Simsphere: A Biosphere/Atmosphere Simulation

The SimSphere package, created by Penn State meteorology professor Toby N. Carlson and a team of developers and instructional designers, consists of an interactive model written in Java, a 13-chapter student workbook, and a users' guide. The package is designed for undergraduates, graduate students, and professionals in disciplines such as meteorology, geography, landscape architecture, and civil engineering. The soil/vegetation/atmosphere/transfer (SVAT) model simulates interactions among soil, plant, and atmospheric systems and the transfer of energy, momentum, and water through the systems. The student workbook introduces simple concepts and the software reinforces them. Users have the option of running the model as an applet from a web browser or downloading the model to a Microsoft Windows®-based personal computer and running it as a stand-alone application. Full Press Release

System Requirements

Windows 95/98/NT/2000/XP with Java Runtime Environment version 1.5 or later.

Running the Simulation

You can to start the SimSphere applet (2.35 MB) or download a Java Application (0.96 MB) .



Toby Carlson, Rob Gillies, David A. J. Ripley, Tim Summers, Jason Meyer, Sudhanshu Thanedar, Karen Peters

John A. Dutton e-Education Institute, A unit of the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences


John A. Dutton e-Education Institute

SimSphere applet

Java Application

Software User Manual

Technical Background Manual