Museum Exhibit Design

If you are designing a new earth science exhibit or refurbishing a current exhibit, IRIS can help you.

IRIS offerings include the IRIS Earthquake Channel (a large screen, live earthquake map display), Make Your Own Earthquake (jump and see your "earthquake" on the screen),  jAmaSeis for viewing live earthquake data as "wiggly lines", custom animations for specific exhibit locations, and access to science experts for content creation and review.

IRIS Public Displays

IRIS partners with the USGS Albuquerque Seismic Lab and major museums throughout the US to develop public displays of real-time seismic data.  We work with each museum to choose the appropriate display elements as they design their exhibit.

USGS/IRIS Museum Display

Possible Elements of the Display

Create Your Own Earthquake

A girl creates her own earthquake


A visitor jumps on the ground in front of the display and sees an earthquake recorded on a rotating drum.




The Earthquake Channel Display

Boy touches the Seismic Monitor screenThe Earthquake Channel software is our latest exhibit software (12/2016) and offers great, high-res maps intended for large monitors, showing near real-time earthquakes, as well as historical seismicity, all for FREE; and it includes a separate application, for another monitor, that shows a list of significant earthquakes currently displayed on the main monitor's map.



Drum Recorder

Drum seismometerThe drum recorder was included in existing permanent displays, but IRIS no longer offers the drum recorder. Sorry.




Are you interested in incorporating earthquake data into an exhibit at your venue? Then contact Wendy Bohon at IRIS!

Past IRIS Exhibits

IRIS loaned the Franklin Institute Science Museum an exhibit for its Powers of Nature traveling exhibit.  The traveling display traveled to 12 museums between 1998 and 2005, and has since retired.  The USGS Albuquerque Seismological Laboratory, the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science and IRIS collaborated to develop this exhibit.

The combined annual attendance of these 12 museums is over 5 million people.


Museums that Hosted the Traveling Exhibit 

Date Museum Annual Attendance
April 1998

Franklin Institute Science Museum

Philadelphia, PA

October 1998

California Museum of Science and Industry

Los Angeles, CA     

April 1999

Center of Science and Industry

Columbus, OH     

October 1999

Fort Worth Museum of Science and History

Fort Worth, TX  

April 2000

St. Paul Science Museum of Minnesota

St. Paul, MN

October 2000

Boston Museum of Science

Boston, MA  

April 2001

US Space and Rocket Center

Huntsville, AL  

February 2002

Denver Museum of Nature and Sciences

Denver, CO

October 2002

North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences

Raleigh, NC  

March 2003

Moody Gardens

Galveston, TX

January 2004

Franklin Institute Science Museum

Philadelphia, PA  

October 2004

Cincinnati Museum Center

Cincinnati, OH