In February 2007, The MAP was awarded the Renaissance Computing Institute (RENCI)/National Environmental Modeling Analysis Center (NEMAC) Project. The MAP was awarded $90,000 to produce two short animated videos. RENCI, a multi-institutional organization, brings together multidisciplinary experts and advanced technological capabilities to address pressing research issues and to find solutions to complex problems that affect the quality of life in North Carolina, the nation and the world. RENCI is a statewide virtual organization, founded in 2004 as a major collaborative venture of Duke University, North Carolina State University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the state of North Carolina.
RENCI at UNC-Asheville opened in 2007 and their initial project was development of 3-D visualization tools for disaster planning, response, and mitigation in WNC, to be put to use by city and county planners, emergency responders, educators, meteorologists and others.
“Water in Western North Carolina: Impervious Surfaces”, an animated visualization about consequences in the mountains when rain falls on impervious surfaces such as concrete and asphalt during a storm, was a collaboration between RENCI, the Media Arts Project, the Elumenati and Klein Digital.
The visualization was developed primarily for city and rural planners to use in their decision making, but is also valuable to students and the general public. A second video, "The Power Connection" was completed in 2008 and addresses the connection between power usage and water consumption. There are plans for additional Water in Western North Carolina movies to be produced.
Climate Alive & CECI
The Asheville Hub launched the Centers for Environmental and Climatic Interaction (CECI) led by George Briggs, who also directs the North Carolina Arboretum. CECI is a non-profit partnership between government, academia and industry that provides innovative education strategies, natural resource impact analysis, visualization technologies and other tools for making crucial decisions
In November of 2007 CECI, with the assistance of The MAP, showed off Asheville’s climate assets before representatives of organizations that receive climate data and services from NOAA’s agencies. The CECI event at the Grove Park Inn was highlighted by the premiere of “Climate Alive”—a short, powerful film that demonstrates global climate challenges and how expertise and collaboration within Asheville can help policymakers comprehend complex problems and devise effective solutions.