Big Data and novel visualization tools to assess biodiversity and the vulnerability of western U. S. forests to climate change

Category: Time:
Wednesday, November 5, 2014 - 12:00 to 13:00
Room: Speaker:
Brian Enquist
Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, University of Arizona
Margaret Evans
Calendar Status:

Part of the paralysis of our climate politics is the difficulty in making climate change science tangible and personable. Biodiversity and forests in particular provide numerous services for society, human health, and the economy. Given current and projected climate change, how are our western forests changing and what will our western forests come to look like? Using new collaborative Big Data approaches to integrate, standardize, utilize, and visualize the world's biodiversity and forest data, I will present a new platform to visualize biodiversity and forest data. The visualization tools include 1) novel phone apps and new web-based tools; 2) a geospatial web portal where the public can explore forecasts draped over a google-earth interface, with background and science summary pages modeled after the National Climate Assessment's website, and 3) a virtual reality gaming platform that simulates the earth's topography and vegetation at multiple scales of resolution.  We're seeking feedback on this work, which will be released to the public soon.