Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) DEADLINE: February 7, 2020

The Edna W Lawrence Nature Lab is working on the creation of a three-dimensional mobile visualization platform for viewing animations of ocean model simulations based on data obtained through C-AIM projects. Using publicly available LIDAR data created by NOAA, we have already created a complete polygonal mesh of Narragansett Bay and its bathymetry, resulting in a computer-generated model that can be 3D printed to create a scale model. The resulting 3D print is then used as a platform for projection mapping: a process by which computer software rectifies video signal to align a projected image to a complex physical surface.

In this project, a large scale public installation of these data visualizations projected onto a 10-foot long 3D model of Narragansett Bay, will turn C-AIM data into a mobile theatre, connecting scientists with the public and linking everyone to the bay. This visualization platform shifts viewers from spectators into participants as they interpret the relationships between static and dynamic properties in the represented environment. The ability to represent climate modeling and data simulations in a geospatially sound, three-dimensional environment will allow researchers to communicate complex dynamics and anthropogenic impacts in an engaging and compelling way.

The next iteration of this research is to develop a workflow from computer-generated physical dynamics simulations to the creation of novel visualizations contextualized within a 3-dimensional representation of Narragansett Bay. Data resulting from these simulations can be manipulated in professional animation software, such as Autodesk Maya. This will allow us to create true 3D animations of the data inside a virtual model. Dynamic projection possibilities will then be explored using our projection system and also online, where tactile experiences like the projection can be seen in virtual or augmented reality spaces. The SURF student will become an integral member of our animation team, learning about bay dynamics and working on creating dynamic visualizations of large scale ecological processes.

SURF Dates: May 26-July 31, 2020

To read about the previous SURF program Nature Lab participated in, click here.

Click here for Application Requirements

Application Deadline: February 7, 2020

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