Erika Woolsey and Nora Hall are co-founders of a non-profit organization called The Hydrous. Both Erika and Nora have a background in marine science. They studied at James Cook University in Australia where they developed their passion for oceans. Their organization has a mission of “Open Access Oceans” meaning they want to share the experience of the ocean with the world as well as increase science literacy and increase awareness for environmental conservation. One area of emphasis for The Hydrous is the earth’s coral reefs that provide a habitat for a large portion of the ocean’s biodiversity and form some of the most beautiful ocean structures in the world.
Coral reefs have been in a lot of trouble in recent years due to changing ocean temperatures, which has lead to a phenomena called coral bleaching, which is when changes in ocean temperature cause corals to expel the algae that lives inside their tissue. This causes the corals to lose their brilliant color and ultimately die. For example, the 2016 bleaching event caused about a third of all the corals on the Great Barrier Reef in Australia to die. This reef is the largest structure made by living organisms in the world.
As a way to bring awareness to the general public about this threat to ocean health, The Hydrous has been utilizing photographs and cutting edge software from partners like Autodesk and Lenovo to produce 3D models of corals. These visualizations are consumed in many different applications including photospheres, virtual reality and 3D printing of corals that you can hold in your hands. All of these tools give scientists powerful means to make the ocean more accessible to the public and help translate field research into public awareness.
Thanks for Listening!
Join the conversation:
Help spread the word: