The largest international Earth and space science conference in the world, the annual American Geophysical Union (AGU) fall meeting, brought more than 25,000 scientists and other experts to San Francisco December 9–13. CIESIN staff members organized or co-organized seven sessions; presented more than twelve invited, oral, e-lightning, and poster papers; and served as co-authors on at least nine other papers. CIESIN director Robert Chen convened three sessions on exposure and vulnerability assessment for hazard, coastal, climate, and health risks and served as co-chair of one of them. Associate director for Science Applications Alex de Sherbinin also co-chaired the poster session in this series. Senior digital archivist Robert Downs co-organized a session on improving use of the FAIR principles (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable), as well as several sessions on the use of earth and space science data.
Also attending the conference were associate director for Geospatial Applications Greg Yetman, GIS developer Kytt MacManus, and Columbia College student Dorothee Cleophee Grant, a former summer intern. Yetman gave an oral presentation on population data models for settlement extents and a NASA Hyperwall talk, “Are You at Risk? Linking Hazard and Exposure Data for Research and Applications.” MacManus gave an oral presentation on new sources for the updated version of low-elevation coastal zone data, expected to be released in early 2020. He also presented a poster paper on a nighttime lights dataset recently released by the NASA Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC), to which Grant had contributed.
While at the conference, de Sherbinin gave invited talks and served as a panelist in three different sessions on open data digital repositories for developing countries, climate vulnerability mapping, and managed retreat due to climate change. Chen gave presentations on the FAIR principles and open data and on the use of Earth Observations to operationalize the fundamental geospatial data themes established by the United Nations. Downs gave an e-lightning talk on citing open data and presented a case study on data sharing and data management guidance developed by the Group on Earth Observations (GEO). Both Downs and Chen also served as judges on student papers.