Archive for the 'IUFRO' Category

Apr 25 2008

Posted by under IUFRO

Friday Workshops

IUFRO/GFIS Group Today has been my busiest day – the reason why I have traveled 10,000 miles from home – so I have had little time for blogging. After this post I am off to the closing ceremony.  Afterwards I’ll see if I can help take down and pack the USFS exhibit before leaving the National Convention Center.

The IUFRO/GFIS workshop along with presentations were well received. I plan to expand on the events of the day in a later post but for now I am happy to say that the trip seems like a great success.

Tomorrow I’ll be on an all day field trip to Tam Dao national park in north eastern Vietnam where I will do my best to set way points along with taking photos and video of the jungle. Following the field trip I dash off to the airport for a flight a 12:30am Sunday morning flight to Seoul that will begin my long journey back to Asheville.

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Apr 24 2008

Posted by under IUFRO

Dinner + Nine Languages

GFIS DinnerTonight was dinner with GFIS parters and potential partners at a restaurant near the Lake Side Hotel. As we began discussing problems/issues/challenges/opportunities with information sharing Fred Stolle noted that we had people at the table with nine different native languages. Ho Sang reminded us that English is the global language but even so, at times like this English seems rather limiting.

Lots of good ideas were discussed, we had great food while we talked. Tonight we decided to have “food that swims” as opposed to food that “walks” or “flies”. Interesting way to classify things. I did not get an answer to what you call veggies and tofu, perhaps that is food that just hangs out in the fields.

After dinner I am more encouraged about GFIS and its future. It does the soul good to see and listen to intelligent and enthusiastic people discuss how to work together more effectively. It is also great thing to be part of an effort like GFIS especially when the USFS can be an information provider and cheerleader and not have the organizational or technical responsibility of Ho Sang, Eero, or Juha.

I have more work to do on my presentations but that will have to wait until the morning.

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Apr 24 2008

Posted by under IUFRO,Offical Business

Convention Center Blogging

Randy, Eero, and Ho SangThursday has been spent at the National Convention Center with most of my time with Eero, Ho Sang, or my keyboard where I have been re-working my presentations. Seems that one presentation needs to be shortened while the other needs expanding.

Earlier this morning I created a sample XML file and emailed Juha (GFIS technical lead in Helsinki) asking him to confirm the RSS feeds will work for the demonstration tomorrow. As soon as I get confirmation the test data is working I will be able to breath a sigh of relief. If not…. well, then perhaps I should go buy some finger puppets this afternoon so that I can something entertaining to do in my alloted time. ;-)

Although everything seems to be in flux, including the schedule and number of presenters, I am sure that things will go fine tomorrow. We are getting a lot of positive feedback about GFIS and people seem receptive to whatever we have to say.

This evening some of the key GFIS partners and potential partners will be going for dinner at a Vietnamese restaurant near my hotel. This should be a productive time because it has been my experience that the most useful part of these types of conferences are spent in small social situations. So far, this trip has been no exception.

Randy at the Asian Pacific Foresty ConferenceOn a personal note my cold seems to be getting worse. At least I am not alone, several people at the conference seems to be suffering from the same malady. I guess that is a function of bringing people together from all over the world.

I’m off to fine a pharamcy, recharge the PC, and prepare for dinner. I might blog one more post of the day providing I find some relief from this cold/fever.

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Apr 23 2008

Posted by under IUFRO,Offical Business

Wednesday Evening

A quick post before I call it a day and get some much needed rest. It is 9pm in Hanoi and I just finished a meeting with Eero in which we discussed the agenda for Friday. The program remains fluid because some countries/organizations were unable to attend, others have not confirmed their participation, and there may be new people on the agenda. Ho Sang is working on the details and I should know more tomorrow.

My short presentation, such as it is, seems ready. At least ready enough. Now my main concern is in regards to the demonstration on how to become an “information provider partner”. Eero gave me some much needed direction of how he would like the demonstration to given and I will show him a draft by mid-day on Thursday. JIT science delivery! Hopefully I will be on track with my first attempt of the demo.

On a personal note, I am exhausted. Travel and time zone changes are taking their toll. This afternoon/evening I had to take a nap just so I would have enough energy to do a little work before calling it a night. Also, I think I am getting a cold. Blah….. Maybe tomorrow will be a better day!

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Apr 22 2008

Posted by under IUFRO,Offical Business

Eero, Ho Sang, and GFIS

Last night I arrived at the hotel, exhausted, around 10:30pm and I was happy to see Eero was online (skype) and learn that he had arrived safely in Hanoi. Since we are both at the same hotel we agreed to met in the lobby for a moment to say hello and talk briefly about the work ahead.

Yesterday Ho Sang was introducing me to many people and during one meeting I was taken aback at how some of the CIFOR folks were questioning the need for more organizations to participation in GFIS. I think the message was how CIFOR was mostly interested in more/new services but it made me think that perhaps the participants of the workshop may be wanting a different message than the one I brought with me.

Today, I hope that Eero and I can do some preliminary work for the GFIS demonstration and presentations. *shrug* we might even have to consider adjusting our message. Guess we had better be on our toes!

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Apr 22 2008

Posted by under IUFRO

Tuesday at the APFC: Full Tilt

It is early afternoon in Hanoi and I finally have a moment to stop and write a quick blog post. The morning has been extremely busy. Full tilt. I had more computer problems but quite frankly I am tired of going into the details of my woes so I’ll just be happy for having a functioning machine at the moment.

Representatives from the DPRKEarlier this morning I have met representatives from the DPRK (North Korea) and had a good time speaking the dozen or so Korean words I know. Luckily they are very fluent in English so we were able to converse pretty well.

Most of the rest of my time has been spent with Ho Sang and others interested in GFIS. I have made lots of good contacts and I am overrun with business cards from people I have met. (Thanks again to Rodney for helping me with cards before the trip!) After talking with Ho Sang it looks like I will be spending Thursday evening with people from other Asian countries who are interested in being providers to the GFIS system. Often times most of the work is done after hours.

Kelli and AllenAfter lunch I spent some time with Kelli and Allen listening to stories of foreign travel but now it is time to get back to the work of the day.

At 3:45pm local time I will be going to the signing ceremony for the FPD. With any luck, I will have photos and video to follow.

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Apr 21 2008

Posted by under IUFRO,Vietnam

Hanoi, the first 12 hours

View from my hotel room

What a day! I arrived in Hanoi and went straight to the hotel where I spent at least 4 hours installing and reinstalling windows before I could finally get the machine back online. Geeze, what an ordeal! Sometimes I wonder why I even work with computers! Even all the effort of multiple installs of a new OS I have still have problems and occasionally get the blue screen of death during a reboot. Needless to say I am saving all my important work on a flashdrive in case the laptop goes belly up again.

After I finally brought the machine back to life I went to the convention center in time to see the last couple of people leaving for the day on their way to the reception dinner. Luckily I was able to meet a Canadian forester, named Michael Galante, who works in Thailand. We shared a cab over to the reception and had a good conversation about carbon sequestration. (Yes, even foresters from all over the world talk shop on their time off!)

Hanoi trafficBTW, there is NO WAY to adequately describe the traffic in Hanoi. People are fearless in the way they drive their cars, buses, motorcycles, and bikes. It is amazing – the speed and the closeness in the way people maneuver through traffic. And yet I have not seen a single accident.

Once at the reception we met up with other FS folks (Sally Collins, Cynthia Mackie, Kelli Young, Alan Solomon, etc…) and we had a good time hanging out , listing to the speeches and music, and eating the most excellent food! (And yes, we talked FS and forestry business even during the social time. Guess it is just our way!)

APC receptionAfter the reception ended we went back to the Hanoi Hilton (not that one – the real hotel) and hung out a little while longer. All in all it was a great evening even though I got a late start to the day.

Tomorrow I plan to be at the FS booth all day providing coverage for the display and working on fine tuning my presentation and demonstration for later in the week. Tomorrow afternoon a few of us are going over to the signing ceremony at the FPD. I should be able to get lots of great photos at that event!

Now that travel (and hopefully my computer problems are over) expect more of the blog postings to be about the Asian-Pacific Forestry Conference.

Until tomorrow!