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Recent Speaking Engagements



Recent Speaking Engagements

NASA Ames Research Center

Mountain View, CA (Feb 13, 2019): With VR magician Jason McGuigan, discussed the use of immersive technologies for visiting inaccessible places, thought about parallels between space and ocean exploration, and shared the Hydrous’s VR film ‘Immerse’ with NASA staff as part of an Early Career Network seminar series.

Photos: Chloe Peterson-Nafziger

Photos: Chloe Peterson-Nafziger

XR Marin

Novato, CA (Feb 9, 2019): Participated in a special workshop at XR Marin on how educators can use virtual reality. Attended by teachers, administrators, counselors, students, parents, curriculum developers, and VR content developers.

Photo: Jesse Madsen

Photo: Jesse Madsen

50th Anniversary of “The Mother of All Demos”

Mountain View, CA (December 12, 2018): Had the great honor of serving on a panel (Topic: Solving Today’s Greatest Problems) at the Computer History Museum to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Doug Engelbart’s “Mother of All Demos.” Discussed the role of technology for mobilizing positive change in the world, in the context of Engelbart’s vision and contributions. Watch HERE or HERE.


Youth Climate Action Summit

San Jose, CA (November 10, 2018): I had the honor of speaking on a panel with other National Geographic Explorers at the Youth Climate Action Summit, held at the Tech Museum of Innovation. It was a great day; over 600 high school students participated in discussion and activities surrounding the global challenge of climate change. Learn more HERE. Plus, with the help of Viveport and Horizon Productions, I got to share the Hydrous’s in-progress VR film IMMERSE.



San Francisco, CA (October 2018): Led a VR workshop for 40+ high school girls through a partnership with IGNITE (Inspiring Girls Now In Technology Evolution). IGNITE was founded in 1999 to help girls from disadvantaged and low-income backgrounds spark interest in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) fields. Learn more HERE.


Exploring by the Seat of Your Pants

October 2018: Streamed into classrooms across the U.S. & Canada to talk to students about marine biology and coral reefs. Learn more about Exploring by the Seat of Your Pants HERE.

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Trojan Horse Was a Unicorn

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Valleta, Malta (September 2018): Interviewed Live on THU TV and Presented a talk titled "Using Virtual Reality to Share Science, Love & Magic in the Ocean”


KPIX CBS Evening News

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Bay Area (August 2018): “Marin County Biologist Develops 3-D VR Ocean Exploration Curriculum.” Watch here.


Panel: Immersive VR Storytelling


Washington, D.C. (June 2018): Served on a panel during a VR workshop led by Google, as part of the National Geographic Explorer's Festival


National Geographic Explorers Festival

Washington, D.C. (June 2018): As a new National Geographic Explorer, presented on the Hydrous's "Exploration in Progress," Ocean Education Kits for middle school classrooms that teach ocean science with technologies like photogrammetry and virtual reality.


Children’s Museum of Sonoma County

Santa Rosa, CA (March 2018): Visiting Scientist for the Science Speaker Series. Told stories about my underwater adventures, shared imagery from beautiful ocean ecosystems like coral reefs, and talked about concepts like symbiosis and sustainability.


Palau High School

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Koror, Palau (February 2018): Led an inquiry-based activity to encourage scientific thinking and promote understanding for coral reefs. Students conducted experiments using 3D printed corals painted with thermo-chromic paint, that turned white in warm water, and experienced underwater 360º video.


Audubon Canyon Ranch


Stinson Beach, CA (February 2018): Presented to docents, discussed the role of new technologies such as virtual reality in connecting people to nature.


Autodesk University


Las Vegas, NV (November 2017). Presentation: “Digitizing Coral Reefs.” Watch here.


The Smithsonian


Washington D.C. (October 2017). Smithsonian Digitization Fair, Keynote: “Digitizing Coral Reefs.” Watch here.


Panelist or Moderator following screenings of Chasing Coral

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California Academy of Sciences (October 2017)

The Citizen’s Climate Lobby (October 2017)

The New Parkway Theater, Oakland (December 2017)

Palau High School (March 2018)

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Interviews & Media


Interviews & Media

The Hydrous VR (Nov 2017). Horizon Productions

The effects of coral bleaching in Japan (2017)

Liquid Jungle demo, the Thomas Cobb Group

Early development of a baby coral, Goniastrea favulus. Jason Kool. 

Smithsonian Digitization Fair (Oct 2017)

Lenovo Difference Maker Story (2017) 

Coral spawning at Lizard Island (2011)



Expeditions & Fieldwork


Expeditions & Fieldwork

Check out my current “expedition,” Oceans by Design, on NatGeo’s Open Explorer!

I have led Hydrous Expeditions to the Maldives (2016, 2017), Monterey (2017), and Palau (2018). Goals of each expeditions vary, though they've included underwater photogrammetry of coral reefs, aerial photogrammetry of islands, scientific surveying of coral reefs, underwater photography, ocean education, and 360º filming. These expeditions include participation by non-scientists, often technologists, filmmakers, designers, and divers. 

I have conducted extensive scientific fieldwork in eastern Australia: at Lizard Island, One Tree Island, Orpheus Island, Lord Howe Island, the far north Great Barrier Reef, and as a research assistant and CTD technician on board the RV Southern Surveyor. I also assisted with Dr. Sally Keith's data collection in Japan and Indonesia. 

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