In what may be a template for the future, AGU conducted a "virtual session" during its Spring Meeting, using a web-based protocol to bring together participants from around the world. Mike Purucker was one of the chief organizers of GP21A which discussed analysis of selected, previously posted, data from the "mini-constellation" of magnetic field satellites Oersted, CHAMP and SAC-C. 27 authors and co-authors from 9 different countries were involved.
One of the main topics discussed was the apparently forced decay of the Earth's dipolar field, which is occurring 10 times faster than would happen if the core dynamo (which generates the field) were switched off completely. Growing patches of reversed polarity field are believed responsible; if these continue to grow they could lead to a new reversal of the Earth’s field as has occurred in the past.
In preparation for this unique event, 19 days of common satellite data were selected and posted on a dedicated web site, in order that different analysis methods could be applied to the same data. The community was alerted to the virtual session through e-mail with a link provided to the web site. A common HTML and JPEG template for presentation, which all but one presenter chose to use, was also provided. The data became available in January and February, and abstracts submitted and posted in March. Authors submitted their presentations in early May which were made available on the web site. The "live" session was actually held in 2-hour periods on May 28th and 29th.
Following the actual "live" session, discussions were appended in June and a CD with papers and data was distributed to the authors. This follow-up is another unique aspect of the virtual session method of holding international meetings.
|Mike Purucker was one of the principle organizers of the experimental virtual session which brought together 27 participants from 9 countries without the need for travel. The session was built around analysis of a common data set from three magnetic field satellites and was provided to anyone interested before abstracts were due in March 2002.|
Contact: Mike Purucker, GSFC, Code 921 (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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Responsible NASA official: Dr. Herbert Frey