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Immersion Theater at the Aldo Leopold Nature Center

The Elumenati partnered with the Aldo Leopold Nature Center to enhance their Climate Science Education Center with an immersive space for science exploration. It’s one of our most versatile installations, featuring the full complement of immersive software for Earth and space science, all driven from a touchscreen interface.

With Uniview, docents lead audiences on tours of the observable Universe – from global datasets here on Earth, to the edges of measurable radiation data and back again. NASA JPL’s Eyes platforms – Eyes on the Earth, Solar System, and Exoplanets – let visitors drive their own explorations through real NASA mission data, constantly updated with curated features from NASA scientists. And with Elumenati’s WorldViewer software, visitors explore the natural world in ALNC’s own backyard – diving underwater, burrowing through soil, and hovering over the prairie. With WorldComposer, ALNC staff can easily add new media to the interactive interface, ensuring that content is evergreen and visitors learn something new every time they come back. This dynamic theater engages visitors in seamless interactive tours, provoking questions regarding the nature of the universe and humans’ role in protecting our beautiful and fragile planet – our little blue marble.

The theater also features a virtual visit to the shack where Aldo Leopold did much of his work. Surrounded by archival imagery and a re-enacted soundscape, visitors interactively identify the diverse species of native birds based on Leopold’s own “dawn chorus” notes. Film clips and journal pages tell the story of Leopold’s life, his work, and the land ethic he proposed. Multimedia content was assembled using WorldViewer, which also drives the touchscreen-based interactivity.

The Immersion Theater was installed in a cylindrical ‘silo’ space at ALNC, and projects onto nearly 360 degrees of curved walls with high-contrast paint. The edge-blended BiClops system features two OmniFocus 30220 projection systems, with 6,000 lumens each and a total of 3840 pixels across the screen. All content is driven from a single image-generating computer. Edge-blending is accomplished with our Omnimap geometry correction software.

It has been an honor to help ALNC fulfill their mission to provide innovative “high-tech, high-touch” programs which, in Leopold’s words, “…teach the student to see the land, to understand what he sees, and enjoy what he understands” — all while bridging the gap between students’ increasing screen time and their understanding of and connection with the natural world.