GEOpod Short Course at AMS 2013 Meeting

The Geosciences Probe of Discovery (GEOpod) is an intuitive, interactive application that allows users to navigate through and explore an immersive 3-D environment created from authentic geoscience data. GEOpod is built on top of Unidata's Integrated Data Viewer (IDV), leveraging its sophisticated features to import and display geoscience data in a teaching environment. (See this post for additional information.)

UPDATE: The GEOpod short course will not be held at the Austin AMS meering. The organizers hope to present the course in a different venue in the near future.

GEOpod was created by professors and students from the departments of Computer Science and Earth Sciences at Millersville University. They, along with Unidata Program Center IDV developer Yuan Ho, will be teaching a Short Course — Interactive Immersion Learning: Flying through data onboard the GEOpod — at the upcoming American Meteorological Society annual meeting in Austin, Texas.

The Short Course lasts half a day, and will be held the afternoon of Sunday, January 6th. Tuition is subsidized by the National Science Foundation, and is only $25 for the half-day course.

Note: Space in the Short Course is limited; those interested in attending should register as soon as possible using the AMS online registration page.

From the Short Course announcement:

The AMS Short Course on Interactive Immersion Learning: Flying Through Data Onboard The GEOpod will be held on Sunday afternoon, 6 January 2013 preceding the 93rd AMS Annual Meeting in Austin, Texas.

GEOpod is an intuitive, interactive Java module that allows users to navigate and probe an immersive 3-D world. GEOpod features authentic geophysical data, which is based on actual physics, thus exhibiting technical accuracy, scientific soundness and fidelity. GEOpod leverages the Unidata Program Center's open source Java-based visualization software, the Integrated Data Viewer (IDV), to import and render meteorological data. We will demonstrate how the GEOpod gives a user a first-person perspective of flying through a data volume, and provides an intuitive, engaging interaction style designed to appeal to students and motivate them to explore the volume and gain a comprehensive understanding of meteorological concepts. GEOpod provides a number of useful devices and features to facilitate and enhance this exploration process, while maintaining a clean, easy-to-use interface which is accessible to novices and experts alike. The workshop is intended for faculty and students in undergraduate atmospheric or related sciences programs.

Course Goals and Objectives:

  1. To introduce faculty and students to a virtual 3-D immersion application that allows them to navigate through data at the controls of a virtual probe called GEOpod;
  2. To expose them to a new learning tool, complete with missions and assessment rubrics, that uses real, geophysical data instead of artificial simulations to understand atmospheric structure and concepts; and
  3. To provide an exciting game-like immersion that will stimulate interest and lead to better understanding.



The 3½-hour short course will be divided into three main parts. In the first hour we will provide an introduction to GEOpod and demonstrate its capabilities. The second hour will focus on hands-on, instructor-guided activities with participants using their own laptops to explore the features of the software. In the third hour, participants will be given two missions to complete. A course wrap-up and user survey will fill the final 30 minutes. A printable schedule is available here.

For more information about the GEOpod project, see the GEOpod web site. For information about the Short Course, please contact Dr. Richard Clark at Millersville University:
P.O. Box 1002, Millersville, PA 17551
tel: 717-872-3930


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