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Video Conferencing (aka VTC or VideoTeleConferencing) Options at NCEAS

NCEAS offers several VTC options which also can serve as excellent audio conferencing options if you don't have (or turn off) your webcam.

We support two “hosted VTC services”, Zoom and GoToMeeting.

  • 4 Zoom accounts
  • 7 GoToMeeting (G2M) accounts + 1 GoToWebinar (G2W) account (which can also be used for G2M sessions)

Primary uses of the Zoom and G2 accounts

Account Use(r) Sign in email address
Zoom 1 Paseo Room
Zoom 2 small groups
Zoom 3 SNAPP projects
G2M 1 Paseo Room
G2M 2 Breakout Room
G2M 3 State Street Room
G2M 4 Frank Davis Frank's email address
G2M 5 Mark Schildhauer Mark's email address
G2M 6 Matt Jones Matt's email address
G2M 7 LeeAnne French LeeAnne's email address
G2W Webinars and misc G2M sessions

If a group needs to video conference, we assign them either a long-term reusable meeting ID (for groups that regularly meet, like Exec, a number of SNAPP projects, NCO, GoA) or a short-term reusable meeting ID (e.g. for Working Groups that are at NCEAS for a few days or that only need to meet remotely once). Creating a meeting ID should be done through the Zoom or G2M website by an NCEAS computing or admin staff person.

Scheduling of the meetings is done through Google Calendar. The admin or computing staff schedule recurring meetings using the assigned meeting ID. Groups that have a meeting ID assigned and are familiar with the process (see Thomas in room 333) can also schedule their own events.

  • Create a single or recurring Google Calendar event
  • Copy the location and description of an existing VTC event and replace the meeting ID with the assigned one
  • Assign the appropriate resource (e.g. Zoom LTER NCO) under Rooms, etc.
  • Add the participants' email addresses under Guests
  • Please note, only Zoom meetings can be and normally are set up so that anybody with the meeting ID can start the meeting with a limited but usually sufficient set of features without the intervention of a host.

If you need the NCEAS staff to schedule your meeting, or the desired resource is already booked for a given time, please contact us through, ideally 72 hrs in advance of your intended meeting.

Please note …

  • For two-way communication with the meeting participants, you need to have a headset. Otherwise, we will not be able to troubleshoot any audio/feedback issues. If you just need to listen in, please mute your microphone.
  • A wired Internet connection is preferred over Wi-Fi.

In addition, for ad-hoc conferences with smaller numbers of participants, we recommend using either:

  • Google Hangouts
  • Skype

both of which offer free, high-quality audio- and video- conferencing suitable for both personal and professional use. You can use your existing NCEAS Google Apps account, or sign up for free accounts on Skype and Google in a matter of minutes, and easily create your own ad-hoc conferences well-suited to small to medium groups up to 10 (Skype) or 15 (Google Hangouts) users. These two services enable individuals to initiate conference calls whenever they wish, without requiring advance scheduling through NCEAS staff.

We are happy to assist you with any of the above technologies, and recommend that any remote participants test their systems in advance if they are unsure about performance and compatibility. Assistance can be found either by emailing or or seeing Thomas Hetmank in rm. 333.

Email Template to Send to Working Groups

Hi Working Group Leader,

I have scheduled a video teleconferencing (VTC) session for your working group meeting. Look for a separate email with instructions on how to join which you can forward to participants needing to join remotely. Make sure to tell the remote people, especially anybody presenting, to use a headset.

Local presenters should also have the information on how to join the VTC session and be prepared to share their screen. This ensures that the remote people can see on their computers exactly what the local participants see on the big screen in our conference room. As an alternative, we can put the presentations on the dedicated laptop in our conference room which I would then join to the VTC session.



  • Supports Windows, OS X, tablets, and phones
  • Group video conferencing with up to 25 participants (6 concurrent HD video users and 19 audio users)
  • Screen sharing
  • Web-based, automatic plugin download for PC/Mac

NCEAS has two single-host (Organizer), 25 user maximum (6 video + 19 audio users) accounts for GoToMeeting.

  • Organizer Seat 1: - we are typically going to use this account for working groups
  • Organizer Seat 2: - for everything else
  • Passwords: (ask Computing Support team)


Anyone with the above Organizer Seat/Password has Organizer status by default, and can Host a Meeting, or Log-in and Schedule a Meeting. We typically schedule a meeting in Google Calendar (GC), see below.

Once a meeting is scheduled, a unique ID is provided for that meeting, looking something like: 100-900-700

This ID is both

  • the Access Code for dialing-in to a meeting via toll number and
  • the Meeting ID code to enter when using the Web or a dedicated GoToMeeting app (e.g. for iPad or Android)

Note that an Organizer must be present to initiate, and continue a meeting, but the Organizer role can be passed from a current Organizer to another once it is started, and a meeting can have several participants in the Organizer role. This allows an original Organizer who must leave a meeting early to pass the torch on to another meeting participant for extended discussion.

Scheduling and starting a GoToMeeting session

For Working Groups and residents to use our GoToMeeting service, someone (typically an Organizer) with appropriate authentication can schedule and/or initiate the meeting. This is currently Ginger, the directors and the computing support team.

The preferred method is that an NCEAS' staff person (as above) can schedule and initiate the meeting ⇒

  1. Receive a request from a working group or resident to schedule a meeting. The request should come in through which currently goes to Ginger, Jordan, and Thomas.
  2. Use Google Chrome with the GoToMeeting for Google Calendar extension or Mozilla Firefox with the GoToMeeting for Google Calendar Add-On
  3. Log in with the Organizer Seats gotomeeting1@nceas or gotomeeting2@nceas
  4. Create or edit a Google Calendar event
    • Add G2M Resource 1 or G2M Resource2 under Rooms, etc
    • Click the Add button in the GoToMeeting plugin area
      • It will create a new meeting and fill in the information, including Meeting ID, in the Description box
    • Remove (Google Hangout) video call
    • Add the meeting participants: GuestsEnter email addressesAdd
    • Save the event
      • It will ask if you want to Send Invitations to the meeting participants
    • Add clarifying images

  5. Start the meeting as an Organizer at the scheduled time.
  6. Pass on Organizer status to the meeting leader so that the NCEAS person can leave the meeting
  7. If you need to cancel a GoToMeeting session
    • Go back to editing the Google Calendar event
    • Use the Remove button in the GoToMeeting plugin area
      • It will delete the meeting and remove the description
    • Delete the event, if necessary

or if, for example, some group wants to convene a meeting during off-hours (e.g. 8PM, or a Saturday) the following method can also work ⇒

  1. Temporarily change the password*.
  2. Share this with a designated Organizer for the meeting, who would probably be a leader or other designated liaison from a legitimate NCEAS-hosted project (e.g. SNAP, OHI, Arctic Options, etc.).
  3. Have the WG leader schedule and/or host the meeting for the group her/himself.
  4. Whoever (e.g. Ginger, or member of our computing staff) provides the temporary password, is responsible for changing it back soon afterwards, to our default secret account password. The one situation we want to avoid is multiple people (e.g. Working Group leaders) knowing our temporary passwords, so that they might schedule or convene meetings without informing us beforehand, as this could lead to conflicts between scheduled meetings and unscheduled ones.

*Passwords must be 8-32 chars, and include letters and numbers. As the temporary password could be forgotten, and is intended to be temporary (only used for allowing some group to hold one meeting) when communicated to the designated Organizer, using clear-text in email is permissible, and a cc: should be provided to

New workflow draft

Google+ Hangouts with Premium Features

Residents with an Google Apps for Education account have Google+ Hangouts integrated into their webmail and calendar. Google+ Hangout meetings support 15 video users if started from an NCEAS Google Calendar account, or 10 video users if started any other way.


  • Supports Windows, OS X, Linux, tablets, and phones
  • Group video conferencing with up to 15 concurrent HD video users
  • Unlimited meeting rooms
  • Screen sharing
  • Web-based, no download required on PC/Mac/Linux
  • Live stream to thousands with Hangouts on Air

There are several ways to start a meeting:

  • Create a hangout at
  • Schedule a video call in Google Calendar
  • Clicking on a user's name in the Hangouts sidebar in Gmail
  • From the Google+ Hangouts App from your desktop or mobile device


NCEAS has an account for WebEx Meetings Free, 3 people per meeting.

  • Initiate meeting at:
  • Account Name:
  • Account Password: (ask Computing Support team)
  • Web-based
  • Up to 3 users
  • Impressions are that audio is not as consistently clear as GoToMeeting


  • Supports Windows, OS X, Linux, tablets, and phones
  • Group video conferencing is now supported with a free account
  • Up to 10 concurrent video users

H.263 TCP/IP

NCEAS has a Polycom VSX 7000e video conferencing system available to engage in face-to-face meetings with multiple collaborating sites. Remote sites must have a H.263 compatible device or software, frequently this is another Polycom unit.

Other Services

NCEAS has a variety of laptops, projectors, LCD monitors, microphones, and webcams to support other videoconference software. We can accommodate using other video conferences services if account access is provided (ex. WebEx, GoToMeeting, etc). Please contact ahead of any meeting so that we can setup hardware for your group.

video_conferencing.txt · Last modified: 2016/05/19 17:39 by hetmank