February 2011

Smart Grid Technology and Network Management

Martin Kosina will speak about large network management as it relates to current Smart Grid technology on Thursday, March 10, at 7:00pm for Part 3 of the of Sierra Commons’ 6-part Tech Talk lecture and networking series. Tech Talks are forums for Nevada County residents to share new ideas, ongoing projects, and interesting work in the fields of science, engineering, and technology.

Martin will answer the question: What is a smart grid and why is it important? by reviewing the basic components, network topology approaches, and scalability issues of a smart grid network. He will also delve into another burning question: Can it be hacked? The smart grid topic is very broad, rapidly evolving, and, like any energy-related debate, often political.  more

Every month people who work in the environmental field meet up at informal sessions known as Green Drinks.

We have a lively mixture of people from NGOs, academia, government and business. Come along and you’ll be made welcome. Just say, “are you green?” and we will look after you and introduce you to whoever is there. It’s a great way of catching up with people you know and also for making new contacts. Everyone invites someone else along, so there’s always a different crowd, making Green Drinks an organic, self-organising network. more

Data Modeling for Wildlife Populations

Our speaker this month was Mary Conner. Mary holds a PhD in Wildlife Biology, she specializes in biostatistics.

Biostatistics help the data tell a story. Data is collected and used to evaluate the impact and dangers of modern improvements on wildlife populations, as well as to track, evaluate and maintain the health and well-being of those populations. In contrast to last month’s Tech Talk involving Big Data, this month we took a look at much much smaller data. Less data means more reliance on statistics, estimates and analysis. But, until we can get all the Spotted Owls on the internet shopping, they must be tracked, caught and tagged — a time consuming and costly method of collecting data.  more

POSTPONEDDue to weather concerns.   The event has moved to Thursday March 10th. Check back soon for details.

Sierra Commons hosts new photography by Samantha Hinrichs, with a reception on Thursday, February 24th from 4:00- 8:00 pm. Lauren Avery and George Shroeder will perform acoustic music at the shared work space above the Stonehouse in Nevada City. Samantha’s work focuses on the details of beauty and the impact of colonialism within the new world.

We are past the halfway mark of the course and our emerging businesses are well on their way to being. We are currently igniting:  more

Here is the entire talk on video, for your viewing pleasure. Mary Conner, Wildlife Biologist PhD, spoke about the process of how wildlife data is collected and analyzed. Wildlife models are typically constructed from ‘small’ data, which originates in sampling and is represented by statistics. Mary talked about the phases of wildlife modeling, from formulating THE QUESTION, to collecting and analyzing the data, to finally constructing the model, using a charismatic, sexy mega-fauna wildlife model to illustrate the process.

Some of the examples used were the Spotted Owl, Snow Leopard, Deer, and Bighorn Sheep.

Watch live streaming video from sierracommons at livestream.com