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PSI’s Scientists Gather Virtually For Annual Retreat

gathertown group shot

This screenshot shows a group photo of some of the PSI scientists, educators and admin staff who attended the virtual 2021 Annual Retreat Aug. 17-19.

PSI’s Annual Retreat typically sees our scientists, educators and staffers from around the world gather in Tucson for three days of scientific presentations, socializing and meeting new and old friends. But for the second year, the challenges posed by COVID-19 saw the event held virtually, and the retreat was a great success.

cinty little lighting round

During the lightning round Cindy Little discussed her work on the SuperCam instrument on the Mars Perseverance rover that examines rocks and soils with a camera, laser and spectrometers to seek organic compounds that could be related to past life on Mars.

The event was held on Gather. Town, and more than 90 scientists, educators and staff enjoyed 11 talks from new PSI members, 16 breakout sessions, three days of lightning round presentations where participants had 60 seconds to describe their work, a cooking demo, and a virtual social gathering at a rooftop bar where six scientists, Joe Spitale, David Vaniman, Sarah Andre, Naoyuki “Yuki” Yamashita, Sugata Tan and Rebecca Ghent, were presented chairs for their 10th anniversary at PSI.

jonathan lilly new hire presentation 

Jonathan Lilly explains a "spaghetti diagram" during his new hire presentation. This figure shows one of the primary datasets for tracking the ocean currents, a set of freely drifting buoys produced by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. A plot of the curves traced out by these instruments throughout their lifetimes is known as a spaghetti diagram by oceanographers. Though it may look like a jumble of colored strings, it contains priceless information about the fluctuating, turbulent ocean currents and their role in the global climate system. Lilly and collaborators will work on this dataset over the next four years thanks to a grant from the National Science Foundation.

Aug. 29, 2021
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