SESYNC hosted the Visualization Technologies to Support Research on Human-Environment Interactions Workshop to focus especially on the visualization and use of spatial datasets from the social and environmental sciences. The workshop discussed and identified some of the current visualization challenges and emerging opportunities in using spatial datasets to study human-environment interactions.
Citizen-scientists throughout North America perform thousands of surveys each year but, unlike their European counterparts, the data from these monitoring programs are little known and less used. A recent workshop at the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC) brought together all major butterfly data producers with representatives from the scientific and technology communities with the goal to develop systems to promote and support expanding public participation in and use of butterfly data and knowledge.
How can future human demand for food, fiber, energy, and water be efficiently met while minimizing negative impacts to the earth? Answering this question is key to developing scenarios that will inform natural resource management and planning, particularly those that jointly consider the effects of new policies on social and environmental systems. Understanding and accounting for potential changes to biodiversity, ecosystems, and the physical system is essential for effective, joint mitigation efforts.
What does it take to power SESYNC?
During the build out of our facilities, SESYNC and UMIACS (University of Maryland Institute for Advanced Computer Studies) staff pulled over 30,000 feet (5.5 miles!) of Category 6 Ethernet cable through the Center (which moves data at up to10 gigs/sec).
Hard at work: SESYNC staff pulling cables in Fall 2011
SESYNC and UMIACS staff also terminated over 240 Ethernet ports, and installed two equipment racks, 4 UPS back-up batteries and a dozen wireless access points throughout the Center. Our outbound connectivity is a 500 megabit metro-ethernet circuit connecting our offices to the University of Maryland in College Park. We are in the process of acquiring a 10 gigabit connection which will allow access to resources at College Park as if they were on our local network.
Now that we’ve been officially open for 10 months, here are a few statistics on what we’ve deployed over the past year:
Total video conferencing participant hours: 815
Available research storage: 35 terabytes
Active network connections: 80
FUN FACT: Our available research storage is the equivalent to the storage space of over 7,000 DVD movies!