Community Cafe Item 2

  CaucusGo ToSearchPeopleNotebookHelpQuit
Caucus Center => Community Cafe => Item 2
  You are El Nino Administrator.
Getting to Know Each Other

Item 2  01-MAR-1998 15:07 Peter Tuddenham (peter)

Let's get to know each other. Pull up a chair and introduce yourself. Just click your cursor into the "response box" at the end of this item and say hello. To get us started, say a few words about yourself and your particular interests. You may also want to share what would you like to get from the experience at this workshop. (Underneath the "response box" you'll see a couple buttons. One says "post+view" and the other says "post+go". After typing your message in the 'response box' press either button to post your response. "Post+view" will post and immediately display your response to you so you can see how it looks. "Post+go" will add your response and will take you back directly to this conference home page without displaying it to you .)

2:1) 01-MAR-1998 15:31 Peter Tuddenham (peter)

I am Peter, wearing two hats, one hat with the College of Exploration for educational courses and distance learning design and evaluation and the other a partner with Metasystems Design Group who are hosting and organizing this workshop on the web for us all.  

I am very excited to be here and look forward to you joining me. El Niņo is a very important event this year and I am pleased that we have this opportunity to meet so many talented people who can contribute to our understanding of it all and to help others learn, whether they be the general public, scientists, university faculty, teachers or potential teachers, or students in schools around the world. Here is a very diverse group of people from many different geographic locations - and all sharing the same interest.  

Unlike face-to-face workshops where large amounts of information is usually presented to participants in a short period of time, here we have the chance to be selective of where, when and how much to absorb. We can re-visit places when needed and, most important, by having the facility of being interactive and participatory, we will all benefit from the collective knowledge and experience brought along by each member.  

A web event of this nature is so new that we do not know yet what might emerge, I am delighted and very curious as I feel we have the potential for new and exciting outcomes. I am sure that we will all learn together and I look forward to our interactions. Although we cannot promise that everyone's expectations will be met, we are here to do our best to make this enjoyable, rewarding and fun.  

My own expectation for this workshop is that we provide a safe place on the web for a community of interest to form and grow and that we also have some fun in the process.

2:2) 01-MAR-1998 22:12 Kristina Bishop, Ed.D. (tina)

Hi! I'm Tina Bishop. I have been working with the College of Exploration to design and put on this online workshop. My background is in curriculum development, distance learning and evaluation of technology-based educational programs.   I am looking forward to increasing my understanding of El Niņo here and to meeting and talking with science educators. Hope all of you will enjoy the experience of this workshop!

2:3) 02-MAR-1998 11:09 Scott Burns (scott)

Hi!  I'm the CTO (chief technical officer) for Metasystems Design Group and am here working to develop the El Niņo Online Workshop environment.

2:4) 02-MAR-1998 14:54 Phyllis Grifman (pgrifman)

Hello, I'm Phyllis Grifman and I'm the Associate Director of the Sea Grant Program at the University of Southern California.  We've joined with our partners in the College of Exploration and Metasystems Design Group to create this El Nino workshop.  Sea Grant is part of a national network of programs in coastal and Great Lakes states, conducting marine science and policy research, and providing outreach and education programs for resource managers, educators and the public.  I hope you enjoy the workshop -- I think you'll find putting a little effort into the conferences will yield great rewards.

2:5) 02-MAR-1998 17:14 Lynn Whitley (lwhitley)

Hi, I'm Lynn Whitley, Education Program Coordinator for the USC Sea Grant Program. We've all worked hard to bring scientists, topic experts and educators together in this unique online environment. I am excited about the active learning that can take place in this environment, and the wonderful opportunity it presents to bring current scientific information regarding El Nino into the classroom.

2:6) 02-MAR-1998 17:51 Amy Eunice (amye)

Hello, I'm with the Metasystems Design Group crew and I'll be working with our team to host you during this online event on El Nino. Welcome to everyone!

2:7) 03-MAR-1998 08:56 Pam Borne (pborne)

Hi! My name is Pam Borne and I am the newly hired Marine Education Coordinator for the Louisiana Sea Grant College Program.  I taught middle school science and math for eight years, then returned to school to get an undergraduate and graduate degree in geology.  I am interested in the topic of this online course as well as the distance learning technology that we are using to participate in it.

2:8) 03-MAR-1998 12:24 Edward "Ted" D. Altenberg (ealtenberg)

Hello, my name is Ted Altenberg. I teach 7th grade science (general, earth-life-physical)in Santa Cruz, CA, USA. I am also a technology trainer, training other teachers on using computers and the internet in their classrooms. Check out a great training program --especially if you happen to be in the SF Bay Area:
  last year's:
  this year's:  

I'm hoping through this conference to learn lots about el nino and also to make connections with other middle school/junior high science teachers with which to collaborate on great hands-on/minds-on/on-line projects! Drop me a line!  

Ted  :-)

2:9) 03-MAR-1998 14:31 Ann Close (aclose)

Hi everyone, I'm Ann Close, Program Manager for the USC Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies (, and well...I'm a weather weenie. Oh sure, I fought it, but now I've simply learned to embrace it. I help coordinate many of the programs here at WIES, but my particular interests are in science-business communication. I helped manage a program at the Bermuda Biological Station for Reseach called the Risk Prediction Initiative, where we helped make tropical cyclone science understandable, usable and relevant to international insurers and reinsurers. After being saturated with El Niņo hype, I'm very much looking forward to helping disseminate accurate information on this endlessly interesting climatic phenomenon.

2:10) 03-MAR-1998 17:39 Sandra Dunstan-Hoover (sdunstanhoover)

Hi!  I'm Sandy Dunstan-Hoover hailing from sunny San Diego (at least for the moment.)  I'm going to be working to cross the curriculum from the science aspect of El Nino to literature about storms.  Right now I'm working on my MA in literacy at the University of San Diego.  Looking forward to chatting with everyone!

2:11) 04-MAR-1998 01:27 Tony Michaels (tmichaels)

HI,  I am Tony Michaels. I am Director of the Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies at the University of Southern California.  Through our USC Sea Grant program, I am happy to help make this course a reality.  I will also be helping out with the course where I can.  I conduct research on the role of the oceans in global climate, particularly in the regulation of greenhouse gases.  I also helped create the program that Ann Close mentioned earlier, the Risk Prediction Initiative.  This program broke new ground in creating tools and understanding that allowed large companies to manage the changes in business risk that they see during an El Nino or the opposite phase of the oscillation, the La Nina.  In our most recent programs, we are extending that research and education process to look at how environmental risks are affected by climate.  I look forward to meeting you all!

2:12) 04-MAR-1998 10:52 Don Chambers (dchambers)

Hi, I'm Don Chambers and I'm one of the "speakers" at this conference.  I'm a Research Associate at the Center for Space Research, The University of Texas at Austin.  My expertise is in satellite altimetry, and I've been using that data to monitor Pacific sea level variations since 1994.  I started tracking this latest El Nino more than one year ago.  Check out my web page ( for more information about the latest on the current El Nino.  I look forward to meeting all of you.

2:13) 05-MAR-1998 17:22 Susan E Yoder (syoder)

Hello, I'm Sue Yoder, Marine Advisory Leader for the USC Sea Grant Program.  My primary role is to integrate Sea Grant research with the community of managers, interest groups, scientists, and educators.  I am also a college instructor in oceanography, environmental science, and biology.  I look forward to participating in the Breakout Session on Biological Effects of El Nino.

2:16) 05-MAR-1998 17:39 Ron Crouse (rcrouse)

Greetings, I'm Ron Crouse and I am the head instructor for marine education at Oregon State University's Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport, Oregon.  Our department is affiliated with Oregon Sea Grant and I design and present classes in coastal ecology for students throughout the Pacific Northwest.  My field of expertise is in environmental education.  I spent many years with the National Park Service and Idaho State Parks as a Park Ranger/Interpreter designing and supervising programs on every subject imaginable.  After following El-Niņo since 1976 I wanted to give my students a chance to learn hands-on how scientists study this weather phenomenon.  I will be presenting my new class "Mapping El-Niņo" for the High School Classroom Activities.  I am anxious to talk with you all and share in your ideas.

2:17) 06-MAR-1998 01:43 Cathleen Cannon (ccannon)

Hello, I am Cathleen Cannon, free-lance Environmental Education/Biological Consultant, from Petaluma, Ca.  I teach people from 3-87+ yrs. about the wonders of nature.  My degree in Biology along with my teaching credential help me to understand the jargon of science and demystify it for my students as I teach.  I am looking forward to learning more about using my computer and the NET as a tool as well as learning the truth about the awsome El Nino Event.  We folks in Petaluma have had first hand experience with El Nino almost the entire month of February.  I eagerly anticipate getting to know others and to share ideas and activities.

2:18) 07-MAR-1998 01:30 Glyn Rimmington (grimmington)

Hello, I am Glyn Rimmington, Associate Professor of Landcare Systems in the Institute of Land and Food Resources at the University of Melbourne.  That is Melbourne Australia, not Florida. I teach in the areas of environmental informatics and science and communication and my research activities include the effects of El Nino on primary production.  I am joining the workshop to learn more about El Nino and to experience online learning as a learner.  My only other experience is as the convenor of two semi-online subjects.  This year I am studying the effects on cereal production in northern China.

2:19) 08-MAR-1998 16:59 Alan G. Fisk-Williams (afiskwilliams)

Greetings from Seoul, Korea.  I am a science teacher at Seoul American High School - a 7 - 12 school where I am currently teaching AP Chemistry and Biology. Although the effects from El Nino do not seem to affect this part of the world (or will I learn differently in this course?), I'm a California native with a degree in Marine Biology and teach Earth Science frequently, so I have an interest in this subject.

2:20) 08-MAR-1998 16:59 Judy Doino (jdoino)

Hi everyone, I'm Judy Doino. I am the marine science specialist for the Island Explorers team at Sea Grant and I am a graduate student in Marine Biology at the University of Southern California. Right now I am in Hawaii trying to finish up some research, but I hope to be able to check in now and again and participate in some of the discussion sessions. Aloha!

2:21) 08-MAR-1998 21:01 Rick Baker (rbaker)

Hello, I am Rick Baker, Earth Science Coordinator at the Orange County Marine Institute in Dana Point, CA.  We have a research/education boat called the R/V Sea Explorer which we use mostly as a educational platform for students from all over the country, grades 4th through college. This year we "rewrote" much of our curriculum to include a El Nino theme. The activities we have posted here in our break-out room represent this shift in educational perspective.  I look forward to discussing these and any other activites you may want to discuss in my Weather and Fish Activity break-out group. Also, any questions you might have about what is going on offshore "this week" with fish and plankton populations or just "what's going on" offshore, I am out there almost every day.  This should keep us busy!

2:22) 09-MAR-1998 04:38 Robert Heckerl (rheckerl)

Ahem - I see that Fisk-Williams got here first. Oh, well. I'm Bob Heckerl, teaching 6th grade social studies at Seoul American Elementary. My kids have been particularly intrigued with our studies of India and our unit on the impact of global climate change on human life. Thus, I'd like to explore how El Nino may effect India's monsoon this June/July (and then travel there for direct observation!)

2:23) 09-MAR-1998 08:38 Esther C Klein (eklein)

Hi All, I'm Esther Klein, a teacher of Middle School Earth and Life Sciences at Brentwood (NY) East Middle School. My students and I are very interested in what's going on with El Nino and what to expect. I look forward to sharing infromation from the workshop with them.

2:24) 09-MAR-1998 08:52 Peter Tuddenham (peter)

Great to see some any people here already and from so many different parts of the world.  

I can see we already have a variety of different aspects of the El Niņo to explore. If the topic you are interested in is not covered in the keynotes or the break-out sessions then the Open space Circle is the place to go.
Anyone should feel free to start and facilitate a discussion there of any topic of interest.

2:25) 09-MAR-1998 14:32 Lynn Whitley (lwhitley)

This is Lynn Whitley, again!--from USC Sea Grant. We're delighted that so many interesting participants are joining us online. We would like to stay it touch with you after the workshop is over...there may be other education projects of mutual interest. We are also interested in how you heard about the workshop. We've sent out lots of notices and it would be helpful to know which ones were the most relevant.  So would you please take a second and drop an email note to: ...just mention how you learned about the workshop and include your name, address, phone, etc. I have a feeling this will be a very special group to network with!  Thanks!

2:26) 09-MAR-1998 15:23 Stephen Brown (sbrown)

Hi, Steve Brown here in Guayaquil, Ecuador. I can see the effects of El Nino from my classroom window. Right now it is pouring rain. I'm never quite sure how long it will take me to negotiate flooded streets and landslides on my way home each day. I teach computer studies at an International-American school (Inter-American Academy). Look forward to participating as much as I can with all of you.

2:27) 10-MAR-1998 12:48 Amy Haddow (ahaddow)

Hi!  I'm Amy Haddow from the Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk, CT--and also from Connecticut Sea Grant College Program (we're the K-12 outreach arm of Sea Grant in our state).  I'm not only fascinated by the El Nino event and its  potential as across-disciplinary teaching tool for marine science, I also can't wait to see how on-line workshops can help get info to a lot of people at once.  Good to "meet" you all.

2:28) 11-MAR-1998 01:47 Patricia Murray (pmurray)

In one part of my day I'm a physician practicing Infectious Diseases in Santa Monica, Ca.  The other part of my day I'm the parent coordinator for an El Nino centered fieldtrip
series at my daughter's 5th grade class at Palisades Elementary Charter School in Pacific Palisades. Our school is only a few blocks from those cliffs you see sliding onto
Pacific Coast Highway on the news every night, and the El Nino pre-publicity was so intense here that we decided to use it to an educational end. We have our class go to the beach at the end of our street every few weeks through the year to make sequential observations about the effects
of the weather on our local envrionmment. We've coupled this with classroom speakers on marine biology, geology, etc., and trips to related places such as the sewage treatment plant. One of our first speakers was from Hydrosphere, and they were somehow aware of your here we are! We hope to get other ideas for our ongoing series and perhaps network with classes who see this phenomenon from another vantage point.

2:29) 11-MAR-1998 13:23 Elenor Hodges (ehodges)

Hi, I'm Elenor Hodges from the National Wildlife Federation. I'm excited to find out more about El Nino plus learn more about online educational conferences that we may be able to model here at NWF!  I'm writing from Vienna, Virginia outside of Washington DC where we've had our share of rain--but not nearly as much weather excitement this year as the rest of the world.

2:30) 11-MAR-1998 14:08 Peter Tuddenham (peter)

Thank you to those that have said a little about themselves and let us know you are here. One of the benefits fo any workshop or conference, whether it be online or face to face, is the networking that results.  

I know that we have many more people here than have said hello here so far. Please let us know you are here by saying a few words here in this item.

2:31) 12-MAR-1998 01:28 Charlene I. Branch (cbranch)

Well, I am from Kansas and we have been out of school since Monday due to the SNOW that arrived Saturday.  I work with middle school students that have learning disabilities.  Also in the process of taking a DATASTREME class via the net so thought this workshop would be a nice addition.

2:32) 12-MAR-1998 21:29 Kristina (Tina) Bishop (tina)

Welcome, Charlene,  

Glad you have joined us. Can you tell me a little more about your DATASTREME workshop? What are you learning in there?

2:33) 13-MAR-1998 20:15 Jeanine Mauch (jmauch)

I am Jeanine Mauch,  the Director of the Center for Marine Studies at Fort MacArthur.  I am a presenter for one of the sections.  I am a teacher in the Los Angeles Unified School District and educate area students on seals and sea lions.  My educational partner is the Marine Mammal Care Center at Fort MacArthur.  We are part of the California Stranding network.

2:34) 14-MAR-1998 00:27 Charlene I. Branch (cbranch)

Tina, the DataStreme Project was developed by theAmerican Meteorological Society for education of K-12 on weather.  It is in cooperation with the National Science Foundation.  The web page is :  They had one of the instructor at the Kansas SMART conference.  They cover about 12 major topics.

2:35) 15-MAR-1998 15:07 Egondu Onyejekwe (eonyejekwe)

Hello! My name is Egondu Onyejekwe. I am the Director of Emerging Technologies at the Ohio State University, and an Adjunct Professor of Learning Technologies. I am particularly interested in the design/evaluation of this workshop as a distance learning environment. I am also interested in the "attractors" for the formation of virtual communities. What makes us aggregate, and balkanize in the virtual world? My e-mail address is: Finally, I am very interested in what the experts can teach me about El nino and other weather patterns - especially as they affect Tropical Africa - and in the context of Nature's geometry, Fractals.

2:37) 16-MAR-1998 15:13 Diane Beardslee (dbeardslee)

Hi!  My name is Diane Beardslee.  I teach Biology and Marine Science at Palos Verdes Peninsula High School in Southern California.  As a teacher, a resident of coastal California, and someone who spends as much time on (and in) the ocean as possible, this opportunity to learn more about El Nino from experts is very exciting.

2:38) 19-MAR-1998 20:39 Sea Grantfour (sgrantfour)

Hi, I'm Terry Wells. I'm a reporter at the North County Times in Oceanside, Calif. who's occasionally written stories about ENSO, particularly last fall as nearby Scripps Institution of Oceanography was sounding the alarm about the potential for flooding. I'd like to use some information from this conference for a story down the road, and I'm intrigued by the variety of folks talking to each other.
I'm particularly interested in:
1) finding ways to break the complex scientific concepts down for our readers, which I would think is comparable to the task teachers face.
2) hearing projections about whether this year's event will continue into April, both in our neighborhood (Southern Calif.) and globally.
3) hearing from anyone analyzing this year's event so far in comparison with past events.
4) gathering personal anecdotes such as the one Stephen Brown posted concerning downpours in Ecuador.
And, like Columbo, I've got a few more questions.....

2:39) 27-MAR-1998 16:10 Mark Eakin (meakin)

Hi.  I'm Mark Eakin, one of your scheduled keynote speakers.  I'm afraid I'm just getting up to speed on the system here as I have been in Panama for the last two weeks looking at the influence that this El Niņo has had on the coral reef systems down there.  

My background and personal scientific interests include the influence of El Niņo on coral reef systems in the eastern Pacific.  My role in this workshop is intended to be more related to the job that NOAA pays me for, however.  At the NOAA Office of Global Programs I work as a Program Manager, coordinating research in two programs: (1) Climate Dynamics and Experimental Prediction and (2) Paleoclimatology.  I also manage the NOAA/OGP El Niņo web site at:  

I look forward to the discussions next week.

2:40) 27-MAR-1998 18:13 Phyllis Grifman (pgrifman)

Welcome to the workshop, Mark.  We're happy to have you here, and the web sites you've already provided are very interesting.  I'm looking forward to your presentation next week.

2:41) 05-MAR-1999 09:27 Peter Tuddenham (peter)

We are here today at NOAA's Coastal Services Center  


On to next item:  Pass