Gov 2.0 Events :  Gov 2.0 Expo  •  Gov 2.0 Summit

Citizen Science: Opening Pathways to Discovery through the Cloud

Cloud Computing
Location: Room 207 A

This session will be a more in depth version of the well-received 10 minute presentation delivered earlier this year at the Gov 2.0 online conference.

At the time of the conference, both the BeAMartian and the Pathfinder Innovation Challenge sites will have been online for roughly 6 months, and this extended session will also include lessons learned and best practices.

Joining Michelle at Gov 2.0 will be co-speaker Marc Mercuri, who will provide additional detail on the underlying technology and technology approach used these two sites.

Photo of Marc Mercuri

Marc Mercuri


Marc Mercuri is the Directory of Business Innovation at Microsoft where he works with public and private sector organizations to tackle emerging scenarios with next generation technology.

His recent projects having included Citizen Science focused projects like NASA’s “Be A Martian” and the Pathfinder Innovation Challenge websites, Microsoft Town Hall for community engagement, the LookingGlass social media platform, rich search experiences with Tafiti and the RoboChamps robotics competition and web experience.

Marc has been in the industry for 17 years, spanning roles across Microsoft in consulting, evangelism, and incubation.

Marc joined Microsoft to serve as a Principal Consultant with Microsoft Consulting Services (MCS) . While in MCS, he drove multiple large-scale, award-winning solutions in the public sector that encompassed the majority of the Microsoft platform as well as many key third-party technologies.

Marc has spoken at numerous conferences and has written articles focused on services and mobile application development. He is the author of Beginning Information Cards and CardSpace: From Novice to Professional and is a co-author of Windows Communication Foundation Unleashed!, Windows Communication Foundation 3.5 Unleashed! and Windows Communication Foundation: Hands On!

Michelle Viotti

NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Michelle Viotti is the Manager for NASA’s Mars Public Engagement Program, which covers formal education, informal education, and public outreach activities for missions in NASA’s Mars Exploration Program. In this position, she leads a team of communications and education experts at JPL and coordinates the efforts of Mars-related education and public outreach activities undertaken by other NASA Centers and Principal Investigators at universities. Mars Public Engagement includes the Mars Student Imaging Project, Mars Robotics Education, Imagine Mars, the Mars Museum Visualization Alliance, among others.

Prior to her Mars involvement, Michelle was the Team Lead for the Universe theme at JPL, which covered the Origins Program and Fundamental Physics research. She also served as Media Relations Officer for this theme. Her first position at JPL was Senior Legislative Liaison for the Office of Legislative and International Affairs, where she was responsible for communicating information about JPL’s space exploration goals, educational programs, and opportunities and contributions by and to industry. She has worked for JPL since January, 1996.

Before JPL, Michelle worked for Podesta Associates, a public relations firm in Washington, D.C. Michelle also worked for Los Alamos National Laboratory for five years, first in New Mexico and then in Washington, D.C. She served as a legislative analyst, covering the Lab’s non-defense technology development in high-performance computing, energy, environment, materials science, transportation, and health. In this role, she also contributed to community-relations and state-based initiatives that brought the Lab’s educational programs to New Mexico students.

Her undergraduate degree is from Wellesley College and her masters is from Johns Hopkins University.

O'Reilly Media Logo techweb
  • Adobe Systems, Inc.
  • Booz Allen Hamilton
  • ESRI
  • Microsoft
  • Palantir Technologies
  • Google
  • Oracle
  • EffectiveUI
  • EveryBlock
  • Intuit QuickBase
  • JackBe
  • MarkLogic
  • NetApp
  • NIC
  • OpenText
  • Sapient
  • Spigit
  • Synteractive/Smartronix
  • Microsoft
  • Government Executive Media Group
  • Nextgov

Sponsorship Opportunities

For information on exhibition and sponsorship opportunities at the conference, contact Rob Koziura at or download the Gov 2.0 Expo Sponsor Prospectus

Media Partner Opportunities

For media partnerships, contact Jaimey Walking Bear (707) 827-7176

Program Ideas

Send an email to

Press and Media

For media-related inquiries, contact Maureen Jennings at or Natalia Wodecki at

Contact Us

View a complete list of Gov 2.0 Events contacts.