NC – ScienceOnline Together, Saturday PM


March 1, 2014 by Dr. G

Click on the hashtag #Scio14 to view all of my posts from ScienceOnline Together.

There was one more session before lunch on our final day, and I headed to the session on Online Communities: Meeting, Managing, and Moving Forward.  Masterfully led by Lou Woodley, this session provided me EXACTLY the information I was looking for.  Lou started with some brief comments on community, communication, commitment, and then a fourth “c” of coordination.  I learned that most online communities fail because of a lack of action, and that people need to be recruited from online communities to be advocates for that of the online community to succeed.  Audience members also mentioned that it is important to find our from the online community what individuals expect from being involved with the community, and what they hope to get out of the involvement.  Twitter chats were mentioned, as they are effective in gathering a large audience beyond the original community to participate in an online discussion, but does it actually *build* community?

The ScienceOnline mascot hanging out with some trilobites printed with the 3D printer

The ScienceOnline mascot hanging out with some trilobites printed with the 3D printer

Next up – lunch!  After helping ourselves to a delicious build-you-own taco buffet, I sat at a table with a group talking about science podcasts formatted as a quiz/game show.  Rachel Pendergrass (@backtobeatrice) led the discussion and is going to be producing this new podcast series.  We had a fun and exciting table discussion, and I hope to contribute to one of Rachel’s podcasts in the future!  Keep an ear out for me.

But then, after lunch, it hit all of us…

The final session of the conference brought everyone back together for some reporting out from all of the session (I counted 36 people giving one-minute reports).  We also learned that next year’s ScienceOnline is going to be held in Atlanta, Georgia, on the campus of Georgia Tech.  I already have February 18-21 penciled in on my calendar.  We were told that one of the reasons this location was picked is because it is below the “snow line” and we would not have to worry about travel issues.  But then, several tweets came out (as it was not that long ago that people had to sleep in their cars and in schools overnight in Atlanta because a storm became very severe very quickly):

Then, just like that, the conference ended!  It was too late for me to catch a flight back to Philadelphia, so I dashed off to do a quick tour inside the North Carolina State Capitol building, just blocks away from our conference hotel.  Seeing as I had just visited the Texas State Capitol when I was in Austin earlier this year, I couldn’t give up the opportunity to check out another capitol building.  I only had 15 minutes to zip through, but I was rewarded with a site I had never seen in any other state capitol building – the office of the state geologist!  (a restored office, but still wonderful to look at, even if for only a few minutes).

North Carolina State Capitol Building in Raleigh, NC

North Carolina State Capitol Building in Raleigh, NC

The State Geologist Office in the North Carolina State Capitol building.

The State Geologist Office in the North Carolina State Capitol building.


Time for me to pack up and think about how to wrap up my thoughts and reflections on ScienceOnline 2014.

One thought on “NC – ScienceOnline Together, Saturday PM

  1. […] In both cities, I was able to visit and tour the capitol buildings (see my posts for Austin and Raleigh).  And, it just so happens that Boston is the capital of Massachusetts, so guess where I […]


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But I have to share one more post from the #OSM20 fieldtrip to @birchaquarium and @scripps_ocean. And I don't know why this didn't click with me before I went on the trip, but Scripps Institution of Oceanography was the home of Charles Keeling (you know... the "Keeling Curve" guy). He was mentioned briefly during our time on campus, but I wanted more! So I ran over to his building to snap some photos, including photos in front of the historic markers. After visiting the Mauna Loa Laboratory back in 2014 (throwback photo included), it was great to come complete circle on the journey of CO2 measurements! #historicmarker #ACSmarker #Keeling
The last stop on the #OSM20 @scripps_ocean tour was the marine vertebrate collection. This collection focuses on fish-only, as the whale bones were given to NOAA once the Marine Mammal Protection Act went into effect. The collection was founded in 1944 and focuses mostly on eastern Pacific marine fish. We learned many cool, random fish facts! For example, this collection has over 2 million individual fish specimens that represents more than 6,000 fish species. Yet there have been 35,000 fish species identified in the world, with 500 new fish species identified each year. We saw the deepest fish ever caught - a type of snail fish from the Mariana Trench (~7,966 m deep). We also saw lots of fish in jars - a whale shark, goblin shark, viper fish, angler fish, and blob fish!
Next stop at #OSM20 @scripps_ocean was the Hubbs Research Aquarium - which is true to its name, as it clearly resembles a research laboratory! So many cool experiments are being done here by Scripps faculty. The work on the white sea bass was interesting, looking at the otoliths (inner ear bone) and what impact changing ocean pH will have on them for equilibrium and their growth? As this fish is used alot in the aquaculture industry, this work has great releavance. The sea urchin work on the white, purple (no photo), and red varieties was also fascinating. For example, how do human chemicals that wash into the ocean impact the growth and defense mechanisms of these sea creatures? In some cases, the reaction can be seen under a microscope. And the albino shark was just really cool to see...
Being a part of the #OSM20 fieldtrip allowed us special access to the @scripps_ocean Scripps Pier. This 1,000 foot-long pier increases six feet in height as you walk out from the shore, so water can filtered and be pumped back to the laboratories in the black seawater flume that runs along its length. The pier is designed to lower their smaller research vessels and divers, but it also takes important water measurements (looking down the opening where literally a bucket is lowered to collect a sample) and air measurements through weather stations and the pink pole at the end of the pier. These temperature measurements are critical for climate change mapping. What a view of sandstone faces, surfers, and oh yes - we saw dolphins, too!
Next stop on the #OSM20 fieldtrip was to the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. We had a box lunch (with a box of water!) and a fascinating summary of the history of Scripps presented by Kirk Gardner. We heard about Revelle, Keeling, and more! @scripps_ocean
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