On Wednesday, October 12th, the Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies (CIMSS), in collaboration with the NOAA Environmental Visualization Lab (EVL) and the Cooperative Institute for Climate and Satellites (CICS) will proudly launch the EarthNow program for SOS presenters!
The EarthNow project will allow SOS institutions to go beyond the scientific facts to create meaningful visitor experiences about weather and climate connections. Starting October 12th, the EarthNow website (http://sphere.ssec.wisc.edu/) will have, at its core, regularly-updated blog entries, providing a central location for SOS facilitators to find timely weather and climate stories to speak about how current events affect and are affected by global change. Along with these stories, the website will also provide relevant, visually appealing SOS-formatted data sets and animations with appropriate annotations, leading to easier comprehension by presenters and the public. Aside from the stories and relevant visualization material, the site will also provide background information, links to related information, learning objectives and other tools, allowing for informed and confident presentations.
With help from our lab rats (you know you are), for the time being, we have decided to provide the information in a layered approach. With each data set, we will provide several bullet points of information as well as more detailed information with a simple click of the mouse. This will allow presenters the ability to skim the entry and find the major points, as well as have a complete toolkit of information when needed. How often will the blog be updated, you ask? At this point, we are planning to update the blog with high-quality, content-rich entries regarding recent events every two weeks. We will also be updating the blog monthly with a global climate digest. Aside from the bi-weekly and monthly updates, we will try to update the blog during major events (i.e., large tsunamis or major hurricanes). These entries will not have a lot of background information with them, but will essentially serve to alert presenters that a particular event is occurring. More in-depth information and analysis of such events may be provided later as one of the primary bi-weekly entries.
It should be known that this will be a constantly-evolving project and we will be seeing any advice from you, the presenters, to further improve the program. If you will be at the 2011 ASTC conference, Dan Pisut (NOAA EVL) and I will be talking more about EarthNow at the SOS mini-meeting. Otherwise, for more information now and an idea of the look and feel of EarthNow, feel free to visit the Earth Now website at http://sphere.ssec.wisc.edu/!