Dennis C. Murphy – Past Works

I've worked on websites, interactive exhibits, interactive presentations, and videos. A sampling of that work is presented below.

This is a single-page website. The work presented here includes:

Because of a current focus in on several of my own projects so I'm not actively seeking work. However, inquiries will be considered.

screenshot of the home page for asih.org

American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists

Project Type:
Drupal website (asih.org)
Date & Client:
2012 & 2018, The American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists
Tasks:
Design, development, site architecture, site migration

The American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists is an international scientific society dedicated to the study of fish, reptiles and amphibians. Founded in 1915, the society consists of approximately 2500 members, and publishes Copeia, a peer-review journal found in over 1000 institutional libraries.

The Drupal 6 version of this site was launched in 2012. A mobile-first Drupal 8 revision was launched in 2018. The site features information about the society, news, job listings, meeting information, image bank, and other research and collections resources for students and professionals.

video still showing Emma's hair being cut by her spouse and yong son

Emma's Haircut

Project Type:
Video (vimeo.com/83167281)
Date & Collaborator:
2014, Florence Gelo, Drexel University College of Medicine
Tasks:
Story development & editing based on existing video footage & photos

Emma's Haircut is a video of a mother of two young children who is undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer. Instead of waiting for her hair to fall out, she and her family have a "shaving party."

The original footage was taken in 2008, but a host of production and other issues prevented its completion until I was enlisted to revise and finish the project. The final video serves as a tool for cancer support professionals to use as a conversation starter in group sessions. The video can be viewed on Vimeo and was featured in a blog post on The Arnold P. Gold Foundation's Humanism in Medicine website. (The website, humanism-in-medicine.org, is no longer live.)

screenshot featuring text and images for a fossil tetrapod, Densignathus rowei

Devonian Times

Project Type:
Website (devoniantimes.org)
Dates:
1997, 2002, 2005 & 2006
Tasks:
design, development, graphics, user interface, research, and writing

This award-wining website explores the evolutionary transition from fishes to early tetrapods during the Late Devonian (about 360-380 million years ago). It features Red Hill, an important fossil locality in central Pennsylvania, USA.

Devonian Times presents the rich assortment of plant and animal fossils recovered from Red Hill, reviews recent discoveries of Late Devonian tetrapods from other parts of the world, and discusses the evolutionary and ecological developments of the Late Devonian that are associated with the rise of the tetrapods and their colonization of the land.

With the exception of the original photographs, I created and I'm responsible for all of its content.

screenshot featuring text and images for a fossil shark, Squantinacitis montanus

Fossils Fishes of Bear Gulch

Project Type:
Website (no longer live)
Date & Client:
2005, Dr. Richard Lund and Dr. Eileen Grogan
Tasks:
design, development, site architecture

This website presents research by Dr. Richard Lund and Dr. Eileen Grogan on the Bear Gulch Limestone, an exceptionally rich fossil locality in Montana that dates from the Mississippian (Lower Carboniferous, approximately 318 million years ago). Bear Gulch has yielded an remarkable diversity of fossil fishes, many of which are exceptionally well-preserved.

I was enlisted in 2005 to redesign an existing website site and structure it so that Dr. Lund and Dr. Grogan could add new species following their publication in the scientific literature. In addition to presenting accounts more than 50 described fish species, the website contains information on associated plant and invertebrate fossils, the environmental setting and listings of printed and web resources.

screenshot of multiple application windows including the general interface, a record entry for one species of rotifer and a high-resolution image of that rotifer

Frank J. Myers Rotifera Collection

Project Type:
Research CD-ROM
Date & Client:
2004, The Academy of Natural Sciences
Tasks:
design, development, user interface, database migration

Rotifers are minute aquatic animals and the Frank J. Myers Rotifera Collection at the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia is one of the best collection of rotifers in the world. The cataloging and imaging of this collection by Dr. Christian Jersabek is made available on this cross-platform CD-ROM.

This application, which was authored in Macromedia Director, employs a database containing nearly 2,000 records. Users can search or browse the database to retrieve taxonomic information and specimen images. They can also learn about the innovative methods used to prepare and image the specimens.

This CD-ROM is available as The Frank J. Myers Rotifera Collection at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, Special Publications 20 (ISSN 0097-3254).

screenshot featuring a fossil lower jaw from an American mastodon and a diagram identifying anatomical details

Thomas Jefferson Fossil Collection

Project Type:
Online Exhibit
Date & Client:
2003, The Academy of Natural Sciences
Tasks:
design, development, illustration, site architecture, user interface, research, writing

This online exhibit was commissioned by the Academy of Natural Sciences in 2003 to highlight a historically significant fossil collection housed at the institution. In addition to showcasing many of the fossils collected through Jefferson's sponsorship, "The Thomas Jefferson Fossil Collection" explores many of the scientific ideas (e.g., extinction, the age of the earth, and the nature of fossils) and personalities (e.g., Charles Willson Peale, compte de Buffon, Georges Cuvier, and Thomas Jefferson) from the early years of the American republic and the beginnings of the science of paleontology.

(The "Thomas Jefferson Fossil Collection" online exhibit was removed from the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University's website during a 2012 site revision. It has, however, been included in the collections of the Library of Congress.)

screenshot featuring fossils from two extinct rhinos

Joseph Leidy Online Exhibit

Project Type:
Online Exhibit
Date & Client:
1999, The Academy of Natural Sciences
Tasks:
design, development, illustration, site architecture, user interface, research, writing

Regarded as the "Father of American Vertebrate Paleontology," Joseph Leidy (1823–1891), was also one of America's leading authorities of anatomy, parasitology, microscopy, and natural history during the 19th Century. This online exhibit was commissioned by the Academy of Natural Sciences to celebrate one of its most illustrious scientists. In addition to a biography and his numerous and varied contributions, this exhibit features sixteen fossil animals that Leidy studied, plus several of his major books. It's also presents many illustrations from his scientific publications and unpublished notebooks.

I researched, wrote, designed, and developed this online exhibit in 1999. It has been reviewed in a number of print and web publications, including Science and GeoTimes.

(The "Joseph Leidy Online Exhibit" was removed from the Academy's website in March 2012.)

screenshot showing an ant responging to a pheromone trail

Ant Foraging as a Complex Adaptive System

Project Type:
Interactive Presentation
Date & Client:
1998, Complexity Art Services
Tasks:
animation, design, development, illustration

This Macromedia Director-based interactive was developed for Complexity Art Services of New Mexico in 1998. It presents computer simulations of the collective behavior of foraging ants. By following a few simple rules such as the one shown above, the simulation yielded complex group behaviors suggestive of those found in real ant colonies.

three pairs of video screens showing kids from around the world and their corresponding Japanese interpreters

My Name Is…

Project Type:
Exhibit video installation
Date & Client:
1996, UNICEF Japan
Tasks:
direction, installation development, production, video graphics

This video presentation was developed for UNICEF Japan's 40th anniversary exhibit, The Rights of the Child, in 1996. The exhibit station consisted of two adjacent monitors displaying two different, but synchronized videos. On the left screen, children from several different counties tell the story about their names. Then, Japanese children in the right screen interpret these stories for the Japanese audience.

I was responsible for producing, directing and supervising the editing of these videos. I also assembled the system for coordinating and displaying the videos on the exhibit floor.

a sequence of morphs from a boy to a girl

Morphing Video

Project Type:
Exhibit video installation
Date & Client:
1996, UNICEF Japan
Tasks:
production, video special effects

This video was part of The Rights of the Child, a 1996 exhibit celebrating UNICEF Japan's 40th anniversary. The video, which consists of a series of morphing transitions between pairs of girls and boys, was coordinated with an adjacent LED message board containing a set of statistics about gender inequality with respect to education, medical care, nutrition, and social status.

screenshot showing the interface, in Japanese, prompting the user to identify a highlighted part of a fetal ultrasound

Fetal Ultrasound

Project Type:
Exhibit Interactive Exhibit
Date & Client:
1996, UNICEF Japan
Tasks:
design, development, graphics, production, writing, user interface

This interactive kiosk was created for The Rights of the Child, a 1996 exhibit celebrating UNICEF Japan's 40th anniversary. The housing for the kiosk was an actual, Japanese-manufactured ultrasound device.

Users viewed digitized video clips of fetal ultrasounds and were provided with strategies for interpreting them. They were then given the task of identifying what's within the white rectangle; the three choices offered in the example shown here are: (1) head, (2) spine, and (3) leg.

For the final clip, visitors were asked to identify whether the fetus was a boy or girl. This was followed with a note on how this knowledge is being used to perform gender-selective abortions in certain countries.

Name That Dinosaur screenshots showing Arnold the dinosaur, info on the new dinosaur to be named, and the meaning of the word rhino

Name that Dinosaur

Project Type:
Exhibit Interactive Kiosk
Date & Client:
1993, The Academy of Natural Sciences
Tasks:
animation, audio editing, design, development, graphics, production, writing, user interface

This interactive kiosk was developed in 1993 for the Academy's exhibit on Jurassic Park. "Arnold the Dinosaur" (shown in the upper right panel) enlisted museum visitors the task of creating a descriptive name for a fictional dinosaur by combining word roots. Arnold would guide them through the process and, if desired, he would provide definitions and examples for the word roots. For instance, the image in the lower left explains that the word root "rhino" means "nose", and that Pachyrhinosaurus (the dinosaur shown in profile) received its name because of its unusual nose while a rhinovirus can give you a nose cold.

Once the name is created, it's evaluated for descriptiveness and appropriateness, and as to whether the name has already been given to another animal.

Decode the Journal screenshots showing the landing page, decoding in progress, and the charming little bat

Decode the Journal

Project Type:
Exhibit Interactive Kiosk
Date & Client:
1992, The Academy of Natural Sciences
Tasks:
design, development, research, writing, user interface

Beatrix Potter, best known for her children's stories, was also an accomplished naturalist and illustrator. This interactive kiosk was developed as part of a 1992 exhibit produced by the Academy of Natural Sciences on Potter's contributions to both natural history and literature.

Users decodes a passage from Potter's journal (she wrote her entries in code) by selecting from an assortment of letters and words. Once the phrase is decoded, they are presented with the corresponding passage from her journal as well as one of her illustrations.

In this example, decoding the passage, "It's a charming little creature," is followed by an entry describing Potter's pet bat.