This December a group of scientists, divers, designers, filmmakers, and technologists set sail on the vessel Theia to explore and understand the islands of the Maldives, a small nation in the Indian Ocean surrounded by coral reefs. Participants came together for this expedition from around the world, representing the USA, Australia, China, India, Hungary, Singapore, Switzerland, France, Portugal, Canada, Ireland, Italy, and the Maldives. In line with the Hydrous mission to understand and share ocean environments, this dynamic team conducted scientific monitoring projects (sampling ocean microplastics and measuring coral mortality following the recent mass bleaching event), created 3D models with photogrammetry (reality capture of coral colonies and entire islands using underwater photography and drone footage), collected virtual reality footage, and learned about local issues like waste management from Maldivian community leaders and council members.
In the coming weeks and months, the Hydrous team will contribute our data to long-term monitoring projects and will curate our content to develop virtual experiences and educational tools. Our Hydrous team members and Ambassadors will also be writing blog posts to describe these projects and present the outcomes in greater detail. Stay tuned!