While the geosciences are interdisciplinary in nature, they are not demographically diverse, which challenges the future viability and relevance of the geosciences. Causes and potential solutions for this deficiency have been proposed for several decades, but diversity within the geosciences has barely changed in that time. Dominant cultural, historical, and socioeconomic factors contribute to the lack of diversity and those factors only change slowly over generations. Solutions proposed for more immediate changes have been ineffective. Providing specific emotional support to those who are systemically non-dominant (SND) will be more impactful in improving diversity and inclusion within the geosciences. Specifically, we focus on intergroup emotions, which can be pleasant or unpleasant emotions that individuals feel due to their identification with one or more social groups. Using the Intergroup Emotions Theory, we argue that diversity and inclusion can be improved by helping those who are SND minimize undesirable emotions that arise when their group memberships are perceived to be negative. We end by making recommendations based on available research, yet we strongly call on the geoscience community to conduct further discipline-based research in this crucial area in the near future.
COVID-19’s impact on society and our daily habits has been unprecedented. With a decrease in vehicular traffic and industrial production, a decrease in local emissions was expected to occur. In order to capture any trends in ambient trace gas concentrations, approximately one thousand whole air samples were collected in intervals across the United States from April to July 2020 as part of the NASA Student Airborne Research Program (SARP). These samples were then analyzed by the UCI Rowland-Blake Lab using multi-column gas chromatography for over one hundred unique trace gases, including methane, non-methane hydrocarbons, and halocarbons, as described in Colman et al. (2001) and Barletta et al. (2002). Initial samples collected in April coincided with the peak of stay-at-home/social distancing orders in most states while samples collected later in the spring and early summer reflect the easing of these measures and initial state reopenings. Overall trends in emissions over time in select metropolitan areas will be discussed and compared to trends observed across the entire United States.
The 3D Printed Magnetosphere Project is a collaboration between Aurorasaurus and the NASA STEAM Innovation Lab, both partners of the NASA Space Science Education Consortium (NSSEC). The Earth’s magnetosphere is a complex, multifaceted, and intangible system that poses unique challenges to science communication and education. Two-dimensional diagrams inherently oversimplify its structure and processes, leading to misunderstood or incomplete understandings of the physics involved. In addition, diagrams lack tactile accessibility, excluding some learners. While three-dimensional tactile models with nested components are classic tools for illustrating biological and geophysical concepts, similar models have not yet been created for the magnetosphere. This project is an effort to create the first physical, open-source, customizable, three-dimensional, and 3D-printed model of the magnetosphere. We provide a NASA STEAM Lab Exploration Idea Profile detailing the current scope and future potential for the product. Our preliminary model is intended to provide a starting template that illustrates the following basic structures: the magnetosheath; an equatorial cross-section; a torus representing the outer radiation belt; the ring current; and Earth, including the crust, mantles, core, and aurora. The magnetosheath will be hinged and open on the x-axis like a case or shell, revealing the other structures nested inside. The components will be removable, and the radiation belt and Earth will have the capability of opening to reveal interior structures. The printable model will be shared with the Maker community, enabling customization to illustrate specific concepts, add classroom features, and provide tactile accessibility for learners with low vision. In addition, crowdsourced expertise from the space physics and Maker communities will contribute greatly to further refinements. This presentation will provide an overview of the model and explore its potential applications. These could include better contextualizing not only physics concepts, but missions like the NASA Magnetospheric Multiscale Mission (MMS) launched in 2015 to study the Earth’s magnetosphere, using four identical spacecraft flying in a tetrahedral formation. It is currently exploring magnetic reconnection, one of the mechanisms that causes aurora.
Papers published in Science of Climate Change by Harde and Salby (2021), and by Berry (2021) contend that the well documented growth of atmospheric CO2 in recent decades is predominantly a natural phenomenon rather than human caused. Both papers are wrong on two counts. First, they focus only on their own (suspect) calculations of anthropogenic atmospheric carbon levels, rather than on measured total carbon levels. The present concentration of anthropogenic carbon in the atmosphere, even correctly calculated, does not establish the human contribution to the rise in total atmospheric carbon. Second, the models these authors develop for determining present anthropogenic atmospheric carbon levels are incompatible with 14C data. The sources of background “anomalous 14C” postulated by Harde and Salby fall well short of being large enough to salvage their model. A highly questionable assumption built into Harde and Salby’s model is explicitly identified.
Astrobiology as a field is not well known by the public, and is a difficult topic to introduce to the those who have never heard of it before. This presentation will showcase projects and experiences from a museum setting to explore how to best bring up such a complex field of science, and how astrobiologists can make their work as digestible as possible to the general public.
Within the Western Branch of the East African Rift (EAR), volcanism is highly localized, which is distinct from the voluminous magmatism seen throughout the Eastern Branch of the EAR. Voluminous magmatism in the Eastern Branch results from plume-lithosphere interactions, but the origin of magmatism in the Western Branch remains enigmatic. Previous investigations of melt generation beneath the Rungwe Volcanic Province (RVP), the southernmost volcanic center in the Western Branch, suggest plume materials are present. Here, we develop a model of tomography-based convection (TBC) with melt generation to test the hypothesis that melt beneath the RVP is sourced from plume materials. To test our hypothesis, we use seismically constrained lithospheric thickness and sublithospheric mantle structure to develop a fully adiabatic 3D thermomechanical model of TBC with melt generation using ASPECT. We test a range of mantle potential temperatures and find values ranging from 1250-1350 °C are unable to generate melt beneath the RVP. However, when the sublithospheric mantle temperature is increased by ~250 K based on constraints from shear wave velocity anomalies, decompression melt generation occurs at a maximum depth of ~150 km beneath the RVP. Our work suggests that excess sublithospheric mantle temperatures are necessary for melt generation beneath the RVP, and that shear wave velocity anomalies can provide a first order estimate of these anomalous mantle conditions. Excess sublithospheric mantle temperature in the RVP suggests the influence of a plume-source for the seismic anomalies and supports existing geochemical interpretations of a mantle plume contribution to magmatism in the RVP.
How and why has Geographic Information Systems (GIS) education been advancing in primary and secondary education, globally? How have GIS tools and approaches been spreading beyond geography and GIScience to earth and environmental science, business, data science, health, and other disciplines in higher education? The adoption and integration of GIS and related geospatial technologies into dozens of academic disciplines has led to worldwide high demand for instruction that is targeted and timely, a combination that is challenging to meet consistently with diverse audiences and in diverse settings. Over the past 40 years, methods and approaches for teaching and learning about geospatial technologies and with geospatial technologies have evolved in tight connection with the advances in the internet and personal computers. Academic degrees, concentrations, minors, certificates, and other programs abound within formal and informal education. During the educationally-disruptive COVID-19 period, online instruction has hastened the adoption of analysis-based and data-rich approaches such as GIS. What are the challenges that remain in the use of GIS in instruction and research, and how can these challenges be addressed? The author, who has been active in promoting and researching GIS in education at all levels for 30 years, will share his perspectives, research results, and offer a pathway forward.
Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs) appear frequently in science fiction and other public depictions of extraterrestrial technology. Recent interest in understanding UFOs, also known as Unidentified Aerial Phenomenon (UAP), has increased due to a recent report published by the U.S. Department of Defense that confirmed the detection of several UAP. However, actually identifying such objects remains challenging because “sociocultural stigmas and sensor limitations remain obstacles to collecting data on UAP” according to the report. In this presentation, we discuss the challenges posed by popular conceptions of UAP to genuine scientific inquiry using examples from Carl Sagan’s archives. This discussion is intended to engage astrobiologists in thinking critically about the differences between scientific inquiry of a genuinely unknown phenomenon and non-scientific popular speculations about the identity of UAP.
Demand-side management strategies based on customized feedback have proved their worth in supporting water conservation efforts and behavior change programs. Several studies in both the water and energy sectors report of observed short-term savings deriving from feedback-based programs and awareness campaigns, often based on smart metered data and high levels of customization in presenting information on resource usage to users in the form of past consumption, real-time information, peer comparison, analogies, and resource saving tips. Yet, feedback-based programs are often run as part of experimental trials with a limited duration, and their effectiveness is therefore only evaluated for a short time span, potentially overlooking rebound effects. Assessing the long-term effect of feedback information on behavior change is still an open research question. In this work, we analyze the long-term impacts of a smart-meter fed gamified ICT platform providing customized feedback to water users, which was deployed starting in 2014 in a long experiment trial with over 200 users of the Global Omnium utility in Valencia (Spain). The platform core is a data-driven demand management pipeline that enables water utilities to foster consumer engagement and promote water conservation via customized feedbacks. It includes customized water saving tips, peer-comparison of water usage, and a reward program based on gamification tools and mechanisms. After three years of development and testing from 2014 to 2017, the platform has proven to be very effective in the short-term, when a user is engaged. A 5.7% volumetric water use reduction among Global Omnium users was achieved after the first year of full implementation, along with a 20% approximate water consumption difference with respect to non-platform users. Here, we analyze the smart meter data of the platform users, respectively after one and two years from the end of the funded platform trial period, to assess long-term behavior changes and rebound effects on different groups of platform adopters.
For the past 120 years, Bisphenol-A (BPA) has been used in plastic products, such as water bottles, due to its strength. BPA, which contaminates 93% of the human population (Houlihan, et. al, 2011), has started to be replaced by other materials that leach antimony, a harmful contaminant commonly found in polyethylene terephthalate (PET) water bottles. Additionally, as global and ocean temperature start to rise, antimony leaching levels have been predicted to increase as studies by Fan, et. al and Westerhoff, et. al observed a directly proportional relationship between water temperature and the leaching of antimony. This investigation examined the effect of varying saltwater temperatures on the leaching of antimony from PET plastic water bottles, and the subsequent impacts on brine shrimp hatch rates. Six buckets of saltwater were heated to appropriate temperatures (two of each temperature - 17 degree C, 22.5 degree C, and 28.1 degree C - one control and one experimental). Antimony, ammonia, pH, phosphate, and nitrate levels were measured over the three weeks. Then, brine shrimp hatching began, using the experimental and control water. The brine shrimp were allowed to hatch for 48 hours, after which a net was used to separate and count the hatched eggs. The results showed an increase in antimony in the plastic bottle groups; however, the measurement was not quantifiable. Additionally, results showed an increase in phosphate, ammonia, and pH levels for buckets with the water bottles. This investigation has shown that as the temperature of water increases, antimony levels increase and brine shrimp hatch rates decrease.
On 11 March 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) as a pandemic. The announcement had a cascading effect as countries around the world rushed to declare various states of emergencies. Canada was no exception. All Canadian provinces and territories implemented some health emergency measures to check the spread of COVID-19. This provided an opportunity to study the changes in seismic vibrations registered by the land-based seismic stations before, during, and after the lockdown. I analyzed continuous seismic data for 6 Canadian cities: Calgary (Alberta), Edmonton (Alberta), Montreal (Quebec), Ottawa (Ontario), Toronto (Ontario), and Yellowknife (Northwest Territories). These cities represent the wide geographical spread of Canada. The source of data for the study was seismic stations run by the Canadian National Seismograph Network (CNSN). Data available freely on the Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology (IRIS) website was used. Python and ObsPy were used to load and convert raw data into Probabilistic Power Spectral Densities (PPSDs). The seismic vibrations in the PPSDs that fell between 0.1 HZ and 20 HZ were extracted and averaged for every two weeks period to determine the trend of seismic vibrations. The lockdown had an impact on seismic vibrations in almost all the cities I analyzed. Except for Ottawa, the seismic vibrations decreased between 14% - 44% with the biggest decrease in Yellowknife in the Northwest Territories. In the 3 densely packed cities of the population over 1 million - Toronto, Montreal, and Calgary, the seismic vibrations dropped by over 30%. In the case of Ottawa, the seismic vibrations increased by 8%. As not all seismic stations were equally close to the cities, they were not equally sensitive to changes in human activities. Furthermore, while lockdown happened in all the cities selected for the study, the strictness enforced and the participation of people in the lockdown varied. Many cities extended the lockdown without any change while others extended the lockdown with a loosening of restrictions. All these differences induced variations in the study. Finally, a comprehensive online training module was created using Jupyter notebooks to allow researchers to analyse lockdown data from other seismic stations.
Data science refers to the set of tools, technologies, and teams that alter the paradigm by which data are collected, managed and analyzed. Data science is, therefore, decidedly broader than ‘machine learning,’ and includes instead the full data lifecycle. Never has the need for effective data science innovation been greater than now when at every turn data-driven discovery is both burdened and invigorated by the growth of data volumes, varieties, veracities, and velocities. This growing scale of science requires dramatic shifts in collaborative research, requiring projects to climb the gradations of collaboration from unidisciplinary, to multi-, inter-, and transdisciplinary (Figure 1, [Hall et al., 2014; NRC, 2015]), and perhaps even to an entirely new level that defies any traditional boundary, or antidisciplinary (https://joi.ito.com/weblog/2014/10/02/antidisciplinar.html). We will discuss the cutting-edge efforts advancing collaborative research in Space Physics and Aeronomy, highlight progress, and synthesize the lessons to provide a vision for future innovation in data science for Heliophysics. We will specifically focus on three trail-blazing initiatives: 1) the NASA Frontier Development Laboratory; 2) the HelioAnalytics group at the Goddard Space Flight Center in cooperation with the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s Data Science Working Group; and 3) an International Space Sciences Institute project. References: Hall, K.L., Stipelman, B., Vogel, A.L., Huang, G., and Dathe, M. (2014). Enhancing the Ef- fectiveness of Team-based Research: A Dynamic Multi-level Systems Map of Integral Factors in Team Science. Presented at the Fifth Annual Science of Team Science Confer- ence, August, Austin, TX. NRC (National Research Council) (2015). Enhancing the Effectiveness of Team Science. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. https://doi.org/10.17226/19007.
Following the establishment of the first STEM school in Egypt (in 2011), the Egyptian Ministry of Education and the USAID-funded Egypt’s STEM School Project began joint work creating a public STEM high school model, supported by US STEM education experts, that addresses 11 major Grand Challenges (GCs) identified by Egyptians. In 2018, the Egyptian Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research and US STEM faculty, coordinated by 21PSTEM, began creating 4-year undergraduate and 1-year post-Bachelor programs to prepare teachers for these schools, under the USAID-funded STEM Teacher Education and School Strengthening Activity (STESSA), also based on the GCs. Traditional Earth science alone was not sufficient to prepare students to meet these transdisciplinary GCs. Instead, the STEM high schools, as well as the graduate and undergraduate programs, use a transdisciplinary curriculum, with biology, chemistry, physics, Earth science, and math taught every semester. The content is further integrated every semester in capstone project experiences. These curricula were jointly developed by US and Egyptian STEM content experts who also did teacher training. These STEM schools have been a major success, catapulting Egyptian youth into wins at international STEM competitions and earning them admission to elite universities around the world. As the schools developed, the Ministry of Education and 21PSTEM (which implements STESSA) found that US-Egyptian professional development helped ease teachers’ transition to the integrated curriculum. But a growing number of STEM high schools made a new teacher pipeline imperative. US and Egyptian faculty are developing new 4-year undergraduate programs to prepare teachers in 5 STEM disciplines. These programs echo the high school curriculum and the GCs, but are more explicitly transdisciplinary, beginning with 6 integrated STEM courses in the first two years. Earth science plays a prominent role in these integrated courses and Earth science faculty from the US and Egypt have played a significant role in course development. We will report on the development and progress of the first two of these transdisciplinary courses, and the potential of truly transdisciplinary course work to develop stronger Earth scientists, ready to meet grand challenges in any nation on Earth.
The impacts of climate change are being felt across the country, with wildfire seasons getting longer and more severe and flooding occurring more frequently. Colorado has experienced significant extreme weather events in the last ten years and, consequently, has begun a statewide effort to incorporate resilience into short- and long-term planning across state and local governments. As cities and counties undergo resilience planning processes, today’s students (tomorrow’s leaders) are often unaware of these efforts and are left out of the planning process. The HEART Force curriculum empowers students with the knowledge needed to participate (and lead) the resilience conversation in their own community, with place-based hazard education that includes a scenario-based role-play game and design thinking to create resilience strategies in their community. The curricular unit culminates with a resilience expo, where students engage with community members as resilience experts and share their ideas. HEART is a novel approach in that it uses several current instructional strategies (place-based learning, project-based learning, gamification, and design thinking) to empower students to engage with their community. If students want to implement their resilience projects that arise from the curriculum, mini-grants are available to fund projects. The HEART program is currently in its second year of piloting in rural and urban Colorado schools. We will present preliminary evaluation findings and share curriculum and program design strategies.
Global food supply has substantial impacts on nature including environmental degradation from chemicals, carbon emissions and biodiversity loss through agricultural land conversion. Over the past decade, public demand for information on sustainable consumption choices has increased. Meanwhile, development and expansion of the life cycle assessment literature has improved scientific evidence on supply-chain impacts on the environment. However, data gaps and biases lead to uncertainty and undermine development of effective impact mitigation actions or behavior-change policies. This study evaluates whether scientific research into the nature-related impacts of agri-food systems aligns with the needs of the public, as indicated by patterns of information seeking. We compare the relative volume of public Google queries to scientific articles related to agri-food systems and three major impacts: chemical pollution, greenhouse gas emissions or biodiversity loss. We discover that biodiversity is systematically overlooked in scientific studies on agri-food system impacts in favor of research on emissions. In contrast, the relative volumes of public queries on agri-food systems and biodiversity equal those for emissions impacts at global and Australian scales. Public interest in biodiversity impacts of agri-food systems increased significantly between 2009 and 2020, despite no significant change in the relative volume of biodiversity-focused scientific articles. Both public and scientific attention on chemical impacts declined significantly over this time period. We recommend strategic investment into the biodiversity impacts of agri-food systems to build a knowledge base that allows the public to learn about the impacts of their choices and be inspired to change to more sustainable behaviors.
Probability allows predicting the most and least probable outcomes. However, the probability of an outcome is affected by the physical quantities that describe the universe. The certainty of a single outcome and uncertainties of many outcomes are determined by how uniformly a scalar field (i.e. Potential field, entropy, mass) is distributed over an entity. It is known that an increase in entropy increases the likelihood. In this paper, this knowledge is taken one step further to understand the likelihood of the possible outcomes within an entity which have either a uniform or non-uniform scalar field. Uniform scalar fields over an entity have net-zero scalar field value. An example of Uniform scalar fields over an entity is rolling an unloaded dice where every individual six outcomes have an equal likelihood. Uniform scalar fields over an entity are where most uncertainty occurs as all outcomes have an equal likelihood. The non-uniform scalar field over an entity is where there is most certainty towards a single outcome. For example, a loaded dice has the highest probability for a single outcome. The theoretical model created in this paper is based on two square six by 6 cm dice, where one die is loaded non-uniformly with different chemical molecules of different entropy and mass value and represented with contour lines in a contour map. Another dice is loaded uniformly with the same chemical molecule of the same entropy and mass all over the dice. As the distribution of the chemical molecule is uniform, this configuration represents an unloaded die. Neither entropy nor mass scalar fields alone are capable of determining the outcome of the dice alone. The outcome is also determined by the type of external force, energy acting on the entity (i.e. dice), and the definition of probability. All in all, the Important result is that regardless of the definition of probability, type of external force, energy, or internal scalar field within the entity, the most probable outcome, and the least probable outcome are determined and connected by the gradient of the scalar field (i.e. Gradient of Entropy, ∇ S ) within the entity.
Mosasaurids is a group of aquatic lizards living in the Late Cretaceous sea. They are found worldwide. Taniwhasaurus mikasaensis Caldwell et al. 2008 is a species of Mosasauridae and was found from the Kashima Formation, the Santonian-Campanian boundary interval, the Upper Cretaceous. This type specimen was chosen for the Japan’s National monument on July 16th, 1976 for the first discovery of a terrestrial carnivorous dinosaurs (at the time of discovery of the specimen, it was identified to Tyrannosauroidea). Including the holotype of T. mikasaensis, only four fossils are resistered as Japan’s National Monument. In addition, the other fossils of National Monuments are registered with its localities. Namely, the holotype of T. mikasaensis is an only fossil alone registered National Monument. Therefore, there are no opportunity to touch by non-experts and to see in another museum for special exhibition or fossil replica because the change of existing condition is strongly restricted by the law. In addition, the Holotype of T. mikasaensis is housed in a local museum of Japan and then it is difficult to touch or research that for “foreigners”. To change this situation, firstly, we made 3D data of T. mikasaensis for the original specimen available for various uses such as research and educational outreach. We made some types of outreach tools of T. mikasaensis. First, we made some sizes of replicas by using 3D printer (AFINIA). These replicas were changed “untouchable” situation of the national monument. Second, we made web-based AR application using this 3D model and surface texture data. Web-based system does not need special equipment or APP for display AR model. We used A-frame and AR.js for making AR system. AR.js are generally used marker for showing 3D model in smartphones. Then, we verified the educational effect of these 3D data of T. mikasaensis. In July 13th, 2019, we carried out a hands-on education program for T. mikasaensis. Experiment peoples were general visitors from teens to 50s. First, they viewed an exhibition room where the holotype of T. mikasaensis was putted in, and then they moved to the hands-on booth. In this booth, the followers were exhibited; a photo of T. mikasaensis, two 3D printed replicas, a whole-body skeleton and a reconstruction illustration of T. mikasaensis, and some sets of a QR code and a maker for the web-based AR application. Visitors experienced AR with their own smartphones or the arranged tablet PC. A curator explained the outline and importance of T. mikasaensis and then, visitors touched models and AR freely. The holotype of T. mikasaensis was one of the rare mosasaurid skulls in Japan. This specimen was difficult to move because of legislatively and physically. In contrast, 3D printed models or AR enable to observe accurately everywhere. Therefore, in the future, it was expected to provide more research chance to worldwide researchers with our digital contains.
Technosignatures involves the detection of radio signals, lasers, atmospheric pollution, radiation leakage from megastructures or sidereal installations such as Dyson spheres, Shkadov thrusters with the power to alter the orbits of stars around the Galactic Centre, etc. Some authors have postulated the possibility of previous ancient civilizations indigenous to our solar system having left behind some techno-signatures that we might find. However, if we look for these techno-signatures, artificial structures or signs, our minds can easily become confused when confronted with the unexpected. In recent times we had news about several events that made us question its possible extraterrestrial intelligent origin: The Tabby star anomaly, Oumuamua object and the 16 days periodic radio patterns detected by CHIME/FRB. Facts open to interpretation, our brain interpretation. The question is whether our minds are ready and capable of finding and understanding such techno-signatures, or whether we need to wait for our consciousness to be able to apprehend and comprehend these features. Could we get some help from artificial intelligence (AI)?