Thursday, 11 April 2013

Project Background

I have had the privilege to grow up in one of the most fertile and temperate forested areas in Montana, a lot of my child hood was spent absorbing the beauty, nourishment and darkness of the forest.  As I ahve gotten more interested in computer science, my interest in spending time on the land within the forest has only intensified.  Especially within these last few years, I feel that my experiences in nature have inspired me to communicate and relate the severity of the change that threatens the worlds forests. 

In 2007 the rocky mountain pine beetle epidemic swept through Motnana, destroying most of the Ponderosa and Lodge pole pine stands in large areas across the mountains. 

Beetle kill forest - 6 years after initial infestation

 Interested in the epidemic, I learned from various biologists and restoration specialists that this outbreak was about 20 times larger than previous outbreaks, and that it was magnified through various mechanisms by climate change. 

After moving to Canada for University, I gradually became more interested in development issues relating to climate change.  Especially after experiencing the forest industry of Canada through tree planting, I became rapidly convinced that our economic practices were leading to large scale social and environmental degradation, and that severely impacted the worlds climate.

Cut block in Northern British Columbia

Continuing to study climate related issues through Environmental Studies and through political activism, I have how serious of an issue climate change will be over my life time, and for the rest of humanity.  

Throughout this process of informational accumulation, I have become interested in public awareness, sharing information through visual methods with visual art and computer mediums.  Through various independent computer graphics projects, I have built tools for rendering industrial systems and pollution processes through Industrial Abstraction.  Now I wish to augment these virtual environments with a forest system that can handle real time interaction and modification, to show abstract relationships through animation and interactive simulations. 

As large scale development and climate related issues are extremely large scale and abstract, I beleive virtual environments may help relate the consequences humanity faces from our lack of appreciation of the complex forces of nature.

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