Lecture: Spatial Reasoning at Sea and Ashore

“Spatial Reasoning at Sea and Ashore: Directions and Challenges in Ocean Informatics”

Dawn Wright, Professor of Geosciences, Oregon State University

Tuesday, May 27, 4-5:15pm
Y2E2 Room 299

Informatics is a term that has been used with increasing frequency to represent the growing collaboration between computer scientists, information scientists, and domain scientists to solve complex scientific questions. Earth system science is based upon the recognition that the Earth functions as a complex system of inter- related components that must be understood as a whole. Examples range from understanding the complex interactions at mid-ocean ridge systems, to exploring the structure and evolution of continental earthquakes and volcanoes, to informing regional decision- and policy- making across several themes in coastal zone management and marine spatial planning. Successfully addressing these scientific problems requires integrative and innovative approaches to analyzing, modeling, and developing extensive and diverse data sets. The
current chaotic distribution of available data sets, lack of documentation about them, and lack of easy-to-use access tools and computer modeling and analysis codes are still major obstacles for scientists and educators alike. This talk discusses some of the recent advances in ocean
informatics that are providing practical means to overcoming such problems, as well as the research challenges that still remain. Examples are drawn from ongoing projects in Wright’s seafloor mapping and marine GIS laboratory at Oregon State in the areas of marine data modeling, ocean metadata, vocabularies and ontologies, the geospatial semantic web, and applications for benthic habitat characterization, marine reserves, and integrated coastal zone management.

Dawn Wright is professor of Geography and Oceanography at Oregon State University, and holds a Ph.D. in Physical Geography and Marine Geology from UC-Santa Barbara, an M.S. in Oceanography from Texas A&M, and a B.S. with distinction from Wheaton College (Illinois). She has completed oceanographic fieldwork in some of the most geologically-active regions of
the planet, including the East Pacific Rise, the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, the Juan de Fuca Ridge, the Tonga Trench, and volcanoes under the Japan Sea and the Indian Ocean, including 3 dives in “Alvin” and 2 dives in “Pisces V.” Dr. Wright serves on the editorial boards of the “International
Journal of Geographical Information Science,” “Transactions in GIS,” “Journal of Coastal Conservation,” “The Professional Geographer,” and “Geospatial Solutions,” as well as on the National Academy of Sciences’ Strategic Directions in Geographical Sciences for the Next Decade and the Committee on Geophysical and Environmental Data. Dr. Wright is also a National Councillor of the Association of American Geographers and Research Chair for the 77- member University Consortium for Geographic Information Science.

Leave a Reply