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All People > DWright-esristaff > Dawn Wright's Blog > 2016 > October

I am pleased to share the lineup of oral talks and posters that will be presented this December at the 2016 American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting in San Francisco. Many know of AGU as among the world’s most well-respected Earth science scholarly organizations, and its annual fall meeting dwarfs our UC by over 10,000 attendees. AGU 2016 expects 24,000 attendees, making it the largest Earth and space science meeting in the world.

You’ll see in the list below of papers, posters and sessions that Esri is leading or contributing on a wide variety of interesting and important projects, many with our federal partners at NASA, NOAA, and the USGS, as well as several universities. This showcases how we are an organization that not only enables great understanding of the world with our products and services, but also performs good science, and contributes well as a member of the scientific community. In addition, we will have a 20' x 20' exhibit booth presence, #623 (led by Research & Sciences Industry Manager Drew Stephens and including Spatial Statistics Product Engineer Kevin Butler and Lead Ocean Content Product Engineer Keith Van Graafeiland) with messaging and demos on multidimensional scientific data and analysis, imagery, big data geoanalytics, The Living Atlas, ArcGIS Pro, Ecological Land Units, Ecological Marine Units, GeoPlanner, Insights, story maps, the web GIS pattern, our commitment to open/interoperable, and more.

I thank the many colleagues who have worked so hard to make all of this happen. All in all, we are sending 13 Esri staff  to participate at AGU, and will share the exhibit booth space with 2 representatives of our long-standing business partner, QPS. 


AGU and Related EVENTS/WORKSHOPS with Esri Participation


Dawn Wright representing Esri at all-day meeting of NSF-funded OceanObs Research Coordination Network , Sunday, December 11, all day, San Francisco Marriott Marquis, Nob Hill A/C – will be presenting Ecological Marine Units


Dawn representing Esri at AGU “Sharing Science in Plain English” panel, Tuesday, December 13, 12:30-2:00, Moscone North 123-124

The panel is a 1.5-hour discussion and Q&A intended for 100-150 scientists with little to no communications experience who want to learn the basics of communicating science effectively to lay audiences, including during media interviews, meetings with policymakers, giving public talks (at civic functions, etc.), or on social media. The target audience member is a graduate student, who has spent the last 7 years studying science and has forgotten how to use more elementary terms to explain his/her research.  However, any Fall Meeting registrant may attend this panel.


David DiBiase, Tom Baker, and Esri education contractor Roger Palmer will present a 1.5-hour workshop on ConnectED/GeoInquiries for teachers as part of the joint AGU/National Earth Sciences Teachers Association Geophysical Information For Teachers (GIFT) workshop, Tuesday, December 13, 7:30-3:30, San Francisco Marriott Marquis, Golden Gate A 


Dawn representing Esri at AGU “Communicating Your Science: Ask the Experts" panel, Wednesday, December 14, 10:30-12:30, Moscone West 2001A


Dawn representing Esri at the Earth Science Women's Network Opportunities Beyond Academia Workshop, Wednesday, December 14, 4:00-6:00, San Francisco Marriott Marquis, Golden Gate B

Thinking about a career outside of academia? It can often be difficult to get help finding a job in a non-profit or government agency, within industry, or as a consultant – after all your advisor is an academic and most likely doesn’t have “first-hand knowledge.” Maybe you want to stay in academia but are interested in working as a consultant or even starting your own business. A panel of scientists with experience outside of academia will share their “lessons learned” and answer your questions about how to find and apply for jobs in policy, federal research labs, state agencies, NGOs, industry, and private enterprise. Geared towards graduate students and post-docs who are considering options outside of academia, as well as faculty who are interested; all are invited. This workshop is a partnership between the Earth Science Women’s Network and AGU Education.


Dawn representing Esri at the ENVRIplus Project Workshop, Thursday, December 15, 9:00-2:00, San Francisco Marriott Marquis, Salon 2

This workshop, which is being run as part of the EU-funded ENVRIplus project, aims to identify and explore the barriers that currently exist between research institutes and private companies that prevent them from forming mutually beneficial partnerships. 


Dawn representing Esri at an evening scientific storytelling event co-sponsored by AGU and StoryCollider: Springer Nature Storytellers, Thursday, December 15, 8:00-10:00 pm, Rickshaw Stop, 155 Fell St., San Francisco


Sudhir Shrestha is an AGU Earth & Space Science Informatics (ESSI) Outstanding Student Paper Award Coordinator throughout the week.


AGU SESSIONS with Esri Participation


1: IN51C, IN53E: Spatial Data Infrastructure for Earth and Space Sciences: Analyzing, Visualizing, and Sharing Multidimensional Earth Science Data (Oral and Posters)

Session Description:

Governments and businesses use geospatial data to manage organizational infrastructure, quantify hazard risk, and plan future development. The volume, variety, and complexity of multidimensional scientific data pose challenges with how it is shared with a diverse community, visualized intuitively, or fused for answering scientific questions. Spatial data infrastructure for Earth and Space Sciences is built atop frameworks that support satellite images, airborne data, climate and weather observations, simulations, and forecasts. Such frameworks allow us to manage data, publish metadata, generate science products, and develop tools that support the needs of an end user. This session seeks papers describing operational systems and workflows for deploying multidimensional scientific data for reuse by the broader Earth science community. Topics of interest include: operational systems and best practices for creating and managing geospatial data services, spatial data infrastructure frameworks for processing, analyzing, or visualizing temporal, 3D, 4D Earth science data, and sharing geospatial data.



Sudhir R Shrestha, Esri, Redlands, CA, United States

Rahul Ramachandran, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, AL, United States, 

Manil Maskey, University of Alabama in Huntsville, Huntsville, AL, United States 


INVITED Talk for IN53E: Spatial Data Infrastructure for Earth and Space Sciences: Analyzing, Visualizing, and Sharing Multidimensional Earth Science Data (Oral)


52 Million Points and Counting: A New Stratification Approach for
Mapping Global Marine Ecosystems

Dawn J. Wright, Esri

Roger Sayre, USGS; Sean Breyer, Esri; Kevin Butler, Esri; Keith VanGraafeiland, Esri; Kathy Goodin, NatureServe; Maria T. Kavanaugh, WHOI; Mark Costello, U. Auckland; Noel Cressie, U. Wollongong; Zeenatul Basher, USGS; Peter Harris, GRID-Arendal; John Guinotte, USFWS


Contributed Talk for IN53E: Spatial Data Infrastructure for Earth and Space Sciences: Analyzing, Visualizing, and Sharing Multidimensional Earth Science Data (Oral)

Dynamic analysis, transformation, dissemination and applications of scientific multidimensional data in ArcGIS Platform

Sudhir R Shrestha, Esri, Redlands, CA, United States

Thomas Collow, Innovim LLC, NOAA; Brett Rose, Esri


2. INVITED Introductory Remarks for IN23F: Linking Earth Systems Data to Better Address Societal Challenges: A View of the Earth from the Interior to the Edge of Space Supported by Data to Bring Enhanced Understanding

Part of the lineup for the Inaugural AGU Data Fair 

3: PA21A: Communicating Science Through Data Driven Story Telling (Posters)

Session Description:

Is the Web disrupting communication or just making it more effective? What does our future hold as the Web continues to evolve? How are authors migrating from the static print world of manuscripts, figures, and images into the dynamic world of rich, interactive content? What are some of the best practices being implemented, and how do these approaches facilitate greater engagement, from peers and society at large?

Data driven story telling is changing the way we communicate and share science. In this session, we are seeking papers describing new ways of telling stories that are supported by rich digital and geospatial content. Topics of interest include but not limited to:

  • Best practices for creating and sharing geospatially enabled stories
  • Use cases and story of effective data driven science communication
  • Use cases of data driven applications that supports story telling




Charles Hobart Perry, USDA Forest Service, Vallejo, CA, United States

Sudhir R Shrestha, Esri, Redlands, CA, United States Dawn J Wright, Esri, Redlands, CA, United States


4. IN11E, IN13A: Architecture and Integration Testbed for Earth/Space Science Cyberinfrastructure (Oral and Posters)

Session Description:

Past decades' cyberinfrastructure investments on Earth and Space sciences have accumulated a large amount of assets including data, tools, systems, expertise, and communities for tackling the increasingly complex challenges we are facing today, such as climate change. While these assets have their own specific capabilities, their integration in a cohesive service oriented fashion would enable bigger impact and advance science. Architectural studies, integration and testing are critical steps to foster reuse and integration of existing data and capabilities to address critical science questions that could not be answered before. This session is organized to explore the latest on architecture and testbed development in cyberinfrastructure for Earth/Space sciences such as:


1. Existing system architectures for Earth and space systems.

2. Integrating, bridging data systems using novel architectures.

3. System integration and test approaches, environments, and practices.

4. Global and local conceptual architectural studies and solutions.



Emily Law, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, United States

Chaowei Phil Yang, George Mason University Fairfax, Fairfax, VA, United States, 

Jens F Klump, CSIRO Earth Science and Resource Engineering Perth, Perth, WA, Australia

Sudhir R Shrestha, Esri, Redlands, CA, United States



5. IN52A: Exploiting Big Earth Data: GIS and Beyond I (Oral) and II (Posters)

Session Description:

Developments in GIS, Cloud Computing, Analysis Tools, and HPC enable science communities to accelerate management, modeling, analysis and visualization of large datasets. The demonstration of new technologies in ESIP, EarthCube, and NASA show great promise in creating new analytic capabilities to address critical science questions.


GIS tools enable analysis, computing, and visualization, while scaling up using cloud-computing services. Powerful capabilities involving NoSQL, MapReduce, Deep Learning, and compression techniques are being exploited to accelerate data analytics. Combined with new emerging hardware capabilities, scientists are being presented with a significant enhancement in capabilities to address problems of unprecedented size and complexity.


This session explores emerging examples of advances in the use of GIS and other tools as applied in big Earth data exploitation. Emphasis will be placed on examples of the application of these technologies into scientists' working environments and the demonstration of the value to Earth science and application users.



Daniel Duffy, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, United States

Michael M Little, NASA Headquarters, Earth Science Technology Office, Washington, DC, United States, Dawn J Wright, Esri, Redlands, CA, United States and Emily Law, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, United States


6. INVITED TALK for IN52A: Exploiting Big Earth Data: GIS and Beyond

The Confluence of GIS, Cloud and Open Source, Enabling Big Raster Data Applications 

Lucian Plesea, Esri

Peter Becker Esri

Carter Burwell Emmart, American Museum of Natural History

Ryan Boller, NASA Goddard

Kathleen Baynes Raytheon


7. INVITED TALK for IN12A: Big Data Analytics

Feature Geo Analytics and Big Data Processing: Hybrid Approaches for Earth Science and Real-Time Decision Support

Dawn J. Wright, Esri

Mansour Raad, Erik Hoel, Michael Park, Adam Mollenkopf, Ricardo Trujillo, Esri


8. Contributed Talk to PA11D: GEOValue: Addressing best practices for assessing the societal impact and value of geospatial information based on use cases


The Role of Content Aggregators In GEOValue

Dawn J. Wright, Esri

Sean Breyer, Marten Hogeweg, Jeanne Foust, Lawrie Jordan, Esri; Gordon Plunkett, Esri Canada


9. INVITED PANELIST for IN13E: Exploring Value in our Research Products: Approaches to Assessment of Research Products Such as Data Sets, Metadata, and Research Software within a Policy Framework that Supports Scalable, Reusable, Sustainable, and Open-Access Outcomes for Research and Societal Benefit

Innovation Balanced with Community Collaboration, ESIP

Christine E. White, Esri


In addition, Esri is pleased to support and recommend these AGU Data Skills, Data Management and Reproducibility Town Halls, co-sponsored by our friends at the Federation of Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP), as well as an evening December 14th show for AGU attendees at the Morrison Planetarium of the California Academy of Sciences

Also appearing in Esri Insider...


Last week President Obama hosted the first-ever White House Frontiers Conference in Pittsburgh, an event co-hosted by the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University. Esri was among many of America’s leading innovators invited to come together to discuss how we can empower people through science, technology, and innovation to lead our communities, our country, and our world in the future. There were five “frontiers” of innovation that kicked off the conference in five separate tracks: personal, local, national, global, and interplanetary.


Within the Global Frontiers Track, I was asked to lead off the subsection entitled Climate Information, Tools and Services for Enhancing Resilience. In my remarks (downloadable at, I sought to give a broad perspective on how scientists and managers think about and visualize the world for on-the-ground resilience to climate change, what innovative partnerships and opportunities are in this space (including the participation of Esri and others in the President’s Climate Action Plan and Climate Data Initiative), and what is some of the cutting edge in moving the field forward. This set the stage for three lightning talks expanding further on this theme, by our colleague Jed Sundwall, Global Open Data Lead of Amazon Web Services, Brooke Runnette, new Executive Vice President and Chief Exploration & Impact Officer of the National Geographic, and Laur Hess Fischer, Project Manager of Climate CoLab at MIT. Laur and her Climate CoLab group is also in partnership with our colleagues at the American Geophysical Union within its Thriving Earth Exchange for connecting local decision makers with the science needed to optimize community (geo)designs and plans.


The track concluded with interactive breakouts and visioning discussions about what the country might look like in 2100. Esri Government Strategist Pat Cummens participated in an urban planning charette. I was in a more traditional breakout on climate data and information that focused on: (1) what science based tools are currently available to support local climate resilience planning; (2) How can we better use visualization tools and technologies at the local level, engaging as many citizens as possible in the process; and (3) Where are the gaps in connecting scientists and decision makers at the local level?


At the plenary session that brought the conference to an exciting conclusion, President Obama himself highlighted the progress that his Administration has made on his inaugural pledge to "restore science to its rightful place," while also focusing on the future and what can be made possible through science and technology. The President emphasized how investing in science and technology can help develop new jobs and industries, new discoveries that improve lives, and "that innovation is in our nation’s DNA." His comments are further amplified in a special issue of Wired magazine, that includes his thoughts on artificial intelligence, self-driving cars in smart cities, precision medicine, and more. See also his to-do list for the tech industry, including how to make it easier for citizens to participate in their own government via “data-rich environments.” For more information on the event see: