Paper No. 15
Presentation Time: 12:30 PM


OLINS, Heather C., Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University, 16 Divinity Avenue, Room 3085, Cambridge, MA 02138 and NIELSEN, Mark E., Educational Resources Group, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, 4000 Jones Bridge Rd, Chevy Chase, MD 20815,

EarthViewer is a free interactive app for exploring Earth history. The heart of the app is an interactive 3-D globe based on paleomagnetic reconstructions of Earth’s continents dating back to the Archean eon. As users move the globe through time, they have the option of viewing a variety of additional data layers including atmospheric CO2 and O2, temperature, biodiversity indices, as well as discrete events, such as mass extinctions, impact events, and critical fossil markers. The result is a multidimensional tool that instructors can use to illustrate Earth system science and geologic time. The app has been very popular with over 225,000 downloads since its release in early 2013. The accompanying classroom resources help teachers effectively use EarthViewer in the classroom. In addition to demonstrating the app and allowing visitors to interact with it through the digital poster medium, we plan to engage with educators to solicit feedback and collect ideas for future updates.

Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) is one of the nation’s largest philanthropies dedicated to supporting research and science education. HHMI’s BioInteractive initiative opens a window on cutting-edge science through interactive web features, short films, virtual labs, and scientific animations. Since teachers play a pivotal role in launching the careers of future scientists and in helping the public understand the beauty and import of science, the BioInteractive team partners with the teaching community to create and distribute media that is engaging and relevant to the science curriculum.