This year at the SXSW festival in Austin, Texas there was a special panel focusing on the use of technology in coral reef conservation – “Saving Coral Reefs One Pixel at a Time”. Dr. Jennifer Smith spoke on this panel alongside Zack Rago, from the documentary, Chasing Coral, and Joanna Klein, a science journalist from the New York Times.
The panel explored how novel imaging technology is being used to study coral reefs and inform coral reef conservation. From landscape-view swaths of reef to microscopic coral polyps, the imaging technology used to assess coral reefs is just as diverse as the images they offer. Panelists discuss everything from “What is a coral?” to the latest in underwater imaging technology, including autonomous cameras, high-resolution photo mosaics, 3D mapping, and underwater microscopes. At the end of day, the take home message from the panel was that there is still hope for coral reef conservation, especially if we can use novel imaging technology, such as virutal reality, to educate people globally about coral reef conservation and the power they have to make a difference in their local communities.
Click here to see the Facebook livestream of the panel, posted by Scripps Oceanography
Click here to read the Daily Texan article, “How virtual reality can help save the coral reefs”