The American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall meeting brings 18,000 earth and space scientists together in San Francisco. The conference is so large it takes over two separate buildings. One football field sized room just for the poster session, and another football field room for the exhibit area. The rest of the buildings are made up of rooms for all the oral sessions going on all day long.
This year, Cybera has a booth in the exhibit hall to promote all four of our NEP projects: Canadian Space Science Data Portal (CSSDP), Cloud-Enabled Space Weather Modeling and Data Assimilation Platform (CESWP), GeoChronos, and Geospatial Cyberinfrastructure for Environmental Sensing (GeoCENS). We met a lot of interesting researchers from around the world doing research in space physics, earth observation, and environment data.
CESWP helped organize a session this year on cloud computing entitled "Research Clouds: Virtualization of Infrastructure, Tools, and Services I?". In this session, Robin Winsor presented a Cybera perspective and Barton Satchwill presented CESWP to the community. We had quite a number of people come out and listen to the session even though we had a bright and early 8:00am start time on Tuesday.
On Tuesday evening, the CSSDP and CESWP projects held their first face-to-face virtual organization meeting. The meeting was a success and helped put some faces to the names and voices we work with.
After the virtual organization meeting, Cybera hosted a reception on behalf of the four projects. We were able to talk to scientists from NASA, Microsoft and various places around North America and abroad. Rick Clark from OpenStack was also present, and provided some valuable guidance to the CESWP project team.
On Wednesday morning, GeoCENS had their poster session in the poster hall. Feedback was very good and the session was well attended. In the afternoon, our GeoCENS members attended a session discussing the present and future state of Virtual Observatories. This was a useful session, as it generated some new thoughts for how CSSDP could better support the observatories. It was gratifying to see that the data portal already supported some of the more pressing needs of the organizations.
Thursday was high school day. We had quite a few high school students stop by the booth to ask questions and enjoy our customized M&Ms.
The popular NASA booth was close to ours in the exhibit hall, which helped to generate traffic to our booth. At 9:30am people would line up outside the exhibit hall waiting for the doors to open. Once the doors opened, everyone would rush to the NASA booth to collect all the NASA swag.
All in all, the AGU was a success and a lot of contacts were made and hopefully will increase the user base on all the portals.
CESWP also blogged about it's AGU experience, read here.