It was a busy three days in May 17 to 19, 2012! The first project advisory board took place during some incredibly clear and mild Spring weather, bringing PIs, staff, and advisors to Davis, California and then Incline Village, Nevada. Advisory board members included Valence Davillier, VP and Director of Exhibits from Cleveland’s Great Lakes Science Center; Joe Atkinson, Director of Great Lakes Program at the University of Buffalo; Tom Moher, a computer/learning scientist from the University of Chicago’s Electronic Visualization Laboratory; Kate Haley-Goldman, evaluation expert at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colorado; John Baek, an education researcher from NOAA, and Donna Cox (who joined remotely via a networked iPad), Professor, University of
Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Director of the Illinois eDREAM Institute, and Director of Advanced Scientific Visualization Laboratory..
The meeting began with a tour and demonstration of the Keck CAVES 3D Visualization Laboratory “CAVE” on the UC Davis campus. In this no-shoes experience, advisors donned 3D glasses and stepped into an immersive, interactive experience. The tour included an introduction to visualization showing the “Earth Viewer” to show the earth’s structure and global earthquake distribution. Next, several applications were presented to demonstrate how the system can be used to visualize landscapes, with demonstrations of “Crusta” virtual globe showing the Haiti earthquake damage following the 2010 earthquake. “LidarViewer” application provides visualization of 3D point data collected by airborne and terrestrial LiDAR surveys. Demonstrations included Lake Tahoe topography, forested areas, and the Laguna Beach landslide. Lastly, the KeckCAVES teams showed how to visualize volumes by presenting the “3DVisualizer” presenting the example of a stromatolite that formed on the bottom of an Antarctic lake. Co-PI Louise Kellogg and her team of developers, post-doc, and graduate students (Oliver, Burak, Peter, Kara) explained how different types of scientific data and datasets are processed and rendered in a CAVE to allow the visualization of important geologic features. Advisors also viewed lake volumes using the 3D Visualizer and some remote collaboration experiments in the CAVE environment. Later that morning in the “River Lab”, advisors also got their hands sandy in the AR Sandbox exhibit, making valleys and mountains while seeing their effects.
In the afternoon on Day 1, the project teams in 3D Visualization, technology, content, table tops, and evaluation each gave presentations while the advisory board listened attentively and gave insightful feedback and guidance to the team. Advisors also learned about the “big ideas”, a content map with topics and learning objectives about lake ecosystems and stewardship, and preliminary results from focus groups conducted at the three science centers and a front-end survey of the field conducted by Steve Yalowitz and Kara Hershorin. PI Geoff Schladow presented 9 key visualization ideas to anchor the discussions around possible next steps for deeper development.
That evening, the team and advisors had a quick dinner in downtown Davis then carpooled to the Tahoe Environmental Research Center at Incline Village, Nevada on the north shore of Lake Tahoe.
On Day 2 of meeting (Friday), Heather Segale facilitated a 3D show for advisors in TERC’s theater. Project staff also gave presentations about different audiences that each of our science centers (TERC, ECHO, and LHS) serve. Julie Silverman and Molly Loomis from ECHO Lake Aquarium & Science Center shared pictures of their new theater space! After a lunch, Frank Kusiak and Rashmi Nanjundaswamy from the Lawrence Hall of Science shared some physical lake models, showing density layering and Seiche waves using colored hot and cold water. Advisors gave their feedback on other tabletop interactives including some involving iPad, Augmented Reality (AR) and QR codes.
Allowing advisors to compile their thoughts before sharing with the team, advisors met in a closed session with each other for a full hour. Their collective feedback was both thoughtful and well received by team. We are ready to move ahead with our year 2 plans based on their guidance. With more careful attention to detail and planning by our project assistant Leanne Burns, Day 2 ended with a super yummy dinner at Bite Restaurant in Incline Village.
On Saturday, we joined boat captain Brant Allen skipper of the UC Davis research boat and motored out to a highly instrumented buoy on Lake Tahoe. We experienced how Secchi disk readings are taken to measure clarity and took a look at the various species of zooplankton that live in Lake Tahoe. After the boat ride, many of our advisors hurried back to the airport to return home. A few advisors and project team members stayed for an afternoon hike on the Tahoe Rim Trail and project discussions continued.