Chris Harding

  • Associate Professor



1620 Howe
537 Bissell Rd.
Ames IA



My interests are in combining geoscience research and teaching with the emerging field of Virtual Reality. Besides being a faculty member of the department of geological and atmospheric sciences I am also part of the Virtual Reality Applications Center (VRAC) and ISU’s Human-Computer-Interaction (HCI) program which is housed at Howe Hall.

I am interested in building interactive geoscientific Virtual Environments that take advantage not only of the well established visual component (e.g., large displays with stereo vision) but employ touch and sound as well – two perceptual mechanisms that are particularly interesting research topics within Virtual Environments. Geoscientific tasks carry a special set of problems that distinguish them from other forms of scientific visualization (e.g., medical or engineering) and therefore need a special approach.

I have several years of practical experiences with geoscientific virtual environments: I worked on the University of Houston’s Virtual Environment Research Laboratory, my Ph.D. thesis dealt with audio-supported, haptic (touch-based), fault modelling of bathymetric data and I was involved in VR research at Shell and Exxon, where I worked with large stereo displays (virtual theaters), scientific sonification and haptic interaction with volume data.


Geol 452/552 – GIS for Geoscientists

Recent Refereed Publications

  • Chen, L., Harding, C., Sharma, A., & MacDonald, E. 2016. Modeling noise and lease soft costs improves wind farm design and cost-of-energy predictions. Renewable Energy, 97, 849-859.
  • Hasiuk, F., & Harding, C. 2016. Touchable topography: 3D printing elevation data and structural models to overcome the issue of scale. Geology Today, 32(1), 16-20.
  • Ishutov, S., Hasiuk, F. J., Fullmer, S. M., Buono, A. S., Gray, J. N., & Harding, C. 2016. Resurrection of a Reservoir Sandstone from Tomographic Data Using 3-D Printing. AAPG Bulletin, (20,161,221).
  • Cline, M. D., Iverson, N. R., & Harding, C. 2015. Origin of washboard moraines of the Des Moines Lobe: Spatial analyses with LiDAR data. Geomorphology, 246, 570-578.
  • Ishutov, S., Hasiuk, F. J., Harding, C., & Gray, J. N. 2015. 3D printing sandstone porosity models. Interpretation, 3(3), SX49-SX61.
  • Boonsuk, W., & Harding, C. 2013. Possibility space for GIS suitability analysis. In IS&T/SPIE Electronic Imaging (pp. 90170R-90170R). International Society for Optics and Photonics.


M.Sc. (Diplom) Geology (Geoinformatics), Free University Berlin, 1993;

Ph.D. Geology, Computational Science Certificate, University of Houston, 2001