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Habitat Earth“, the new film by the Visualization Studio at the California Academy of Sciences opened this weekend in the Morrison Planetarium. The film documents the ecological interactions that take place continually in natural systems, featuring San Francisco Bay, a northern California kelp forest, and redwood forest watersheds in the northwest of North America. I was one of the science advisers and content persons for the film and am simply in awe of the visualization team. The science is authentic and researched in detail, but most impressive is the sheer amount of data incorporated and visualized. These data range from well-known ecological stories such as the sea otter role in maintaining diversity in kelp forests, to the thousands of food web interactions from my San Francisco Bay food web dataset, to documented tracks of thousands of migrating species and human ship traffic. It’s a masterpiece of science visualization, and I was very happy to be a small part of it. Here is a short trailer to the film, narrated by Frances McDormand. In the next few posts I will link to interviews with a number of the scientists involved. In the meanwhile, enjoy the trailer and, if you are in San Francisco, please stop by and see the film in the world’s largest all-digital planetarium dome!

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