NOAA Research Receives Virtual Learning Prize

The New Media Consortium (NMC) honors Eric Hackathorn of NOAA's Earth System Research Laboratory with one of the 2008 Virtual Learning Prizes for his "Exploring Weather and Climate Change Through a Climate Time Line," a proposal that will be developed by NMC for NOAA's Second Life virtual world. In virtual worlds, time can pass more slowly or quickly than in real life, allowing users to explore educational concepts in ways not possible in the real world. An exploration of a climatic time line is especially well suited for a virtual space. This award-winning project will use a "powers of ten" exponential approach to time scales to examine snapshots of the climate science processes and past climate events.

The NMC Virtual Learning Prize, a $100,000 competitive program of awards, uses recognition, financial incentives, and professional development services as a way to promote ideas to create a collection of innovative open-source learning experiences that make use of the unique attributes of a virtual learning environment. The NMC, a community of hundreds of universities, colleges, museums, and research centers, stimulates and furthers the exploration and use of new media and technologies for learning and creative expression.

The project, "Exploring Weather and Climate Change Through a Climate Time Line," will provide an innovative platform for multi-generational audiences of NOAA's Second Life virtual world to better understand climate change science. Besides enhancing environmental literacy, this project aims to inspire students so they might investigate scientific career paths.

Contact information
Name: Eric Hackathorn
Tel: 303-497-6831
eric.j.hackathorn@noaa.gov