UT’s Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and School of Art have partnered with the Great Smoky Mountains National Park Inventory and Monitoring Branch to create a new web application, Species Mapper.
Everyone from park managers to school groups can use Species Mapper to explore suitable habitats for more than 1,800 species.
Species Mapper uses locations where species have been found to help predict additional places they may occur in the park. These predictions, or models, are based on observations made during ongoing resource monitoring as well as research studies conducted by scientists from all over the world.
The result of the model is a reliable distribution of where each species lives in the park. The model uses supercomputers managed by the Joint Institute for Computational Sciences, a collaboration of UT and Oak Ridge National Laboratory, to analyze the location of observations as well as the characteristics of the environment such as slope, forest type, geology, elevation, temperature, and sun exposure.
Will Godsoe and his colleagues at UT’s National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis have guided the team on the ecological analysis of the data and the models.
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