Collaboration in Earth Observation

Collaboration is a key part of modern scientific discovery and advancement.  Scientists attend conferences to present their work, and then have the opportunity to debate with peers the relative merits of their chosen methodology and its results. Both participating in, and listening to, discussions at a conference is fertile ground for picking up fresh ideas, new approaches and the occasional bit of out of the box thinking.

I feel it’s important for everyone, at all levels, within the scientific community to use conferences as learning experiences for their own professional development.  There are a lot of conferences you could go to, so you need to pick wisely.  Later this month I’m going to be presenting my own work on ocean colour atmospheric correction at the 2014 Ocean Sciences Meeting in Hawaii.  Of course, the fact it’s in Hawaii had no influence on my decision to go!

The Ocean Sciences Meeting is also promoting a different form of collaboration, by getting ‘old hands’ to mentor some of the newer, and early career, scientists to help ensure they get the best out of their conference experience.  With a few thousand delegates and over 200 potential sessions, support and guidance will be helpful.  I’ve agreed to mentor three people, so it will be interesting to see how it goes.  I’ll let you know!

Last week UK and France announced a national collaboration with £15 million of investment for the development of the next generation of weather satellite instruments to map water resources.  This month also sees the launch Global Precipitation Measurement Core Observatory; a collaborative project between America and Japan to provide near real-time observations of rainfall and snowfall across the globe.

It’s an exciting time to be involved in Earth Observation.  I believe in the concept of collaboration, at both a scientific and commercial level, and I’m always looking for new opportunities.