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The National Geographic Society , headquartered in Washington, D.C. in the United States of America, is one of the largest nonprofit scientific and educational institutions in the world. Its interests include geography, archaeology and natural science, the promotion of environmental and historical conservation, and the study of world culture and history. The National Geographic Society’s logo is a yellow portrait frame – rectangular in shape – which appears on the margins surrounding the front covers of its magazines and as its television channel logo. They also have their own website which features extra content and worldwide events. Wikipedia.

Burney J.A.,University of California at San Diego | Naylor R.L.,Stanford University | Postel S.L.,Global Water Policy Project | Postel S.L.,National Geographic Society
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America | Year: 2013

Distributed irrigation systems are those in which the water access (via pump or human power), distribution (via furrow, watering can, sprinkler, drip lines, etc.), and use all occur at or near the same location. Distributed systems are typically privately owned and managed by individuals or groups, in contrast to centralized irrigation systems, which tend to be publicly operated and involve large water extractions and distribution over significant distances for use by scores of farmers. Here we draw on a growing body of evidence on smallholder farmers, distributed irrigation systems, and land and water resource availability across sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) to show how investments in distributed smallholder irrigation technologies might be used to (i) use the water sources of SSA more productively, (ii) improve nutritional outcomes and rural development throughout SSA, and (iii) narrow the income disparities that permit widespread hunger to persist despite aggregate economic advancement. © PNAS 2013. Source

Agency: NSF | Branch: Continuing grant | Program: | Phase: AISL | Award Amount: 2.71M | Year: 2010

This project will expand the functions and applications of FieldScope, a web-based science information portal currently supported by the National Geographic Society (NGS). The goal is to create a single, powerful infrastructure for Public Participation in Science Research (PPSR) projects that any organization can use to create their own project and support their own community of participants. FieldScope currently provides various tools and applications for use by its existing user base that includes the GLOBE project and the Chesapeake Bay monitoring system. The application enables users to contribute volunteered geographic data collection efforts and sharing information among both professional and amateur users. The project would develop and test an enhanced version of the existing FieldScope application. The project supports major programming development for a fully-functional web-based application that would significantly enhance the usability of the current application. Along with programming new features and capabilities, the project involves extensive evaluation of the new capabilities and involves three citizen-based organizations as testbeds.

The project will increase the capability of the existing system to handle large numbers of users and user groups and also increase the number and variety of tools available to any user; provide customization through the adaption of common APIs; and provide for expansion of computer space through use of virtual servers in a cloud computing environment thereby limiting the need for installed hardware. This approach would maximize storage and computing power by being able to call on resources when necessary and scaling back when demand decreases.

The platform would include advanced visualization capabilities as part of a suite of analytic tools available to the user. Social networking applications would also be incorporated as a way of enabling communication among users of a particular site. The operation of the portal would be supported by the NGS and made available free of charge to any group of users applying for space. Nominal fees will be applied to large organizations requiring large computing space or additional features. User groups can request NGS supply custom features for the cost of development and deployment.

The evaluation of this project is extensive and focused on formative evaluation as a means to identify user preferences, from look and feel of the site to types of tools desired and types of uses expected. The formative evaluation would be conducted ahead of any commitment to programming and formatting of the features of the site.

The project responds to a need expressed throughout the citizen science community for web-based applications that enable individuals to engage in a topic of interest, interact in various ways on such a site including the submission of data and information, analyze the information in concert with others and with working scientists in the field, and utilize state-of-the-art tools such as visualization as a way of making sense of the data being collected. There have been numerous proposals to create similar types of sites from various groups, each based on its own perceived needs and grounded in its own particular discipline or topic. This activity could serve this community more broadly and save similar groups the trouble and expense of creating sites from scratch.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: CYBER-PHYSICAL SYSTEMS (CPS) | Award Amount: 1.00M | Year: 2011

This project will construct a wireless network of animal-borne embedded devices that will be deployed and tested in a biologically-relevant application. The networked devices will provide not only geo-location data, but also execute cooperative strategies that save battery-life by selectively recording bandwidth-intensive audio and high-definition video footage of occurrences of animal group behavior of interest, such as predation.
This project comprises three concurrent and interdependent research themes. The first is the investigation of methods to design and analyze the performance of distributed algorithms that implement autonomous decisions at the mobile agents, subject to communication and computational constraints. The second will pursue data-driven fundamental research on the modeling of animal group motion and will promote a formal understanding of the mechanisms of social interaction. The third is centered on the investigation of methods for hardware integration to build distributed networks of embedded devices that are capable of executing the newly developed algorithms, subject to power and weight constraints.
The results and experience gained in this project will guide the development of effective autonomous systems for the monitoring and protection of endangered species. This project will create undergraduate and graduate research opportunities at all participating institutions, expanding on an existing collaboration between the University of Maryland, Princeton University, and the National Geographic Society. There is the potential for using wide-reaching media resources to disseminate the results of this project to a broad audience. This may contribute to attracting more students to engineering and science.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Continuing grant | Program: | Phase: DISCOVERY RESEARCH K-12 | Award Amount: 2.26M | Year: 2010

Having a geographically literate population will be critical to the economic stability, physical security, and environmental sustainability of the United States in the 21st century. Yet the U.S. still lags far behind the other developed nations in education in the geographical sciences. Recognizing the risk that geographic illiteracy poses for our country, the National Geographic Society (NGS), in collaboration with the Association of American Geographers, American Geographical Society, and National Council for Geographic Education, proposes to engage in a set of research synthesis and dissemination activities that will provide road maps for the design of assessment, professional development, instructional materials, public information, and educational research for the next decade. The work will be done by a broad range of experts from K-12 institutions as well as the geographical science and educational research communities

Building on a 25 year collaboration, NGS and its partners propose to engage in a community-wide effort to synthesize the literature from a broad range of fields and to use the findings to create frameworks that will guide the planning, implementation, and scale-up of efforts to improve geographic education over the next decade. The result of this effort will be a set of publicly reviewed, consensus reports that will guide the collaborative efforts of the project partners and the larger geographic education community, as well as broaden awareness of the increasingly significant and acute need for geographic literacy and education in the geographical sciences in our country.

This project will create three in-depth roadmap reports targeted at practitioners, takeholders, and policymakers. Developed by expert committees, these three reports will be on:

- Assessment frameworks for systematic monitoring and continuous improvement of geographic education programs.
- Professional development for teachers and instructional materials to support large-scale educational improvement across diverse contexts.
- Educational research agenda to set priorities and identify appropriate methodologies for research that will improve geographic education into the future.

These three reports will be summarized in an executive summary written for a broad audience of educators, policymakers, and concerned citizens.
In addition to these consensus reports, the project will also conduct research on public understanding of the nature and importance of geographic literacy, with particular attention to the key audiences of educators, policymakers, and citizens. In addition to shaping the projects reports, this research will inform the broader communications and dissemination efforts of this project and its partners.

News Article
Site: http://news.yahoo.com/science/

The boy king died in 1323 B.C. when he was about 18 years old. More Egypt's new antiquities minister, Khaled El Anany, sounded caution this morning at a press conference in Luxor over the claim that Tutankhamun's tomb holds two hidden chambers. Egyptologist Nicholas Reeves, of the Amarna Royal Tombs Project, had proposed that two hidden chambers were lurking in the tomb of Tutankhamun and that the hidden rooms may hold the tomb of Queen Nefertiti, the stepmom of King Tutankhamun. Radar scans conducted last year by Japanese radar technologist Hirokatsu Watanabe supposedly supported this idea. On March 17, Egypt's ministry of antiquities, led at the time by Mamdouh ?El-Damaty, stated that Watanabe's scans "suggest the presence of two empty spaces or cavities beyond the decorated north and west walls of the burial chamber," as well as the "presence of metallic and organic substances." The radar scans also showed what could be door lintels that indicate the presence of doorways, the antiquities minster said at the time in a statement to media. [See Photos of King Tut's Burial and Radar Scans] However, radar experts not affiliated with the project disputed the results of those scans. These experts noted that the sediment layers at the Valley of the Kings, where King Tut's tomb is located, contain natural voids and rock inclusions that make it difficult for radar to distinguish between archaeological remains and natural phenomena. Over the past two weeks, the antiquities minister at the time, ?El-Damaty, along with Egypt's minister of tourism, Hisham Zazou, were replaced in a cabinet shuffle. Yesterday, a team supported by the National Geographic Society conducted new radar scans. Those scans are being processed and analyzed; however, the new antiquities minister — El Anany — sounded a note of caution at today's press conference. "We are not looking for hidden chambers but for the reality of the truth," El-Anany said. "We are very keen to follow the scientific procedures," he said, adding that more radar work would be performed in late April, followed by an international conference in May in which experts would review the results. Egypt's former antiquities minister, El-Damaty, was also at today's press conference and said that while the two cavities could exist, "we have to be sure 100 percent." Even so, the Egypt's antiquities ministry said in a statement that "the preliminary results [of yesterday's scans] reached so far do not contradict with the results of the previous radar scans." Reeves also said that the two cavities, possibly holding a tomb, could still exist. No new radar images were released to media. For the next scan, scheduled for the end of April, another team of scientists will use a different radar-scanning method on King Tut's tomb. In the previous two scans, scientists tried to peer behind the walls of the Tutankhamun burial chamber. The new scans will take place in the hills above Tutankhamun's tomb, using radar equipment that can peer 40 meters (130 feet) below the ground to see if hidden chambers exist. The international conference to review the results will be held in the Grand Egyptian Museum in Cairo, El Anany said. There, experts will discuss whether the two chambers exist, and if so, what could be in them and what would be the best way to access them. Scientists will not use any methods that could damage the artwork in Tutankhamun's tomb, El Anany said. Copyright 2016 LiveScience, a Purch company. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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