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2020 Virtual Science On a Sphere® Users Collaborative Network Workshop

Celebrating NOAA’s 50 years of science, service, and stewardship.
This figure advertises the 2020 Virtual Workshop for Science On a Sphere Users Collaborative Network. Text reads, from top to bottom, "2020 Virtual Workshop for Science On a Sphere Users Collaborative Network, December 1st through 3rd, 2020." The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50th anniversary logo is on the lower left side of the figure, next to text that reads "National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce."  All of the text and logo mentioned is positioned on top of a dark, low-contrast background image of a Science On a Sphere exhibit superimposed on a nighttime, starry nightscape. Figure is created by Stephen Zepecki.
2020 Virtual Workshop for Science On a Sphere® Users Collaborative Network
The 2020 Science On a Sphere® Users Collaborative Network was virtual and celebrated the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's 50 years of science, service, and stewardship. (Credit: Stephen Zepecki, NOAA/IMSG)

Overview

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, NOAA hosted the Science On a Sphere® (SOS) Users Collaborative Network Workshop in a virtual platform on December 1-3, 2020. The pandemic has heightened awareness of the fact that we’re living in a globally connected society and how the actions of one place affect the well-being of another place. SOS is arguably, one of the best tools for promoting global perspectives. 

The workshop showcased presentations submitted from participants with a focus on the use of visualizations for education as well as using spherical display systems for providing science educational messages. We opened up the workshop to other groups that work with NOAA on related topics. The objectives of this workshop were to:

  • Advance awareness of NOAA's global visualizations that are useful for education
  • Share best practices in using visualizations for online learning
  • Support the needs of the user community of SOS

In recognition of NOAA’s 50th anniversary in 2020, the theme of the SOS workshop was “Celebrating NOAA’s 50 years of science, service, and stewardship”. NOAA presentations supported this theme directly. We encouraged presentation proposal submissions that address this theme by including the history of their organization, their organization’s role in providing science to society, and/or ideas about the future for how to build a scientifically and environmentally literate society. In particular, we were interested in presentations about how SOS institutions have been continuing the mission of their organizations during this time of restricted visitor access and institutional closures.

Participation in this workshop was limited to members of the NOAA Science On a Sphere® Users Collaborative Network, as well as invited groups who work on related topics. Invitations to participate in the workshop were sent to all members via the Science On a Sphere® Users Collaborative Network listserv. If you are interested in future participation and/or are concerned that your contact information may not be up-to-date, please check out the “More information” section, below.

There was no registration fee. However, all who participate in the workshop,  registered in advance. 

Resources

The hours for the SOS Workshop were:

  • Tuesday, December 1, 1:00 pm – 4:30 pm EST
  • Wednesday, December 2, 1:00 pm – 4:30 pm EST
  • Thursday, December 3, 1:00 pm – 4:30 pm EST 

Workshop presentation formats:

Since we convened virtually this year, presentations were in these formats:

Lightning talk  -  These presentations will be made to all participants, so they should appeal to the majority of workshop attendees. Lightning talks were pre-recorded and no more than 5 minutes in length.  We grouped similar themed talks together in a cluster of ~4 talks per day, followed by 10 mins of live Q & A. 

20-minute breakout session/small-group discussion  -  These sessions were offered concurrently with other sessions, and were meant to be engaging and dynamic with a smaller group of people. We recommend presenters limit slide presentations to approximately 10 minutes to allow for ample time for discussion with audience members. 

40-minute breakout session/small-group discussion  -  These sessions were offered concurrently with other sessions, and were meant to be engaging and dynamic with a smaller group of people. There were 1-3 presenters followed by interaction with participants through group discussion. 

More information 

If you have any questions about the workshop, or if you would like to be added to our Science On a Sphere® communications emails, and/or update your contact information, you may contact us at sos.workshop@noaa.gov.