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Join us for a GeoNet AMA (Ask Me Anything) with Dawn Wright, Esri Chief Scientist

11-20-2017 05:46 PM
Esri Community Manager

Event details:

What: Join us, with special guest Dawn Wright, Esri Chief Scientist, for an AMA (Ask Me Anything) live on the GeoNet Community in the Sciences group. Ask Dawn anything about science, GIS, her work at Esri (including the relationship of Esri to the scientific community), what's coming up at AGU, and any fun, interesting and thought-provoking questions.
When: The AMA event will take place in this discussion thread on Friday December 8, 2017 from 10:00am-11am PT.

How to participate:

• During the AMA, if you are logged into GeoNet, you can post your questions in the comments below and Dawn will reply to your questions in the comments.
• You're welcome to post questions ahead of the AMA but we won't begin answering them until the AMA begins on December 8th at 10:00am PT.

Reminder: AMA Tips and GeoNet Community Guidelines

• You will need a GeoNet account in order to participate. If you don't have one, you can create one here.
• When asking questions and comments during the AMA, remember to follow the GeoNet Community Guiding Principles.
• During the AMA this discussion page will not auto-refresh, so please remember to refresh this page to see new questions, comments and replies.

You'll know the AMA is live when you see the picture below with Dawn. And then remember to refresh the page to see our updates and new questions and comments.

Thanks for joining us and we'll see you then!

10:00 am - And we're live! Go ahead and ask your questions! 

10:30 am - We're halfway through. Great questions! Keep 'em coming! 

10:55 am - Five minutes to go! Got any fun questions for Dawn?

11:00 am - Overtime! We'll continue to take your questions during this bonus 10 minutes! 

11:10am - And that's a wrap! The live AMA has ended but Dawn will continue to answer questions as schedules allow. Thanks for joining us and asking great questions! 


Michelle Mathias
Manager, Community Experience & Programs
Tags (1)
50 Replies
Esri Regular Contributor

My pleasure Denise, and thanks to EVERYONE for your questions.

Dawn Wright (she/her/hers), Ph.D. & GISP | Esri Chief Scientist
Esri Contributor

Dawn;  are you still involved in university activities?

Esri Regular Contributor

Thanks for asking that Mike and GREAT to have you join us! Yes, it's really an important and precious part of my experience at Esri to still be a faculty member at Oregon State University, where I have still been involved in advising students (a PhD student finished last year) and working with those faculty. My role at Esri also has me greatly involved with other universities, either on projects that we are doing together jointly (e.g., see Esri and the Scientific Community | Esri Insider  ) or with activities such as serving on the University of Minnesota Institute on the Environment Advisory Board. So with those kinds of activities, you feel as though you are part of that campus community too. I love it!

Dawn Wright (she/her/hers), Ph.D. & GISP | Esri Chief Scientist
New Contributor III

Hi Dawn! Could you share your insights on what is the best way to visualize flood events in ArcGIS? I have modeled flood and runoff results and high resolution DEM and satellite imagery available to use. I would like to accurately show the results and effects in 3D, instead of using coarse representation of uniform water level. Thanks!

Esri Regular Contributor

Hi Feng - This is an excellent question, that I would be happy to dig into with you more thoroughly offline but in the few minutes left, I would like to point you to our Imagery Workflow page for some resources that may help, ArcGIS Imagery Workflows | ArcGIS , and this NEMAC story map might be helpful as well, giving you further ideas 

One last thing: the Climate Resilience Toolkit at U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit | U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit  and the  NOAA Digital Coast: Digital Coast Home 

Dawn Wright (she/her/hers), Ph.D. & GISP | Esri Chief Scientist
Occasional Contributor II

LiDAR is hitting a really good stride as are the tools to collect, process and store point cloud information.
Voxel data and voxel data structures seemed like it was really taking off 10 years ago with a similar path.
Where does voxel and marine spatial data seem to be going for you or are there other new more promising concepts to conceptualize the data to represent volume of the marine world with geographic information systems?

Esri Regular Contributor

Another great question! Thanks Joe! We are actually building a rough equivalent to the voxel framework within the Ecological Marine Units project ( In a nutshell our approach has been to:

Build 3-D framework (point mesh), where we extracted the World Ocean Atlas (WOA) data into a global point mesh framework created from 52,487,233 points, each with at least 6 WOA attributes

Attribute mesh points with 6 WOA physical/chemical parameters, in addition to the x, y, and z coordinates (more attributes possible)

Use k-means statistical clustering algorithm to identify physically distinct, relatively homogenous, volumetric regions in the water column (EMUs). Backwards stepwise discriminant analysis to determine if all of six variables contributed significantly to the clustering – all six were significant. pseudo F-statistic gave us the optimum # of clusters at 37. Then used canonical discriminant analysis to verify that all 37 clusters were significantly different from one another and they were.

Compare/combine surface-occurring EMUs with other sea surface partitioning efforts using ocean color, etc. (e.g., Longhurst, Oliver and Andrew, MBON, Seascapes, etc.)

Compare/combine bottom-occurring EMUs with seafloor physiographic regions and features, etc. (e.g., Harris et al.)

Assess relationship between physically distinct regions and biotic distributions (e.g., OBIS Biogeographic Realms, etc.), and maybe combine to incorporate biotic dimension into the EMUs

This is best viewed and added to in ArcGIS Pro where you can access the 3D point mesh and visualize the volumes created from it (e.g., see the visualizations on the main EMU web site or in this story map: )

Dawn Wright (she/her/hers), Ph.D. & GISP | Esri Chief Scientist
Esri Notable Contributor

I'm writing up the procedures to access Lidar data on - it is pretty straightforward but there are enough oddities where I thought - I should write up the workflow.  Lots of Lidar data there! --Joseph K

Esri Regular Contributor

Most excellent! Thanks Joseph!

Dawn Wright (she/her/hers), Ph.D. & GISP | Esri Chief Scientist
Esri Regular Contributor

LiDAR as we know is great for land data but in the oceans the equivalent of LiDAR is the multi beam bathymetry (acoustic returns) and also the xyz data that we get from instruments such as Argo (Argo - part of the integrated global observation strategy ). A good portion of the World Ocean Atlas data that we used for the EMUs is comprised of Argo float observations over a 50-year period.

Dawn Wright (she/her/hers), Ph.D. & GISP | Esri Chief Scientist