September 2014 Virtual Water Cooler: Topics include IMC Post-meeting discussion and ASM Planning

IMC Virtual Update, 8 September 2014

Sven Bohm, Gastil Buhl, James Brunt (LNO), John Chamblee (1st moderator), James Conners, Jason Downing, Hap Garritt, Mary Martin, John Porter, Suzanne Remillard, Inigo San Gil, Theresa Valentine (2nd Moderator), Yang Xia


  • Review of Post IMC Survey (Chamblee)
  • ASM Planning (Valentine and Vanderbilt
  • Summary of Discussion

    John Chamblee summarized the results of the 2014 Post-IMC Survey. He began by noting that the response to the survey was 20 out of 30, or 66%. For a group this small, that is a low response rate.

    The results of the multiple choice questions were split along lines that are by now well understood. Individuals with a more site and network oriented focus are looking for longer, site-based meetings with plenty of time to do work on LTER IM products and projects, while those who are focused also on outreach and the export of LTER IM tools and perspectives to other communities want to continue co-locating meetings with other groups. This split is pretty even and is likely continue.

    Several constructive repeating patterns were gleaned from the written comments:

    1. Meeting with the NSF at the start of the meeting is useful (but see comments below).
    2. Having a final summary meeting at the end of the overall meeting (e.g. the last day) would probably be very useful and is something we should pursue
    3. Folks enjoy and want to re-establish working group reports and demos
    4. During both plenary discussions and break-outs, more formalized rules for participation may be required so that a) a small number of people dominate, b) the group avoids prolonged tangents, and c) the meeting runs on time.

    These comments are useful in terms of thinking about the next meeting at the ASM. In terms of where we meet, next year will be at the ASM, but other meetings will likely depend heavily on the priorities outlined in the RFP for the next LNO communications office. John closed by reminding everyone that if they led a breakout session, James Conners needs their report for the Annual Meeting Report.

    Theresa Valentine then led a discussion about planning for next year's ASM.
    Kristin Vanderbilt and Theresa Valentine are on the planning committee for the 2015 ASM.
    We want feedback on the room that was used last year for the IM pre-meeting. Only change would to maybe change up the configuration of the room and have two screens/projectors instead of one. (action item would be to review room layout with JVC).
    9/9 addition: The double room with a divider was liked, although the chairs had to be reconfigured. Time was spent moving the chairs into a large circle. The 2012 room was much better than the 2009 room, which had two rings of chairs and was far from breakout rooms. The double room was close to breakout rooms; two breakout rooms should be requested for 2015. This will give us four breakout rooms, once the divider is in use in the large room.

    IM Cabins: group felt that the cabins worked nicely for informal gathering and working group meetings. Several cabins in one area works better than the larger cabin (where some people might not like the noisy activities and there is also some feeling of being an outsider if you are not staying at the big cabin as it can't hold everyone).
    9/9 addition: The group felt that a cluster of smaller cabins was the best configuration. We will seek a larger place in which to have the mixer.

    Open/closed meeting: group was fine with closed business in the AM and open meeting in the PM. Reminder that we need to have pre-work before the ASM to be prepared for talk with Saran, and time before to formulate last minute questions.
    9/9 addition: We will need open sessions to talk about the data center for multiple organizations.

    Requesting an end of meeting wrap up session (workshop). Theresa to request one from JVC, and someone will need to do the formal proposal when there is a call for workshops. IM Working Groups and others should be prepared to propose workshops.

    Theme of meeting is From Long-Term Data to Understanding: Toward a Predictive Ecology. E-mail Theresa Valentine if you have an idea about speakers.

    It was noted that, when we do co-locate or reach out, we must think not just about informatics groups, but the scientists at meetings like ESA and AGU.

    It was also noted that a VTC to discuss priorities for IMC discussions with NSF would be a good idea to help facilitate communication next year.

    IMC Virtual Update, 9 September 2014

    Wade Sheldon, Kristin Vanderbilt, Don Henshaw, Margaret O'Brien, John Chamblee, Linda Powell, Duane Costa, Jim Laundre
    (missing: Jason Downing, Dan Bahauddin)

    Summary of Discussion
    Part 1: comments on the 2014 mtg that we want to act on:

    1. meet with NSF as early in the meeting as possible
    people liked the early hour of the NSF update (in 2014), because it allowed us to tailor the rest of the meeting somewhat. However, we need to prep for that, so would want to schedule a disc of NSF related topics in a VTC before our meeting. Follow-ups in plenary are essential, and the best way to get all-IMC discussions going. But we need to avoid long tangents, though, so we need a mechanism to manage them.

    2. Hold a follow up session to summarize.
    One of the complaints of co-locating our meeting with another is that we don't get time for followup. Finding a way to do this might help the acceptance of co-located meetings. At the 2015 ASM, we can use a working group proposal for an IMC followup, and ask that it be at the end of the meeting.
    note: We need to encourage people to be there!

    Part 2. 2015 initial planning, ASM/IMC (Kristin, representing IMC on the 2015 ASM planning committee, with Theresa)
    That committee would like feedback on the room, etc.
    Note: Theme will be: "From Long-Term Data to Understanding: Toward a Predictive Ecology". Proposed sub-theme is: LTER in the era of big science/data.

    Meeting room:
    generally, this group liked the 2012 room, especially when compared to what we had in 2009. 2012 room was big enough and breakouts were near by (in 2009, room was too small, and breakouts far away.). We would be happy in that same room, although we might need to ensure that projection for a split-room also works well when halves are joined.

    this group preferred the smaller cabins the IMC used in 2012. We had access to the bigger (reunion) house for informal meetings, but did not sleep/eat there. Small, clustered provided multiple gathering places, flexible meeting spaces, and was close to other functions.

    in 2012 (and 2014) the business meeting was in the AM, and the whole AM closed to non-lter. The Afternoon was open to guests. do we want to do that again?

    Agenda Comments:
    1. we might not need to formally close the session if we don't have sensitive issues to discuss (and at ASM, IMC is the day before most participants arrive)
    2. we want to be able to focus our part of our meeting (at least business/voting) on the people who are most affected - ie, us. However, if we have a closed session that includes NSF, visitors would have to understand the whole context if they are to participate later.
    3. We always want to get NSF to talk to the IMC. There are likely to be some really interesting bits to discuss, relative to a data center.
    4. A data center discussion could be of very broad interest. if our discussion with NSF is focused on there, we will probably need a whole ASM working group slot, not just an hour. A separate session could also include a follow-up of the prep we are currently planning (eager) and NSF data center update.

    Tuesday people did not have specific action items.

    1. TBD


2014_imc_meeting_survey_comments.pdf72.97 KB
2014_IMC_meeting_survey_data.pdf43.04 KB