Interactive Video Games Promote Scientific Concepts
ED13H-08 • Monday, Dec. 9, 3:25 p.m. • Moscone South 300
Video games aren’t just car chases and shoot-’em-ups any more. For Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego scientists and education specialists, video games are an effective tool for teaching scientific concepts based on real-world research.
Scripps’s Daniel Rohrlick will describe several new visually stimulating video games, developed at Scripps on Xbox and Kinect platforms, such as the Deep-sea Extreme Environment Pilot (D.E.E.P.) game based on the National Science Foundation’s Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI). The game emphasizes oceanographic concepts through targeted science learning goals by taking players on a compelling and realistic ride as pilot of a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) through challenges spanning from virtual hydrothermal vents to a deep coral reef environment. Other games feature immersive seismic station deployments and challenges with real-time earthquake data.
“Based on data from our work, when designed effectively, educational games can engage players, teach concepts, and tear down the stereotype of the stuffy, boring educational game,” said Rohrlick. D.E.E.P., which was selected as one of the top 10 entries in the NSF International Science & Engineering Visualization Challenge (http://www.nsf.gov/news/special_reports/scivis/challenge.jsp), and other educational video games can be downloaded for free at: siogames.ucsd.edu
PRESENTATION TITLE: “EDUCATIONAL VIDEOGAMES: CONCEPT, DESIGN, AND EVOLUTION”
Infrasound Proving Valuable in Tracking Phenomena
S14A-02 • Monday, Dec. 9, 4:15 p.m. • Moscone South 305
NH23D-1560 • Tuesday, Dec. 10, 1:40-6 p.m. • Moscone South Halls A-C
Sounds ranging from a giant meteor explosion to noise from the space shuttle Atlantis flying overhead is giving scientists a powerful new tool in investigating a range of geophysical phenomena.
Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego’s Catherine de Groot-Hedlin will discuss ways scientists are using infrasound, extremely low frequency sound waves beyond human hearing levels that travel around the globe and are recorded on specialized recording instruments. de Groot-Hedlin will offer evidence of the USArray and infrasound’s role in interpreting signals from the massive meteor that burst over Chelyabinsk, Russia, earlier this year. de Groot-Hedlin and her colleagues helped decipher the size and yield of the meteor blast in a recent Nature study. “The infrasound recordings made of this event by these arrays are unprecedented, due to the high density of the (infrasound) networks and their spatial extent,” said her co-author Michael Hedlin.
In a separate presentation, Hedlin will explore examples that span from bolides to large mining explosions, as well as a powerful new tool in capturing infrasound energy signals: the National Science Foundation’s EarthScope-USArray and its unique transportable network of 400 sensor stations that have moved systematically across the United States.
PRESENTATION TITLES: (S14A-02) “INFRASOUND STUDIES AT THE USARRAY” (INVITED)
(NH23D-1560) “INFRASOUND FROM THE CHELYABINSK METEOR RECORDED AT THE USARRAY”
When the Fog Rolls In: Characteristics of California’s Marine Layer Clouds
A41E-0109 • Thursday, Dec. 12, 8 a.m. -12:20 p.m. • Moscone South Halls A-C
A44D-02 • Thursday, Dec. 12, 4:15-4:30 p.m., Moscone West 3010
Working as a NASA Earth and Space Science Fellow, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego, graduate student Rachel Schwartz created a 17-year high-resolution satellite record of the marine layer clouds in coastal California that is already resulting in improved understanding of their dynamics and may have applications for utilities and users of solar energy. The data reveal key influences and features in the large-scale structure of the marine layer from Alaska to Baja California including prominent seasonal cycle differences in its characteristics in the Southern California Bight and Baja California as opposed to the marine layer in Central and Northern California. A related study found that in apparent synch with the multi-decadal cycle known as the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, marine layer clouds appeared with decreasing frequency between 1950-2012 in Southern California, though no such trend took place in Northern California.
PRESENTATION TITLES: (A44D-02) “THE SEASONALITY OF CALIFORNIA COASTAL MARINE LAYER CLOUDS FROM A NEW SATELLITE-DERIVED DATASET”
(A41E-0109) “DECADAL VARIABILITY OF WEST COAST MARINE STRATUS CLOUDS”
Oceanography and the Pursuit of Ancient Cultures
NS43B-03 • Thursday, Dec. 12, 2:20 p.m. • Moscone West 2000
Employing a suite of scientific methods to locate and preserve evidence and artifacts of prehistoric peoples, John Hildebrand of Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego has developed a new model for geoarchaeological exploration.
Hildebrand will describe a scientific method that integrates seismic imaging, sediment coring, and fossil analysis to seek remnants of inhabitants off Southern California who once occupied continental shelves—now submerged—during the late Pleistocene and early Holocene epochs.
The model factors oceanographic forces such as topography and sea level rise in identifying optimal sites for locating ancient artifacts. “The most desirable locations for site preservation are found in offshore valley floors and flanks, whereas ancient uplands are prone to site erosion,” said Hildebrand.
Hildebrand will discuss these methods as well as recent evidence of prehistoric materials discovered in a buried context offshore from northern San Diego County, Calif.
PRESENTATION TITLE: “USING GEOARCHAEOLOGY TO PREDICT THE PRESENCE OF OFFSHORE SITES IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA” (INVITED)
Model Projects Winners, Losers Among World’s Coral Reefs Under
Business-as-Usual Carbon Emissions Scenario
OS51A-1638 • Friday, Dec. 13 8 a.m. • Moscone South Halls A-C
The oceans of the future may be more hospitable to the kinds of coral reefs found in the Indian Ocean than they are now, but reefs in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans might find their range of suitable habitat heavily diminished. Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego, researchers Lauren Freeman and Art Miller and National Center for Atmospheric Research scientist Joan Kleypas simulated ocean conditions that would be expected to be present if society continues its current pace of carbon dioxide emissions.
They found that Indian Ocean coral reefs experience conditions today that are most like the future conditions simulated in the model. If all the world’s coral reefs were like those found in the Indian Ocean, suitable habitat in all ocean basins would increase 36 percent. Suitable habitat for Pacific Ocean and Atlantic Ocean corals, however, decreased by 60 percent and 83 percent, respectively, in the simulation. The researchers suggest this information could guide future coral reef restoration efforts if such efforts are rendered necessary by climate change.
PRESENTATION TITLE: “CORAL REEF HABITAT SUITABILITY IN FUTURE CLIMATE SCENARIOS FROM NCAR CESM1 CONSIDERING A SUITE OF BIOGEOCHEMICAL VARIABLES”