Washington, DC, United States
Washington, DC, United States

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.


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ANN ARBOR -- A new study of Peruvian frogs living at a wide variety of elevations -- from the Amazon floodplain to high Andes peaks -- lends support to the idea that lowland amphibians are at higher risk from future climate warming. That's because the lowland creatures already live near the maximum temperatures they can tolerate, while high-elevation amphibians might be more buffered from increased temperatures, according to a study by University of Michigan ecologist Rudolf von May and his colleagues published online April 6 in the journal Ecology and Evolution. Previous studies have suggested that lowland reptiles and amphibians are especially vulnerable to climate warming. But in most cases, those conclusions were based on computer modeling work that incorporated a limited amount of field data. "Understanding how species respond to climatic variation is critical for conserving species in future climatic conditions. Yet for most groups of organisms distributed in tropical areas, data about species' critical thermal limits are limited," said von May, a postdoctoral researcher in the U-M Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. "I think the contribution of our study is that it focuses on a group of closely related frog species distributed along a single montane gradient and that it includes empirical data on species' tolerance to heat and cold, as well as air temperatures measured along the same gradient." In the process of conducting the study, which involved more than two years of fieldwork, von May and his colleagues identified three previously unknown frog species. Those newly discovered species will be described separately in a series of journal articles. The elevational-gradient study focused on the thermal ecology and evolution of 22 species of land-breeding frogs, which are also known as terrestrial-breeding frogs, in southern Peru's Manu National Park and surrounding areas. Sampled elevations ranged from the Amazon River floodplain, at 820 feet above sea level, to 12,000-foot Andes Mountains peaks. The region in and around Manu National Park is known for long-held records of biodiversity including more than 1,000 species of birds -- about 10 percent of the world's bird species -- and more than 1,200 species of butterflies. In addition, the park contains an estimated 2.2 percent of the world's amphibians and 1.5 percent of its reptiles. While most frogs lay eggs in water, terrestrial-breeding frogs use a specialized reproductive mode called direct development: A clutch of embryos hatch directly into froglets; there are no free-living tadpoles. Terrestrial-breeding frogs form a diverse group that can exploit a wide variety of habitats, as long as those locations contain sufficient moisture. In the study, the researchers looked at how closely related frog species differ in their elevational distribution and their tolerance to heat and cold in a region of the tropical Andes where temperature increase is predicted to be detrimental for most species. "These measurements were taken in order to determine whether tropical frogs could take the heat -- or cold--predicted for tropical regions as a result of climate change," von May said. The researchers found that the frogs' tolerance to heat varied from 77 degrees Fahrenheit to 95 degrees and that, as expected, highland species tolerated much lower temperatures than lowland species. Frogs living in high-elevation grasslands tolerated near-freezing temperatures, which they experience during the dry season, as well as moderately high temperatures, which they may experience during sunny days. When considering the temperature of the microhabitats in which the frogs live, the results suggest tropical lowland species live close to their thermal limit. Amphibians living at high elevation might be more buffered from future temperature increases because the highest temperatures they can tolerate are farther away from the maximum temperatures that they regularly experience in the wild. Von May is the first author of the Ecology and Evolution paper, "Divergence of thermal physiological traits in terrestrial breeding frogs along a tropical elevational gradient." The other authors are Alessandro Catenazzi of Southern Illinois University; Ammon Corl of the University of California, Berkeley; Roy Santa-Cruz of the Museo de Historia Natural de la Universidad Nacional de San Agustin in Peru; Ana Carolina Carnaval of City University of New York; and Craig Moritz of the Australian National University. Funding for the study was provided by the National Geographic Society, the National Science Foundation, the American Philosophical Society, the Rufford Small Grants Foundation, and the Amazon Conservation Association.


News Article | May 1, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

TAMPA, FL (May 1, 2017)- A key piece of evidence proving how dinosaurs evolved into modern-day birds could soon be studied across the world. University of South Florida biology professor Ryan Carney, PhD, MPH, MBA, has created interactive holograms of dinosaurs, including the Archaeopteryx, which is believed to be the missing link in understanding the origin of birds and flight. Only 12 fossils have been discovered, all in Germany. Dr. Carney digitizes these fossils using X-ray, lasers and photogrammetry, then brings them "back to life" with computer animation. Using virtual reality and augmented reality, paleontologists and students could interact with the dinosaurs in 3D, allowing them to better understand their anatomy and motion without having to travel to a museum. These technologies are also integrated into Dr. Carney's Digital Dinosaurs course at the University of South Florida's Center for Virtualization & Applied Spatial Technologies (CVAST) and Integrative Biology Department. Students use the same techniques to visualize, animate, and 3D print specimens for research and educational purposes, helping foster enthusiasm for STEM fields. His work is so groundbreaking, the National Geographic Society just named Dr. Carney to the 2017 class of "Emerging Explorers," granting him $10,000 for research and exploration. This prestigious award recognizes those who are already making a difference and changing the world. He is the first faculty member at the University of South Florida to receive this honor.


WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Twenty-five years after the verdict in the Rodney King trial sparked several days of protests, violence and looting in Los Angeles, the nation continues to find itself in a cycle of heated discussion over racial oppression, police brutality and socioeconomic inequality. This was particularly evident on Sunday, April 30, during the world-broadcast debut of National Geographic’s documentary LA 92 — a powerful look back at the controversial uprising. The documentary, which has been hailed by critics as a “must see film” that is “seething with emotions,” sparked significant online engagement during its broadcast, trending nationally on Twitter and through a Facebook Live after-show event. In an effort to further the national dialogue on the topic, National Geographic announced it would make the film LA 92 available free through online, video on demand and streaming platforms. “National Geographic believes in the power of storytelling to change the world,” explained Tim Pastore, president of original programming and production for National Geographic. “The parallels between the racially charged climate of Los Angeles in 1992 and more recent occurrences of racial injustice demands our attention. We hope this film will encourage reflection and debate as the country wrestles with these very real and very relevant conflicts.” LA 92 will be made widely available today through May 11 on streaming platforms including Natgeotv.com, video on demand (through cable provider set-top boxes), cable provider sites and apps, Nat Geo TV apps (iPhone, iPad and Apple TV, Roku, Android phones and tablets, Xbox One and 360, Samsung Connected TVs), iTunes, Hulu, YouTube, Facebook, Amazon, Sony Playstation, GooglePlay and more. Leading up to, during and immediately following the broadcast premiere of LA 92, viewers took to social media to weigh in on the complex conversation. The hashtag #LA92 trended nationally at No. 4 on Twitter with influencers such as @ShaunKing, @JamilahLemieux and @AprilDRyan contributing to a substantive conversation that carried through much of the night. Immediately following LA 92’s premiere, National Geographic hosted a Facebook Live after-show on National Geographic Channel’s Facebook page. Moderated by Soledad O’Brien and streamed from multiple locations in south Los Angeles and Koreatown, the Facebook Live program gave viewers the opportunity to engage in the discussion, ask questions of the panelists and comment in real time. The program also included such guests as Congresswoman Karen Ruth Bass of California’s 37th Congressional District; Najee Ali, director of Project Islamic Hope (a civil rights group based in south LA); Christafire Lundy, a resident of south LA; Hyepin Im, president and CEO of Faith and Community Empowerment; Karen Slade, vice president/general manager of KJLH Radio; and longtime LA journalist Bob Brill. Produced by two-time Oscar winner Simon Chinn (“Man on Wire”) and Emmy winner Jonathan Chinn (“American High”) and directed by Oscar winners Dan Lindsay and TJ Martin (“Undefeated”), the film looks at the events of 1992 from a multitude of vantage points, bringing a fresh perspective to a pivotal moment that reverberates to this day. Using no narration or “talking head” interviews, the film reconstructs the tumultuous events that unfolded in 1992 by exclusively using archival footage including broadcast news footage, radio reports, police files and personal home videos. LA 92 premiered at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival, followed by a limited theatrical release in New York, LA and London and the television broadcast premiere on National Geographic on Sunday, April 30, in the United States, and continues to roll out globally across 171 countries and 45 languages. Additionally, LA 92 recently completed a multicity screening tour with stops including Baltimore, Charlotte, St. Louis and Atlanta, as well as a special screening at the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. In each location, directors Lindsay and Martin were joined by community influencers and leaders to discuss issues of racial oppression, police brutality and socioeconomic inequality depicted in the film. National Geographic also partnered with 21st Century Fox to provide free screenings of the film to colleges and universities nationwide executed by Picture Motion and created a free discussion guide to accompany the film developed by Journeys In Film. For more information on LA 92, visit natgeotvpressroom.com or natgeotv.com/la92. National Geographic Documentary Films is committed to bringing the world premium, feature documentaries that cover timely, provocative and globally relevant stories from the very best documentary filmmakers in the world. National Geographic Documentary Films is a division of National Geographic Partners, a joint venture between National Geographic and 21st Century Fox. Furthering knowledge and understanding of our world has been the core purpose of National Geographic for 129 years, and now we are committed to going deeper, pushing boundaries, going further for our consumers … and reaching over 730 million people around the world in 171 countries and 45 languages every month as we do it. NGP returns 27 percent of our proceeds to the nonprofit National Geographic Society to fund work in the areas of science, exploration, conservation and education. For more information visit natgeotv.com or nationalgeographic.com, or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, YouTube, LinkedIn and Pinterest.


News Article | April 27, 2017
Site: www.prnewswire.com

National Geographic Travel's international growth and development continues with the appointment of Nathan Philpot. Philpot, who has extensive experience in the travel industry, has been named Director, National Geographic Expeditions Europe & Africa and is charged in part with developing and launching the branded consumer travel experiences across Europe and Africa. Within the Expeditions business, National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World continues to grow since launching in January 2015 with 24 charter members. The collection is now up to 55 properties in remarkable destinations around the world, spanning 30 countries and 6 continents. They recently released their first Sustainable Tourism Impact Report, showcasing sustainable tourism in action among their members. In travel media, National Geographic is strengthening its Travel franchise with the launch of National Geographic Traveler magazine's first-ever luxury edition, which will be distributed next month to a targeted circulation of 350,000 National Geographic subscribers. The special edition will feature content relevant to the affluent traveler, including luxury hotels, fine dining, and bespoke travel experiences. Additionally, Andrew Nelson has been tapped to lead a newly formed NG Travel Lab, which will serve as a one-stop shop for custom content creation, distribution and marketing. The team will provide creative client solutions across multiple platforms, from ideation to execution, spanning digital, social, video and print platforms while working with our regional labs in Latin America, Europe and Asia. Television programming will also reflect National Geographic's emphasis on travel, with a dedicated travel block starting in July. The two-hour programming section will run every Thursday from 6 to 8:00 PM ET. National Geographic Partners LLC National Geographic Partners LLC (NGP), a joint venture between National Geographic and 21st Century Fox, is committed to bringing the world premium science, adventure and exploration content across an unrivaled portfolio of media assets. NGP combines the global National Geographic television channels (National Geographic Channel, Nat Geo WILD, Nat Geo MUNDO, Nat Geo PEOPLE) with National Geographic's media and consumer-oriented assets, including National Geographic magazines; National Geographic studios; related digital and social media platforms; books; maps; children's media; and ancillary activities that include travel, global experiences and events, archival sales, licensing and e-commerce businesses. Furthering knowledge and understanding of our world has been the core purpose of National Geographic for 129 years, and now we are committed to going deeper, pushing boundaries, going further for our consumers … and reaching over 730 million people around the world in 172 countries and 43 languages every month as we do it. NGP returns 27 percent of our proceeds to the nonprofit National Geographic Society to fund work in the areas of science, exploration, conservation and education. For more information visit natgeotv.com or nationalgeographic.com, or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, YouTube, LinkedIn and Pinterest. To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/national-geographic-grows-travel-business-300446711.html


News Article | April 27, 2017
Site: www.prnewswire.co.uk

WASHINGTON, April 27, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Coming off a record 2016 and posting double-digit growth into 2017, National Geographic Travel announces additional global expansion plans for Europe and Asia and broadens its portfolio of travel-related media offerings. The expansion includes the launch of a weekly two-hour travel programming block, the appointment of new executives, a special luxury edition of National Geographic Traveler magazine, and the development of the new National Geographic Travel Lab. "National Geographic is leveraging the unique power of our brand to reinvigorate and reinvent our ancillary businesses, and our Travel business is a key piece of that," said Declan Moore, National Geographic Partners CEO. "Furthering the knowledge and understanding of our world is, and always has been, at National Geographic's core and we believe travel is essential to advancing that mission.  For more than a century we have been showing our audience the wonders of the planet and through our travel offerings, we can also take them there." National Geographic Travel's international growth and development continues with the appointment of Nathan Philpot. Philpot, who has extensive experience in the travel industry, has been named Director, National Geographic Expeditions Europe & Africa and is charged in part with developing and launching the branded consumer travel experiences across Europe and Africa. Within the Expeditions business, National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World continues to grow since launching in January 2015 with 24 charter members. The collection is now up to 55 properties in remarkable destinations around the world, spanning 30 countries and 6 continents. They recently released their first Sustainable Tourism Impact Report, showcasing sustainable tourism in action among their members. In travel media, National Geographic is strengthening its Travel franchise with the launch of National Geographic Traveler magazine's first-ever luxury edition, which will be distributed next month to a targeted circulation of 350,000 National Geographic subscribers. The special edition will feature content relevant to the affluent traveler, including luxury hotels, fine dining, and bespoke travel experiences. Additionally, Andrew Nelson has been tapped to lead a newly formed NG Travel Lab, which will serve as a one-stop shop for custom content creation, distribution and marketing. The team will provide creative client solutions across multiple platforms, from ideation to execution, spanning digital, social, video and print platforms while working with our regional labs in Latin America, Europe and Asia. Television programming will also reflect National Geographic's emphasis on travel, with a dedicated travel block starting in July. The two-hour programming section will run every Thursday from 6 to 8:00 PM ET. National Geographic Partners LLC (NGP), a joint venture between National Geographic and 21st Century Fox, is committed to bringing the world premium science, adventure and exploration content across an unrivaled portfolio of media assets. NGP combines the global National Geographic television channels (National Geographic Channel, Nat Geo WILD, Nat Geo MUNDO, Nat Geo PEOPLE) with National Geographic's media and consumer-oriented assets, including National Geographic magazines; National Geographic studios; related digital and social media platforms; books; maps; children's media; and ancillary activities that include travel, global experiences and events, archival sales, licensing and e-commerce businesses. Furthering knowledge and understanding of our world has been the core purpose of National Geographic for 129 years, and now we are committed to going deeper, pushing boundaries, going further for our consumers … and reaching over 730 million people around the world in 172 countries and 43 languages every month as we do it. NGP returns 27 percent of our proceeds to the nonprofit National Geographic Society to fund work in the areas of science, exploration, conservation and education. For more information visit natgeotv.com or nationalgeographic.com, or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, YouTube, LinkedIn and Pinterest.


News Article | May 4, 2017
Site: www.prnewswire.com

By acquiring Global Adrenaline, National Geographic will increase the scale of its portfolio of travel offerings, in addition to expanding its reach within the travel business.  Existing partnerships with Lindblad Expeditions in small ships, TCS World Travel in private jets and other relationships in key travel segments remain a vital part of future growth plans. "Global Adrenaline has delivered extraordinary experiences to our guests over the past 13 years," said Declan Moore, National Geographic Partners CEO. "We're excited to welcome them into the National Geographic family, and to leverage their tour operator platform to expand our Expeditions' offerings.  This acquisition enables us to become a tour operator, and to more directly control all aspects of the unique travel experiences we provide guests." Global Adrenaline was founded in 2001 by current President and CEO Nancy Schumacher. "Global Adrenaline is thrilled to be joining forces with the National Geographic Expeditions team," said Schumacher. "National Geographic has been a wonderful, long-term partner, and as a combined entity, our team will offer even more enhanced tour operations expertise and international reach for the existing Expeditions trips.  We are excited to be part of the National Geographic family and look forward to continuing to provide high-quality, authentic and sustainable travel experiences that support local economies and inspire people to protect and preserve the places we visit." National Geographic Partners LLC (NGP), a joint venture between National Geographic and 21st Century Fox, is committed to bringing the world premium science, adventure and exploration content across an unrivaled portfolio of media assets. NGP combines the global National Geographic television channels (National Geographic Channel, Nat Geo WILD, Nat Geo MUNDO, Nat Geo PEOPLE) with National Geographic's media and consumer-oriented assets, including National Geographic magazines; National Geographic studios; related digital and social media platforms; books; maps; children's media; and ancillary activities that include travel, global experiences and events, archival sales, licensing and e-commerce businesses. Furthering knowledge and understanding of our world has been the core purpose of National Geographic for 129 years, and now we are committed to going deeper, pushing boundaries, and going further for our consumers … and reaching over 730 million people around the world in 172 countries and 43 languages every month as we do it. NGP returns 27 percent of our proceeds to the nonprofit National Geographic Society to fund work in the areas of science, exploration, conservation and education. For more information visit nationalgeographic.com, or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, YouTube, LinkedIn and Pinterest. Global Adrenaline, Inc. is a luxury travel specialist and tour operator providing the finest in customized itineraries worldwide.  Global Adrenaline is dedicated to providing top quality educational and culturally compelling trips that encourage adventure, exploration, cultural celebration and responsible tourism.  Global Adrenaline's mission since its founding in 2001 has been to create once-in-a-lifetime travel experiences that inspire our travelers to positively impact the world around them. We believe that travel is a powerful form of education and can help make the world a more peaceful and sustainable place for all. To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/national-geographic-expeditions-acquires-global-adrenaline-300451806.html


WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--In the greatest adventure saga ever told -- the story of human civilization -- National Geographic presents ORIGINS: The Journey of Humankind - an eight-part series that traces the innovations that made the world modern. ORIGINS is a full-sensory, time-travel adventure that delves deep into history to find the pivotal ‘origin’ moments that fueled our evolutionary ascension. While we are in a fast-growing technological age fueled by smart phones, satellites and the ‘next big discovery,’ ORIGINS pauses to probe the biggest questions in the universe: How did we get here? How did Homo Sapiens evolve from apes swinging tree to tree to astronauts walking on the surface of the moon? Premiering Monday, March 6, at 9/8c, on National Geographic and in 171 countries and 43 languages later this spring, ORIGINS is a contemporary twist on the traditional historical documentary. World-class futurist and idea DJ Jason Silva (BRAIN GAMES, SHOTS OF AWE) leads us through a portal to explore these explosive events, such as the discoveries and applications of fire, that fundamentally and irrevocably created our modern lives. ORIGINS incorporates dramatic scripted storytelling, documentary sequences, expert analysis and dazzling audio-visual mashups designed by John Boswell -- also known worldwide as Melodysheep -- who is making his TV debut with original symphonies. Silva’s unique and compelling thought-jockey process organically and seamlessly shifts us across historical milestones while the world’s top minds -- experts across the fields of technology, war, communication, medicine, transportation, ecology, paleoanthropology, evolutionary biology and antiquity, to name a few -- inject cerebral heft with compelling commentary. “Everything we do today has deep roots in the past,” says Silva. “ORIGINS deconstructs moments that show how we rebelled against our fate in the animal kingdom and found a way to rise up, transcend and forge a new future in the modern world.” "Music touches us on a subconscious, instinctual level,” says Boswell. “It has a way of bringing human history to life and evoking deep-seated emotions that connect us to our past. This authentic collaboration with National Geographic allows us to reach a wide audience in telling the tale of humankind anew.” In the premiere episode, ORIGINS: Fire, we experience specific moments in history when fire allowed us to create, annihilate, expand and dominate. Nothing else throughout human history explains our existence more than fire; it’s been harnessed and applied throughout countless centuries to define who we are and will become. Silva transports viewers to 12000 BC when early man shockingly discovered the first spark, which grew to a flame and lit the world before their very eyes. Then jump to 1232 AD when the Jin Dynasty unearthed the greatest defense against the attacking Mongol hordes: a projected missile. Gunpowder produced the first chemical explosive that forever altered modern warfare. Silva takes us to 1666, when fire truly exposed itself as a double-edged sword, the Great Fire of London burnt down more than 90 churches and 13,000 houses, and more than 100,000 people were brought down to their knees with no place to call home. This devastation gave birth to the first modern city and one of the most enlightening periods in history -- the Industrial Revolution. Flashing forward a couple centuries to 1926 in the New World, American scientist Robert Goddard was the earliest pioneer of space technology, having created the first modern rocket, which was the basis of today’s spacecrafts that gave rise to satellites and modern communication. In ORIGINS, Silva is our tour guide through these hypnotic symphonies transporting viewers throughout time. Additional topics covered in the premiere season include medicine, money, war, communication, shelter, exploration and transportation. ORIGINS: The Journey of Humankind is produced by Asylum Entertainment for National Geographic. For Asylum Entertainment, Steve Michaels, Jonathan Koch, Ryann Lauckner, Simon George, Kurt Sayenga, Mark Monroe and Ben Bitonti are executive producers. For Melodysheep, John Boswell is executive producer. For National Geographic, Tim Pastore, Michel J. Miller and Kevin Tao Mohs are executive producers. For more information, visit our press room at natgeotvpressroom.com. National Geographic Partners LLC (NGP), a joint venture between National Geographic and 21st Century Fox, is committed to bringing the world premium science, adventure and exploration content across an unrivaled portfolio of media assets. NGP combines the global National Geographic television channels (National Geographic Channel, Nat Geo WILD, Nat Geo MUNDO, Nat Geo PEOPLE) with National Geographic’s media and consumer-oriented assets, including National Geographic magazines; National Geographic studios; related digital and social media platforms; books; maps; children’s media; and ancillary activities that include travel, global experiences and events, archival sales, licensing and e-commerce businesses. Furthering knowledge and understanding of our world has been the core purpose of National Geographic for 129 years, and now we are committed to going deeper, pushing boundaries, going further for our consumers … and reaching over 730 million people around the world in 172 countries and 43 languages every month as we do it. NGP returns 27 percent of our proceeds to the non-profit National Geographic Society to fund work in the areas of science, exploration, conservation and education. For more information visit natgeotv.com or nationalgeographic.com, or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, YouTube, LinkedIn and Pinterest. In its 15 years, Asylum Entertainment has produced a diverse slate of television long-form, features, documentaries and unscripted series, totaling thousands of hours of programming. The company has been honored with much critical acclaim and multiple award nominations for excellence in filmmaking. Asylum's lifeblood is its unscripted fare, and the company's robust factual exploits include critically acclaimed National Geographic Channel series Breakthrough and feature documentary Happy Valley. Additional series include Finding My Father; Codependent; Being Mike Tyson; Gangsters: America's Most Evil; scripted limited series The Kennedys (starring Greg Kinnear, Katie Holmes, Tom Wilkinson and Barry Pepper), which won four of the 10 Emmy Awards for which it was nominated; Ring of Fire (starring Jewel as June Carter Cash), which garnered four more Emmy nods; as well as several others. Asylum is a wholly owned subsidiary of the prolific feature film studio Legendary Entertainment.


Grant
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.


Grant
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.


Grant
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.

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