Photo-Monitoring Whale Sharks

An interview with Jason Holmberg, an IT professional, who teamed up with marine scientist Brad Norman and astronomer Zaven Arzoumanian to devise a method and framework to more effectively gauge whale shark populations. The trio co-authored a paper in the Ecological Society of America’s January 2008 journal Ecological Applications. Holmberg explains how he became an “extreme volunteer” with ECOCEAN, a non-profit association dedicated to marine conservation, and was able to apply his computer programming skills to tackling the challenge of measuring whale shark populations. Whale sharks are known as “the gentle giants” of the oceans since they weigh as much as 20 tons yet eat tiny zooplankton.

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