"Systems Integration and Visualization of Yellowstone"

Project abstract

NASA’s mission is to understand and protect our home planet. A key element of this mission is to generate Earth System Enterprise (ESE) data into products, information, and new knowledge of our planet.

We propose to develop and deliver Earth system data products and information systems addressing ESE Research, Application, and Education goals, to be benchmarked at Yellowstone National Park.

The products will facilitate the resolution of issues of national importance, such as influences of climate change on ecological processes, disease in agricultural systems, impacts of snowmobile tourism on wildlife, ecological consequences of wildfire management policies, and wolf re-introduction as a model for invasive species management. Beyond Yellowstone, our approach has demonstrated potential for general application to the study and management of integrated systems.

Research will involve development of remote sensing products (land cover, phenology, snowpack, geothermals), simulation models (snowpack, phenology, animal behavior), a data bundle and approach to integration of interdisciplinary data, and continued development of the Tarsier software framework for dynamic, interactive systems integration and visualization of the Earth System. The result will be a unification of ESE data with diverse interdisciplinary field data on wildlife tracking, snowpack, geothermals, and other system elements – thus leveraging ESE products toward new knowledge.

Application products will include dynamic, interactive computer visualization systems for decision support, placed in public kiosks and deployed in management forums. Prototyping to date has achieved unprecedented integration of remote sensing, field, and modeling data sets into a unified virtual-reality ecosystem representation. Product users have been identified from four groups: Park visitors, Park managers, Park scientists, and students.

Education needs will be addressed by using the visualization system as a unique teaching tool. The visualizations will provide as essential product to spark interest, train students, and teach marketable skills in earth system science.

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29 Nov 2006 Webmaster