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CSDMS all hands meeting 2013

Landscape Evolution Models as a Public Education Tool

Nathan Lyons, NC State University Raleigh North Carolina, United States. njlyons@ncsu.edu
Walt Gurley, Nature Research Center of North Carolina Museum of Natural Science Raleigh North Carolina, United States. walt.gurley@naturalsciences.org
Helena Mitasova, NC State University Raleigh North Carolina, United States. hmitaso@ncsu.edu


[[Image:|300px|right|link=File:]]At the Visual World Investigation Lab of the Nature Research Center, we are developing a module where museum visitors investigate geomorphic and land-use scenarios through a landscape evolution model. Visitors use touchscreen computers to select simplified inputs for the CHILD model. Model visualizations will be produced for each trial in which they run the scenario. For example, visitors can explore the impact of the percentage of impervious surfaces in a section of urbanized Raleigh that will be adjusted by scaling infiltration parameters, and how the headwaters of the Little Tennessee River would differ if the southern Appalachians were still undergoing tectonic uplift. These scenarios provide relatable experiences to visitors, an opportunity to educate them upon the science behind the scenarios, and the purpose and limitations of models. We will first develop the framework of the module to be able to accept scenarios and its inputs, including digital elevation models, such that others can contribute scenarios. This module is early in its conception, thus we will present our initial framework with the intent to elicit feedback from the community.