Dr. Henry "Trae" Winter III, co-founder and chief scientist with ARISA lab with us. Trae is a solar astrophysicist who has worked on eight NASA missions observing the Sun. His primary research focus was understanding how energy is released in the Sun’s atmosphere, the corona, and in other stars. Trae spearheaded many efforts to engage the public in scientific discovery, including work with the Montana Space Grant Consortium, the Salish-Kootenai Flathead Lake Reservation, and the Boston Lyrical Opera.
To highlight the spectacular images being produced by the Solar Dynamics Observatory, Trae designed a series of video wall exhibits for the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, North Carolina State University’s Hunt Library, the Harvard Art Museums’ Lightbox Gallery, and the Museum of Boulder. However, Trae quickly realized many people had no access to the exhibits he was helping create, people who are blind and low vision (BLV).
To make science accessible to everyone, Trae began Eclipse Soundscapes to build a mobile application that would engage all users with the 2017 Total Solar Eclipse. Consultants, who were themselves blind, were included at every stage of the application’s design process. The application used images, spoken word descriptions, sound, and touch to make eclipse features accessible and engaging to everyone as they were occurring.
Based on the success of the Eclipse Soundscapes Project model, Trae and MaryKay Severino founded the ARISA Lab which could quickly assemble highly trained and diverse teams to invent the new technologies and techniques necessary to make scientific exploration effective, accessible, and engaging for everyone.
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