For the past ten weeks, seven members of the Palau International Coral Reef Center (PICRC) have been virtually attending Stanford University’s Data Platform Training Program. Taught by Dr. Emily Kelly, Dr. Alfredo Giron, and Dr. Allison Dedrick from the Center for Ocean Solutions at Stanford, the objective was for staff to learn how to display research and outreach data in a visual and user-friendly way for easier access to the public.
PICRC, Palau’s ocean research center, has the objective of guiding conservation efforts, while promoting awareness through its education and outreach programs. Even though PICRC’s research is widely available on the website, reports contain technical language that may be hard for people outside of the field to understand. “In order to make the information more readily accessible to the community, we needed to find simpler ways to share our research” stated PICRC CEO, Dr. Yimnang Golbuu.
Visual display of data is a technique widely used by many organizations all over the world. It enables users to interact with the data while visualizing it in a practical way. PICRC conducts many research projects, including the assessment of the overall health of Palau’s coral and seagrass ecosystems. Likewise, the Center hosts students throughout the year, in an effort to support local schools in the teaching of marine science. By learning how to use Tableau, a visual analytics platform, the training has been providing PICRC staff with tools that will allow the public to get a more comprehensive picture of how the corals, fish, and other invertebrates, are doing in Palau. Likewise, PICRC’s impact on education will be readily available for users to view.
With the training scheduled to end on December 11, PICRC staff members gave a presentation of the work they developed throughout this training. All visualized data will soon be displayed on PICRC’s website for the public to view. “We would like to thank our partners at Stanford University, for supporting our efforts and building the capacity of our staff. Collaboration is key, as the protection of our oceans requires a global effort,” expressed Dr. Golbuu.