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Posts from the ‘Weather & Climate’ Category


A Common Crowdsourcing Platform?

Here’s the executive summary:   A common smartphone app interface and underlying open API could unlock crowdsourced data collection across a number of different fields.  The trick … how to get critical mass. Read more »


From Plankton to Hailstones

Another drive-by brainoid: while learning about the Processing visualization language, I stumbled across this beautiful visualization of a system dynamics model of marine ecosystems, which captures the evolution of three discrete categories: nutrients, phytoplankton, zooplankton (the latter two across a range of size bins): Read more »


Mobile Weather Spotting (Avian Redux)

Harkening back to my March post on iPhone-enabled severe weather spotting/reporting, here’s a similar concept applied to birding.

Courtesy (and no, I’m not a birder – but the site ended up as a nominee for the Peoples’ Choice Webby Awards and looked intriguing).


Sustainable Earth Observations and Space Exploration

I don’t plan to use this space often to write about work-related topics, and think it would be inappropriate to do so for anything within NASA’s current congressionally authorized mission. There are, however, a couple of “far downstream” topics I do feel strongly about, and occasionally will hit them here. So long as no one on the Hill is (yet) paying us to work them, I believe they’re fair game for a private blog.

A Game-Changing Capability

Politics-willing, within the next decade the United States will regain a strategic capability it lost nearly 40 years ago when we ended the Apollo (and Saturn) programs, namely truly heavy-lift launch capabilities. Read more »


iPhone Weather Spotters

OK, so my first entry is a riff off of an existing idea, but I think has real legs.

The inspiration comes from a recent NPR Science Friday story about the National Phenology Network, which gets citizen-volunteers to share their observations of plant phenology (first bloom, etc) to help monitor climate data.

Neat, but I’m thinking a fairly “niche market”, and a web interface, while it will get the job done, may not be the best way to encourage participation (during the interview, iPhone, Twitter, etc future interfaces were briefly mentioned).

A much, much larger “market” could easily exist with severe weather spotting, and I’m zeroing in VFR-direct to the iPhone app concept. Read more »