John Granholm – Appalachian State University

Statement of Purpose:

Tectonic movement is partially the result of an active core within Earth. Over billions of years, it has shaped the planet’s thriving, diverse, and dynamic ecosystem. Within that time-frame, continents have amalgamated multiple times. This has led to global climate change and in turn a few mass extinctions. This is not an easy task to visualize, especially for undergrad scientists, but is vital in understanding the cyclical process that is life on Earth and perhaps throughout the Universe. Through computer simulation, aesthetic animations, and virtual reality, this concept can become much more easily understood. In associated with Dr. Christopher Scotese, I have developed a proof of concept method that allows many people to easily experience and better comprehend this incredible and complex process.


Description of Data Sets:

Prof. Christopher R. Scotese, Director, PALEOMAP Project has more than 50 computer animations showing the plate tectonic evolution of the continents and ocean basins during the last billion years. This data is an application of Dr. Christopher Scotese’s PALEOMAP Project. This is an approximately ninety million year timeline of Earth’s surface tectonics projected into simulation space.
Owned by John W. Granholm, other data sets may be attributed to:
-Windows 7 (Desktop Computer)
-Macintosh OS X (Macbook Pro)
-Unity Game Engine (
-Oculus Rift Developers Kit 2
-Xbox 360 Wired Controller