The Brown lab is interested in novels way to connect people to ecology, evolutionary and physical geography ideas. We are using Tangible Landscapes to interactively teach how physical geography and species-specific life-history factors affect population ecology and genetic diversity, and the role of these factors in speciation across a landscape. Our software is called the Tangible Niche & Genetic Simulator or TANAGERS. It is a GRASS GIS package where users sculpt 3D landscapes and simulate ecological and evolutionary processes. TANAGERS incorporates tactile learning with real-time ecology and evolution simulations in an interactive, visually dynamic way. Working with the Tangible Landscape infrastructure, which represents a real-time feedback cycle of hands-on interaction, 3D scanning, geospatial computation and projection, we have created a highly interactive way to explore how physical geography and species-specific life-history factors affect population ecology, genetic diversity, and speciation across a landscape.
A new biodiversity informatics tool: physical 3D visualization of spatial data
We also use 3D terrain models paired with GIS data to better understand on going biodiversity research in the lab. The physical 3D terrain provides considerable insight into interpreting spatial results and really helps field research planning. Everyone needs this for lab meetings, conferences and outreach.