A new website has been launched to support the newest research initiative for the Sandin Lab! Please visit our new site to learn about how the Sandin Lab is using novel imaging techniques to develop conservation targets for coral reefs globally.

100 Island Challenge

The 100 Island Challenge is an effort coordinated by a core team of professors, graduate students (PhD and Master’s), postdoctoral researchers, and staff researchers at Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

Our work employs novel approaches for studying coral reef community dynamics through the application of underwater large scale imaging technology. Working with colleagues from the University of Miami, our team has developed a camera system that allows us to capture images of large area of coral reef (100m2). Further, by re-visiting exact locations multiple times and replicating photography, we have an unprecedented opportunity to track the dynamics of corals and algae. In particular, with advanced image analysis we can track how a reef community changes, addressing questions of coral growth, death, and competition. By combining these image-based data with reliable information about the composition of the fish community, the general oceanography, and the human situation of each location, we can begin to elucidate the conditions that are more (or less) conducive to the maintenance of growing and so-called ‘healthy’ coral reefs.

By linking the fates of these reefs to the oceanographic conditions and to the local activities of people, we will be able to start understanding cause-and- effect pathways for reef change. Given that local-scale marine managers consistently seek information on the ‘state’ of their coral reef, looking for comparisons to help guide local management. Further, by making the data that describe each reef readily available and easy to visualize, there is a terrific opportunity to increase the dialogue between the science and management communities, as well as independently among the managers looking for tangible information to improve their self-management. By working side-by- side with regional managers and partners in local NGOs (e.g., the Nature Conservancy, Conservation International), we will expand the scientific insights into the state and future of their reef areas.

For more information and updates, please visit our new website, 100islandchallenge.org!