Decision Theater North

A central goal of Alaska NSF EPSCoR's current research project is to provide Alaskans with the tools to make informed decisions to help adapt to changing environments. To that end, EPSCoR took the lead in constructing "Decision Theater North (DTN)," a new visualization facility designed to facilitate dialogue and decision-making by agencies, industry, communities and academia.

DTN consists of a bank of high-definition monitors providing upwards of 60 million pixels of resolution, connected directly to UAF high-performance computing and storage, and is configurable to serve as either a conference room or as a theater. Users can display the dynamics of a problem, and the effects of policy options, in a clear and compelling manner – thus helping people to develop the best approaches and solutions.

Data and models from EPSCoR will form the initial inputs for DTN. EPSCoR researchers will display change scenarios based on real social-ecological data they have collected and compiled, enabling community members and policymakers in EPSCoR’s test case regions to discuss and lay out adaptation needs. Results from other data-rich UA research projects will be displayed in DTN to increase community involvement and investment. Other potential uses for the facility include high-end data visualization, policy-making, situational awareness, and outreach and instruction.

The theater is modeled after a facility at Arizona State University and is located in the West Ridge Research Building on the UAF campus. Construction  took place in summer and fall 2015 (see video below.) In addition to DTN, Alaska EPSCoR is also working to increase its visualization capacity by making improvements to the Planetarium and Visualization Theater (PVT) at UAA and experimenting with technology such as Oculus Rift goggles.

Also check out DTN's external website.

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