Friday, December 9, 2016

SEN DataThon this Sunday at UC Berkeley

In collaboration with SEAD (Sustainable Environment Actionable Data), the NSF EarthCube-sponsored (Sediment Experimentalist Network (SEN) will be hosting a "DataThon" this Sunday, Dec. 11, 2016, at UC Berkeley to advance the cause of data sharing and reproducibility. A core group of early-career and more senior scientists, we will spend the afternoon uploading our datasets to SEAD 2.0 project spaces and describing our datasets and methods on the SEN Knowledge Base (SEN-KB). Let's make open data a reality!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

More SEN and EarthCube events at AGU 2016

If you are attending the AGU 2016 Fall Meeting, here are some events in addition to the SEN-related presentations we recently posted.

  • Raleigh Martin of SEN will be at the EarthCube booth #509, Wednesday 11:30a-12:30p if you'd like to chat about sediment experiments and the tools and resources we are trying to share.

SEN-related presentations at the 2016 Fall AGU Meeting

An incomplete listing of SEN related presentations at the 2016 Fall AGU Meeting. We tried to crowdsource this, but ended up searching the AGU Fall Meeting Schedule by ourselves and simultaneously (1) got a headache and (2) was amazed at all of the experimental work going on.

Is your presentation missing? Email














Experimentalist of the Month: Joel P. Johnson

SEN is starting up a new segment with featured experimentalists!

This month:

Joel P. Johnson

Assistant Professor, University of Texas at Austin

Joel with first-generation smartrocks in 2009

How did you first get involved with SEN?

I first attended a SEN-organized workshop a few years ago which was excellent!

What different types of experiments have you worked with?

Working in many cases with students, I have conducted experiments on bedrock erosion, flash flood sediment transport and sorting, tsunami deposition of suspended sediments, disequilibrium gravel transport and step-pool experiments, hillslope diffusion experiments that didn't entirely work, and of course debris flow experiments with smartrocks. I am currently working with a Masters student on experiments to compare dissolution vs. abrasion of bedrock rates and erosional morphologies. 

What is a favorite memory of yours in the lab?

Building a flume-within-a-flume, modifying a shopping cart to catch sediment, and throwing my first smartrocks into experimental debris flows with Leslie Hsu.

What do you hope SEN will help the experimental community to achieve?

We as a community have been both lazy and selfish about sharing data, and that should change.  Making sharing data the expectation, and also incentivizing doing so, is important.

Thanks for being part of SEN, Joel!

Send nominations for featured experimentalists to

Tips for student presenters at AGU

Are you a student presenting at the Fall AGU Meeting?

Here are some tips from the EPSP Outstanding Student Paper Award organizers in 2014:

Thanks to the judges for their tremendous volunteer effort in the 2014 OSPA program! And thanks to our EPSP student community, you did a great job presenting your science. Here is a round-up of the 2014 AGU OSPA judging comments, which may help for future presentations:

Common judging comments:

  1. Get people excited about your work. Enthusiasm, liveliness, and spark about your presentation help make a good impression and generally help earn higher scores.
  2. Be able to answer the question "Why does it matter?" Know how your project will advance the field, how it fits into the already published literature, and your hypothesis. This was one of the most common issues that judges noted, either because it was successfully or not successfully addressed.
  3. At a poster presentation, try to acknowledge and talk to all visitors. You don't know who might be your judge and don't want to keep them waiting too long! When discussing, it helps to make eye contact to everyone standing at the poster. Try to treat visitors equally and acknowledge them when speaking. When presenting, try to allow time for your audience to ask questions.
  4. Don't overwhelm your audience with poster or slide text or content. At a poster, if asked for a five minute summary, aim for that and don't give your 15 minute speech. Too much text or figures that are too small are commonly noted by judges.
  5. Be at your poster when you say you'll be, or leave a note. The judges use your specified time slot to make their schedules. Judges are busy, and if you are not there, you miss out on the chance to be evaluated (and you might make your judge a little agitated.)

Other notes from the judging comments:

  1. Even if your project is still in the beginning stages, you can make a good impression by knowing the context of your work and your vision for the future of the project.
  2. Emphasize the summary/take home points early and end strongly on them.
  3. Phrase things in a positive light (without going overboard), as opposed to saying disparaging or inconclusive things about your findings.
  4. Try to gauge audience knowledge - don't assume they know all about your technique unless it is extremely common, give appropriate background information.
  5. Speak loudly enough for judges to hear you.
  6. Several judges wished there were maps for context of the study.
  7. If for some reason you cannot attend, withdraw your poster from the OSPA competition.

Ken Ferrier and Leslie Hsu - OSPA coordinators 2014

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

HYDRALAB Workshop on Scaling and Optical techniques for Hydraulic Experiments

From Stuart J. McLelland:

Dear All,

HYDRALAB+ is providing an opportunity for PhD students and Early Careers Researchers to participate in a workshop on Scaling issues in hydraulic models and optical measurement techniques. The workshop will include presentations on scaling and optical methods for measurements in fluids. Participants will get hands-on experience with different measurement techniques in four different laboratory experiments and will learn how to process and analyse data before present their results and interpretations.

The workshop will take place at IMFT (UMR 5502), Toulouse, France on 18-20 January 2017. The techniques covered during the workshop will include: 2D-2C Particle Image Velocimetry, Laser Doppler Anemometry, Ombroscopy, and Altimetry using fringe projection.

If you are interested in participating, please apply by 5th December 2016 using the application form at the web address below. The cost of accommodation and some meals will be included and there is funding available towards travel costs.

Poster advertising full details of workshop:

Weblink to overview and application form:

Stuart McLelland

Dr Stuart McLelland
Head of Geography
Geography, School of Environmental Sciences
University of Hull

Tel (office/lab): 01482 465007/381050
Mobile: 07590 689665
Twitter: @StuartMcLelland

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Upcoming webinar on SuAVE tool for sharing and visually exploring surveys and image collections - Friday, 11/18

Please take note of the next in the series of "EarthCube Tools" webinars, which will be useful for any scientists needing to share and visualize surveys and image collections.

Title: SuAVE - Survey Analysis via Visual Exploration

Friday, November 18, at 2 pm EST (1 PM CST, 12 PM MST, 11 AM PST, 9 AM HST)

Presenters: Ilya Zaslavsky, San Diego Supercomputer Center

Description: SuAVE is a new online tool for sharing and visually exploring surveys and image collections. It originated in the CINERGI Building Block project and has been used to analyze the EarthCube Member Survey, and then for CINERGI Community Resource Viewers. With SuAVE you can publish your data online (mixed numeric and text data, and images), slice and dice the data based on any combination of attributes, visualize general patterns and drill down to outliers, explore various data views, annotate your findings, and share annotations with collaborators. See for examples in the geosciences and other fields including sociology, biology and ecology, archaeology, art history and humanities, urban planning, and medical informatics.

Call-in and event details are available here.
About the webinars:The EarthCube Tools webinar series, organized by the Science Committee of the NSF-sponsored EarthCube program, provides practical demonstrations of how EarthCube projects can help you to collect, access, share, and visualize geoscience data.  Each webinar begins with a showcase of an EarthCube funded project followed by ample time for questions and conversation.  Wary of EarthCube jargon?  Presenters will describe their projects in plain English for scientists in all disciplines who may be unfamiliar with EarthCube.  Here’s a chance for you (and your colleagues, team members, and students) to learn about EarthCube and how it can help to advance your scientific work.  More information on the webinar series is available here.  Archived video will be available on the website about one week after the webinar.

Upcoming webinar:
"CINERGI," Ilya Zaslavsky (San Diego Supercomputer Center)
Friday, January 20, 2017, 2 pm EST (1 PM CST, 12 PM MST, 11 AM PST, 9 AM HST)