[FOSEP seminar] Wood on "Crowdsourcing Environmental data: The Old Weather citizen-science project"

Start Date/Time: Wednesday, April 10, 2013, 4:30 PM
Ending Date/Time: Wednesday, April 10, 2013, 5:30 PM
Location: Physics/Astronomy Building A110

Dr. Kevin Wood - Research Scientist, Joint Institute for the Study of Atmosphere and Ocean & Arctic lead investigator, U.S. Old Weather

Talk Summary:

A vast reservoir of new-to-science environmental data is contained in historical ship logbooks and other original documents that have been preserved for generations by the U.S. National Archives and other repositories around the world, but these data are technically inaccessible. The Old Weather citizen-science project is recovering millions of these hand-written observations, converting them into digital format, and integrating them into large-scale data sets where they are used for new research. This data is needed for scientists to better understand longer-term environmental variations in the Arctic and around the world, and is vital to our efforts to model and predict future change and its human impact. Old Weather citizen-scientists also make enormous contributions in other areas from maritime history to plasma physics.

Speaker Bio:

Kevin Wood, U.S. Old Weather - Arctic lead investigator, is a climate scientist at the NOAA - University of Washington Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean (JISAO). Before coming to UW he sailed the world’s oceans for 25 years aboard traditionally-rigged sailing vessels. His interest in historical climatology stems from this experience on these ships, much like those used by 19th century explorers, and from working on research vessels in the ice-covered seas of the Arctic and Antarctic. He holds a license as master of steam and sailing vessels and a Ph.D. from the University of Washington Department of Earth and Space Sciences.

Try it out yourself at www.oldweather.org

FOSEP is an interdisciplinary student-led organization that fosters the development of citizen-scientists who can participate effectively in civic dialogue about science and policy through seminars, discussion groups, public forums and social media. We are supported by the UW Graduate School, UW Office of Research, and the Molecular Cell Biology Graduate Program.