Koror--The Palau International Coral Reef Center (PICRC) recently signed an agreement with the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) to collaborate on the creation of “ReefCloud.”
ReefCloud is an online platform that will quickly and efficiently process coral reef data, making it readily available for management decisions. By using cutting-edge technology in data science and machine learning, ReefCloud will be able to quickly manage, store, and share monitoring data. This will allow researchers to quickly detect changes in coral reefs, through the use of automated technologies.
With research director Geraldine Rengiil as PICRC’s project leader, and Dr. Manuel Gonzalez Rivero as the AIMS representative, ReefCloud could help reduce the amount of time invested in identifying the different kinds of corals and other benthic substrates.
Currently, researchers spend weeks, or even months, manually identifying corals and other substrate using coral ID software. This manual work has proven to be an effective method, but it is slowing the progress of data analysis and report writing. The potential advantage of utilizing this ReefCloud program is that it will help refocus priority in data processing, where the time used to manually ID benthic substrates will be spent more efficiently on other aspects of research work.
While AIMS will be in charge of developing the software, PICRC will provide relevant data from current monitoring programs that may inform the design of ReefCloud. At the same time, PICRC will review the program’s functionality and provide regular feedback on the project directions. (PICRC)