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Archives: 2007 and older
Population in the Post-2015 Development Agenda Addressed by UN Expert Panel

January 23, 2015

An expert panel on "Population, sustainable development, and the post-2015 development agenda" was held January 22 at United Nations headquarters in New York. Alex de Sherbinin, CIESIN's associate director for science applications, gave a presentation on population dynamics, the environment, and climate change, including an overview of relevant CIESIN work on population, migration, vulnerability, adaptation, and indicator development. The expert panel was organized by the Population Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs in preparation for the forty-eighth session of the Commission on Population and Development.

See: UN Web TV (starting at about 2 hours, 10 minutes)


CIESIN Reflects on Haiti Five Years after the Earthquake

January 14, 2015

CIESIN deputy director Marc Levy and Haiti program manager Alex Fischer shared their insights on progress, innovation, and challenges in Haiti, five years after the earthquake that destroyed large portions of Haiti's capital city, Port-au-Prince, and crippled the country. Levy participated in a panel discussion on Al-Jazeera America where he shared views on how to overcome the persistent elements of fragility in Haiti. Fischer and Levy published an op-ed piece at Time.com arguing that Haiti shouldn’t lose momentum towards a modern e-Governance system utilizing spatial data-driven investment planning tools for their development policies. Fischer has also spoken with NHK World in Japan about elements of national progress towards reconstruction and challenges to stability.

When the earthquake occurred on January 12, 2010, both Levy and Fischer were attending meetings with United Nations personnel in Port-au-Prince, as part of an effort begun in 2008 to support watershed monitoring and poverty and infrastructure mapping in the country. They have returned to Haiti on many occasions since then.

See: CIESIN Haiti Geoportal


Remote Sensing Scientist Joins Science Applications Division

January 13, 2015

Dr. Xue Liu, a scientist with more than 15 years of experience in remote sensing and geographic information systems (GIS), has joined CIESIN's Science Applications Division. Liu will help develop data systems and services for global and African digital soil mapping projects, and contribute to other geoinformatics and cyberinfrastructure activities in soil science, agricultural development, and related areas. He comes to CIESIN from I.M. Systems Group in Rockville, Maryland, where he worked on remote sensing, GIS, and decision support applications. He has also served as a visiting research associate professor with Chapman University and a senior research scientist with the Center for Earth Observing & Space Research at George Mason University. He received his Ph.D. in photogrammetry and remote sensing from Wuhan University.


Earth Science Data and Information Community Meets in DC

January 9, 2015

Senior digital archivist Robert Downs and John Scialdone, manager of data center services, attended the Winter 2015 meeting of the Federation of Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP Federation) held January 6-8 in Washington DC. Downs presented two papers, “A Scientific Data Center Perspective on Publishing Data” and “Eliciting Knowledge on Science Software Sustainability from the Earth Science Informatics Community.”  He also presented the poster, ”Enabling Ongoing Access to Data Products and Services When Dependencies are No Longer Supported,” and was a co-presenter on another poster, “Human & Machine Actionable Data Citations.” In conjunction with the meeting, Downs participated in the Board meeting of the Foundation for Earth Science as an elected ESIP representative. Scialdone represented the NASA Socioeconomic and Data Applications Center (SEDAC), a "Type 1" Federation member, during the Federation business meeting.


Scientific Data as a National Asset Emphasized in EOS Article

January 6, 2015

Senior digital archivist Robert Downs is one of the co-authors of a Forum contribution published December 16, 2014 in EOS, Transactions of the American Geophysical Union, on the topic, "Realizing the Value of a National Asset: Scientific Data." The article summarizes the conclusions and recommendations of discussions organized by the ESIP Federation since January 2013, including workshops held at the July 2013 and January 2014 ESIP Federation meetings. A key recommendation of the authors is the establishment of a U.S. National Research Council study on grand data challenges in the Earth sciences, aimed at setting priorities for scientific data management and examining sustainable economic models for scientific data infrastructure.

See: Realizing the Value of a National Asset: Scientific Data


New Lead for CIESIN's Science Applications Division

January 5, 2015

CIESIN is pleased to announce the appointment of Alex de Sherbinin as the new associate director for science applications, effective January 1. Since joining CIESIN in October 1999, de Sherbinin has played key roles in a range of CIESIN projects and activities on topics including population dynamics, climate vulnerability mapping, climate change and migration, environmental indicators, and remote sensing applications. He continues to serve as the deputy manager of the NASA Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC) operated by CIESIN and to co-lead the Population-Environment Research Network (PERN). Dr. de Sherbinin holds a Ph.D. from the Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation (ITC) at the University of Twente, the Netherlands. He takes over leadership of the Science Applications Division from CIESIN deputy director Marc Levy. The division includes more than a dozen scientific staff and visiting scholars spanning a wide range of disciplines and analytic skills.

See: Alex de Sherbinin Biography