Thursday, 6 December 2018

Night at the museum ....

Last Friday, we were at the Natural History Museum Lates event, the monthly NHM public 'open house' events showcasing new science: people drop in, have a drink, chat to scientists, talks, interactive sessions etc. This one was showcasing NERC science, and in particular the 2018 Impact Award nominees. My NCEO colleague Shaun (Quegan) was up for the Economic Impact award for leading the ESA BIOMASS mission, and I was helping out on the stand, showing the TLS stuff we're doing for BIOMASS cal/val. BIOMASS is being built by Airbus in the UK under a 180M contract from ESA. So, definitely impact, and Shaun went on to win the award on the Monday - yay! We had a stand with a film produced by Sheffield University, a model of the sensor from the Airbus team, some tree discs, my 3D movies and the ZEB-REVO, and movies of deforestation impacts from Joao Carreiras (also from Univ of Sheffield).

My son Rudi came along for a mooch about and I got him to make himself useful and collect some ZEB data in the NHM main hall. He did a great job.

Section through the NHM main hall, whale in view, with people milling about below. Scan R. Disney.

Looking down from the balcony. The NCEO/BIOMASS stand is on the opposite side, just above the whale's head. The giant globe is the Earth installation by visual artist Luke Jerrans - which was also spectacular! Scan by R. Disney.

Walk-through of the ZEB-REVO data collection. Animation by Phil Wilkes.

The sketchfab models are pretty nifty too (as always).

We had a lot of visitors to the stand - Shaun and I literally didn't stop talking from 6-9:30. Not *that* unusual for me, but definitely for Shaun! We had lots of great discussions and questions from visitors and I really enjoyed it (which is the main thing). The event seemed really successful, with about 3500 visitors on the night, and capped with Shaun's win at the award dinner on the following Monday.

And meanwhile, congratulations to the NASA GEDI team - successfully launched to the ISS on 5/12/18 - let the lasering of forests commence! Great news.