Sunday, March 11, 2012

Fiji: Technology and fishes in Vatu-I-Ra

For the past several years, the New England Aquarium has participated in a joint expedition to Fiji, along with the Monterey Bay Aquarium and other conservation-minded groups and individuals. The last expedition took place in October and November 2010. Stay tuned to this blog to follow the team as they dive to collect data on the health of the coral reefs, pick up trash where they find it, check in with the villagers to see how some conservation initiatives are faring and further develop connections with the people that live on these beautiful Pacific islands.

Today's post comes from citizen scientist Bruce Thayer.

Yesterday, this Iowa diver took a picture of the unique Fiji anemonefish Amphiprion melanopus here on the oh-so-healthy dive site Cat’s Meow, and shared it with a friend who studies chimps in Senegal.  But wait, there’s more. Three days before leaving Iowa I was still debating whether to bring my laptop or ‘rough it’ with my iPad. Being a photographer I have several photo apps on the ‘pad,’ but they are rudimentary. That morning Adobe announced Photoshop for iPad, yes really. Ten bucks.  Easy decision to shed some travel pounds.

Here’s the process: dry off gills following the anemonefish dive, load memory card onto iPad via the Apple camera connection kit, launch Photoshop app, make magic, transfer image from iPad to iPhone via Photosync app and Bluetooth, attach to e-mail and send to Africa using the prepaid data SIM card, purchased inexpensively at the Nadi airport.

So this post is less about fish than technology, perhaps. But the world of travel changes when the excitement can be sheared in the NOW. And for those doing real science, the collaborative loop becomes wonderfully tighter when innovation leverages hard work.  

-Bruce Thayer

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