Friday, December 17, 2010

"Speed date" networking at AGU

As I sit here at the San Francisco airport, in the third hour of a five-hour wait for my plane home to Tucson, I can finally take a deep breath after five days of the AGU mega-meeting.

Our poster presentation (on the Geoscience Information Network deployment for the National Geothermal Data System) wrapped up at 5pm today, 30 minutes later than scheduled, because of the almost non-stop queries all afternoon. That's been the tone of the whole meeting. The final registration ended up somewhere over 19,000 attendees. I feel like we must have talked to half of them sometime this week.

I did get to listen to almost half dozen talks and saw a few dozen posters. But mostly it was networking in a 'speed dating' style. Monday through Wednesday was a lot of working groups and scheduled meetings. But between each one and the last two days, we would walk 20 feet and run into someone else that resulted in an extended conversation about what we're doing and how we can partner or leverage each others work, or discuss one of the jobs we have open, or hook up some of our collaborators who don't know each other.

Are we willing to get the Geoscience Markup Language (GeoSciML) certified as an Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) standard? Could the Australian innovation for geothermal-powered air conditioning work in Arizona? How do we incorporate Oak Ridge National Lab's work on the Mercury informatics system for metadata creation in our data network? What have I learned in hosting this blog that could help other government agencies set up their own? The list of topics goes on and on. Steve Richard and I need to compare notes but I guess we have at least a couple dozen action items to follow up with. And I expect an equal number of follow-up messages from others about additional topics.

So, five hours with a power source and free wifi at the airport is time to blog a few items and answer some of the emails that piled up all week.

Did I mention we also submitted a funding proposal today that we wrote mostly in the editors resources room at the meeting? Thanks, AGU, for letting me hide out there for those cram sessions.

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