CURVE

Collaborative University Research & Visualization Environment

Author: jhurley@gsu.edu (page 1 of 2)

Smithsonian, Human Origins Researchers Use CURVE’s Visualization Technology

Georgia State University recently hosted a conference for researchers from the Hominin Sites and Paleolakes Drilling Project (HSPDP), in collaboration with the Smithsonian Institution’s Human Origins Program. The HSPDP consists of five research teams from 12 countries, plus the Smithsonian Research team that is collaborating with HSPDP.  GSU’s own Dr. Dan Deocampo directs the lab which analyzes the mineral samples from 5 of 6 core sites using X-ray diffraction techniques.

Drilling rig at Lake Magadi, Kenya, in summer, 2014 and NSF's National Lacustrine Core Facility at the University of Minnesota – Dr. Deocampo, Dr. Tim Lowenstein, and Dr. Jiuyi Wang

Drilling rig at Lake Magadi, Kenya, in summer, 2014 and NSF’s National Lacustrine Core Facility at the University of Minnesota – Dr. Deocampo, Dr. Tim Lowenstein, and Dr. Jiuyi Wang

To help visualize scanned core images, project team members worked with the CoreWall team, a group of scientific software developers who support researchers viewing images stitched together as seamless image files. With the cores ranging from 300 to 600 meters in length, visualizing these core images on a large digital canvas enhances the teams’ analytical capabilities. The 24 foot (7.3 meters wide) interactWall at Georgia State University Library’s CURVE provided the perfect digital canvas for the six research teams. Deocampo noted of the interactWall, “This technology allows us to closely examine the sediment in detail while keeping the larger context – we’re literally looking through a window at the earth’s history millions of years ago. This is helping us understand how changing climate affects the environment, ecosystems, and organisms in Africa and around the globe.” The Hominin Sites and Paleolakes Drilling Project team took full advantage of the visualization capacities of the interactWall.

Dr. Andy Cohen, Distinguished Professor of Geosciences at the University of Arizona, examines a core from Lake Turkana, Kenya.

Dr. Andy Cohen, Distinguished Professor of Geosciences at the University of Arizona, examines a core from Lake Turkana, Kenya.

 

Dr. Jenni Scott from Mt. Royal University (Canada) shows Dr. René Dommain from Smithsonian Institution and Chad Yost, Ph.D. Candidate from University of Arizona the core from Olorgesailie, Kenya.

Dr. Jenni Scott from Mt. Royal University (Canada) shows Dr. René Dommain from Smithsonian Institution and Chad Yost, Ph.D. Candidate from University of Arizona the core from Olorgesailie, Kenya.

 

Dr. Anders Noren from the National Lacustrine Core Facility at the University of Minnesota examines the core from Lake Baringo (Tugen Hills), Kenya.

Dr. Anders Noren from the National Lacustrine Core Facility at the University of Minnesota examines the core from Lake Baringo (Tugen Hills), Kenya.

 

Dr. Tim Lowenstein, from the Binghamton University, discusses the Lake Turkana core with Dr. Cat Beck from Hamilton College, and Dr. Emily Beverly, a Post-Doctoral Research Scientist in the Department of Geosciences at Georgia State University.

Dr. Tim Lowenstein, from the Binghamton University, discusses the Lake Turkana core with Dr. Cat Beck from Hamilton College, and Dr. Emily Beverly, a Post-Doctoral Research Scientist in the Department of Geosciences at Georgia State University.

 

Emma McNulty, PhD candidate at Binghamton University, zooms in on an element of the core from Lake Magadi, Kenya.

Emma McNulty, PhD candidate at Binghamton University, zooms in on an element of the core from Lake Magadi, Kenya.

 

Dr. Jenni Scott, Mt. Royal University (Canada) discusses with Dr. Rick Potts, Director of the Human Origins Program at the Smithsonian Institution, the core from Olorgesailie, Kenya, collected by the Smithsonian and Kenyan science team.

Dr. Jenni Scott, Mt. Royal University (Canada) discusses with Dr. Rick Potts, Director of the Human Origins Program at the Smithsonian Institution, the core from Olorgesailie, Kenya, collected by the Smithsonian and Kenyan science team.

 

The Hominin Sites and Paleolakes Drilling Project team. GSU team members include Dr. Dan Deocampo, Chair of the Department of Geosciences, graduate students Nate Rabideaux, Alexandra Simpson, Karim Minkara, and undergraduate students David Davis and Sanam Chaudhary.

The Hominin Sites and Paleolakes Drilling Project team. GSU team members include Dr. Dan Deocampo, Chair of the Department of Geosciences, graduate students Nate Rabideaux, Alexandra Simpson, Karim Minkara, and undergraduate students David Davis and Sanam Chaudhary.

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SIF Fellows Trace a History of Atlanta’s Public Transit

With MARTA expanding into Clayton County and the agency now resting on a more sound financial footing thanks to efforts by Keith Parker, MARTA appears to be on an upswing. As the concept of transit oriented development gains momentum, more areas across metro Atlanta appear open to the benefits of transit, leading some to conclude that MARTA may expand further out across the region. However, since MARTA’s 1960s inception it was planned to be a far-reaching, regional transit system. In each decade since MARTA’s beginnings, the agency proposed routes that would have made MARTA a truly expansive system. A number of these proposed MARTA routes can now be visualized in Tracing a History of Atlanta’s Public Transit, a digital project by a team of Student Innovation Fellowship (SIF) students working in the University Library’s CURVE.

This SIF team gathered MARTA proposals from the library’s Planning Atlanta collection, located information from the Georgia Power streetcar system era, and collected material about the Atlanta Streetcar and the Atlanta Beltline. By tracing each proposed route, this team turned this information into geospatial data and created Tracing a History of Atlanta’s Public Transit, which clearly shows MARTA’s far-reaching intentions. As the state and the region begin to look more favorably on transit investment, this project aims to contribute to larger discussions taking place around the topic of public transit in Atlanta.

View the full-screen version of the project here or the embedded version below.

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Visualizing Human Origins on the interactWall

CURVE’s visualization technology is helping researchers take a closer look at our origins. In an effort to understand “local climate dynamics relevant to the time periods and the regions where human evolutionary change took place” researchers are studying core samples taken from East Africa. (human origins drilling project) These core samples are part of the Smithsonian Institution’s Human Origins Program. Dr. Dan Deocampo, Human Origins Program research team member and GSU Department of Geosciences Chair uses Corelyzer on the CURVE interactWall to analyze core samples.

Dr. Deocampo analyzing the Smithsonian Institution’s Olorgesailie core on CURVE’s interactWall

Commenting on CURVE’s visualization system, Deocampo notes, “This technology allows us to closely examine the sediment in detail while keeping the larger context – we’re literally looking through a window at the earth’s history millions of years ago. This is helping us understand how changing climate affects the environment, ecosystems, and organisms in Africa and around the globe.”

With funding from the Smithsonian Institution Human Origins Program and the National Science Foundation, Dr. Deocampo’s GSU lab is responsible for mineral analysis using X-ray diffraction techniques for 5 of the 7 core sites – The Afar / Northern Awash (Ethiopia), Lake Turkana (Kenya), Lake Baringo/Tugen Hills (Kenya), Lake Magadi (Kenya), and Olorgesailie (Kenya).

Drilling rig at Lake Magadi, Kenya, in summer, 2014 and NSF's National Lacustrine Core Facility at the University of Minnesota – Dr. Deocampo, Dr. Tim Lowenstein, and Dr. Jiuyi Wang

Drilling rig at Lake Magadi, Kenya, in summer, 2014 and NSF’s National Lacustrine Core Facility at the University of Minnesota – Dr. Deocampo, Dr. Tim Lowenstein, and Dr. Jiuyi Wang

Dr. Deocampo analyzing the AFAR core on CURVE’s interactWall

Learn more about the Smithsonian’s Human Origins Program and the Hominin Sites and Paleolakes Drilling Project (HSPDP).

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Art Vandenberg to Give World Community Grid Lecture

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Join us on Wednesday, November 12 from 2pm to 3pm in CURVE for a World Community Grid guest lecture.

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