Projects

 

Climate Engineering

Comprised of 10 prominent scientists, chosen by Novim, the panel’s charter was to examine the need for and the nature of a backup plan that could be implemented should the best efforts at climate mitigation fail. Dubbed Plan B, the focus was on the concept of geoengineering the atmosphere–artificially lowering the earth’s temperature.

Despite the controversial nature of the methods, it seemed scientifically irresponsible not to learn as much as possible about the costs and consequences of any action prior to its being a possible choice of last resort.

The International Institute for Applied Analysis (IIASA) announced Novim’s report in August, 2009.

 

Surface Temperature

In the late fall of 2009 Climategate broke in the worldwide press, and the public credibility of climate research, and much other scientific study was called into question.

Novim was asked to assemble a multidisciplinary team of scientists to collect all of the available global surface temperature data and assemble it into a form that could be made readily available and acceptable to all sides in the climate debate. A series of peer-reviewed papers and an award-winning mobile app were the result.

 

Natural Gas

The application of advanced drilling and recovery technologies to the search for natural gas has resulted in a vast expansion of available reserves.

Plummeting prices have fueled the discussion of converting coal-fired power generation to gas and has sparked the rebirth of domestic chemical production.

Novim has completed a meta-study of the data surrounding methane leakage in the extraction and delivery system, the results of which were published in Science magazine.

 

Public Employee Pensions

The structure and sustainability of public employee pension plans is an immediate financial problem facing many locations and levels of government today.

Pension reform is a politically charged, technically complex and legally uncertain issue involving multiple constituencies. The aim of this project is to develop a tool that can be used to improve general understanding of the technical aspects of pensions thereby facilitating more informed negotiations and policy debate. Novim released an alpha version of its model in 2015. Further work on the model and data sets is currently being considered.

 

IPCC Report Animation

To date a vast amount of information has been gathered, analyzed, synthesized and published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change – IPCC in a series of 5 Assessment Reports.

Presenting that information and its interactive relationships in a form that can be readily understood by the general public is the subject of this study. Phase I will be a workshop of experts in climate science and complex data presentation to outline the scope of the effort. Phase II will be the development of an interactive application to demonstrate possible mitigation efforts and forecasted effects as defined by the IPCC.

 

Water + Energy

This study will focus on answering the following questions, focusing initially on California:

1) What is the total volume and location of groundwater in California?
2) Salinity and contaminant profiles and how much water is potable or economically treatable?
3) What are the largest uncertainties in groundwater quantity and quality across the state? 

This study will focus on answering the following questions, focusing initially on California: 

The resulting interactive mobile applications will display the results of the study utilizing the latest techniques in secure access to very large data sets and “augmented reality” combining GPS tracking, animation and real-time data overlays.

 

Alexandra Jane Noble Awards

Thanks to a generous grant from Alexandra Jane (Janie) Noble, long-time editor of the Christian Science Monitor, Novim is currently creating the Alexandra Jane Noble Awards program. The goal of this program is to honor efforts that communicate complex science topics in innovative, engaging ways to stimulate higher awareness of scientific issues in the general populace, and particularly in children and young adults.

Novim is in the process of creating a number of awards based on these criteria. We are currently in development of 4 award types:

1) a Grand Prize (the Alexandra Jane Noble Prize)
2) Inspiration Awards
3) Impact Awards
4) Sponsored Awards

The Alexandra Jane Noble Prize recognizes one individual, team, or organization that best is able to communicate complex science topics in innovative, engaging ways to
stimulate higher awareness and participation by a wide populace, especially youth.

The Novim Epiphany Inspiration Awards are for ‘unsung heroes’—teachers in the classroom, coaches and mentors in clubs, and volunteers in related science education centers. The work of these heroes will be judged for its impact on stimulating potential leaders and wide audience understanding of science and technology for critical, often provocative, social issues.

The Impact and Sponsored Awards will be individual awards recognizing people who are making impacts in different areas, including social media, film, books, etc. and for academic researchers, including specifically faculty, graduate students, etc.