part of competition between the 11 teams.

The virtual posters were the capstone of the 10-week DEVELOP fall term. Student teams at NASA centers nationwide conducted Earth science research projects that addressed environmental concerns through the application of NASA's satellite and airborne remote sensing assets.

DEVELOP projects culminate in end products that provide partner organizations with methodologies to use NASA Earth observations to enhance decision making, highlighting and expanding the benefits of America's investment in NASA's Earth science missions.

In the contest associated with the session, the virtual posters were judged for merit in scientific work, use of NASA Earth observations, dialogue with readers, and overall presentation quality and creativity. Of the 11 teams involved, three were recognized for outstanding work, with the first-place team receiving $450 for its achievement.

› Students Compete in Third DEVELOP Virtual Poster Session

The DEVELOP project from Stennis Space Center, "NASA's Eyes in the Skies Keep Watch Over Critical Coral Ecosystems," took first place in the poster competition. The team of four DEVELOP interns -- Jason Jones, Renane Burbank, Mollie Nunez, and Cody Dockens -- partnered their research with NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries at the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the University of South Florida's Institute for Marine Remote Sensing. Using NASA's Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) sensor, the team analyzed the detection of anomalies in chlorophyll to augment and improve NOAA's existing coral reef decision support systems.

› NASA's Eyes in the Skies Keep Watch Over Critical Coral Ecosystems

Second place and the People's Choice Award went to the Langley Research Center DEVELOP project, "Using NASA Earth Observations to Assess Burn Severity and Perform Risk Mapping of the 2011 Texas Wildfires," conducted by Kenneth Hall, Taylor Beard, Myles Boyd, and Ande Ehlen. This project partnered with the Texas Forest Service to use Earth observations from the Landsat 5, Aqua, and Terra missions to provide methods for making maps of burn severity, measurements of water level reductions due to drought, and assessments of ecological impacts.

› Using NASA Earth Observations to Assess Burn Severity and Perform Risk Mapping of the 2011 Texas Wildfires

Third place was awarded to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory's "Assessing the Spring 2011 Mississippi River Basin Floods using NASA Radar and Multispectral Remote Sensing." DEVELOP interns Katrina Laygo, Austin Madson and Antony Bina applied remote-sensing capabilities of NASA's UAVSAR, ASTER, and Landsat TM to enhance flood mapping and decision making for flood prediction. The team partnered with NOAA and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to determine accuracy and resolution with which flooding can be located by satellite.

› Assessing the Spring 2011 Mississippi River Basin Floods using NASA Radar and Multispectral Remote Sensing

In all, more than 5,000 visitors representing 89 countries viewed the poster presentations on Earthzine's site, leaving over 200 comments and more than 800 Facebook "likes."

The spring virtual poster presentation featuring the work of current DEVELOP interns will be hosted on Earthzine beginning March 22.

 
 
Lauren Childs
DEVELOP National Science Lead

Jamie Favors
DEVELOP Deputy National Science Lead

Andrea Martin
NASA Applied Sciences Program