How can we care about something we never see or experience? Virtual reality has the potential to connect people with far-away places, and is an effective medium to generate empathy and self-efficacy towards environmental issues. Further, photogrammetry and 3D digitization is an effective tool for research, historic preservation, and science learning. In this seminar, Dr. Woolsey will share her work in virtual immersion, science communication, and design. Her organization – the Hydrous – has led over 300,000 virtual dives, curated hundreds of coral colonies and museum specimens, and developed accessible methods of ocean science learning amidst the global pandemic. To join a virtual dive during this seminar, have your smart phone ready and the YouTube app installed.
Erika is a marine biologist, designer, virtual reality filmmaker, National Geographic Explorer, Visiting Scholar at the Stanford University Virtual Human Interaction Lab, and CEO and co-founder of The Hydrous, a non-profit devoted to translating marine science into public understanding. She received her PhD from the Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University in 2014, and was advised by Prof. Andrew Baird, Dr. Sally Keith, and Prof. Maria Byrne. She earned her Masters of Applied Science in Coastal Management from the University of Sydney and studied biology and art history at Duke University. She was a 2018-2019 Ocean Design Fellow at the Stanford University Hasso Plattner Instituted of Design (the d.school) and the Stanford Center for Ocean Solutions. She has taught human-centered design at Stanford and Harvard Universities, and consults for Fortune 500 companies on non-ocean-related issues.