In 2009, the USGS Fort Collins Science Center renovated its Resource for Advanced Modeling (RAM), a modeling facility for collaborative research within the USGS and the wider research community. The main purpose of the RAM is to bring together remote sensing and climate forecasting experts, habitat modelers, field ecologists, and land managers in a synergistic environment.
The RAM provides a collaborative working environment for up to 20 scientists, supported with networked, wireless computing capability for running and testing various scientific models (e.g., Maxent, Boosted Regression Trees, Logistic Regression, MARS, Random Forest) at a variety of spatial scales, from county to global levels. Models use various predictor layers that can include current and future climate layers (near- and long-term projections), remote-sensing derivatives (such as MODIS phenology metrics), land cover, topography, and anthropogenic features.
New in 2012 is the “VisWall,” a bank of 24 wall-mounted monitors in a 6x4 array that can be used for displaying large or numerous GIS datasets, photos, or other data products. The monitor array can be configured to show a single map spread across all 24 monitors, 24 individual monitor outputs, or a combination of intermediate-sized outputs, such as three 4x2-monitor maps. Investigative teams and working groups using the RAM can employ VisWall for presentations, demonstrations, and robust data exploration.
In addition, the RAM offers WebEx and phone conferencing capability, a SMART board with screen-capture capability, white boards, and wireless internet. The collaborative workroom’s projection system can quickly alternate between 6 laptops to project their content. There are 3 docking stations in a separate work area and a small lounge for break-out discussions.
The Resource for Advanced Modeling is located within the USGS Fort Collins Science Center in Fort Collins, CO. This facility is an easy 70-mile drive north from the Denver International Airport. For maps and detailed directions, see Driving Directions.