Collaboration purposes are three-fold:

  1. Data/image exchange
  2. Coral reef thematic interpretation
  3. Product distribution

Most of our collaborators are involved at these three levels. The images provided by external collaborators appear in this map (click here).

The Landsat 7 Science Team (Dr. Samuel Goward, Dr. Darrel Williams) provided many of the Landsat 7 images in 1999. For the thematic interpretation, we work closely with key local scientists and managers. We find they are one of the best sources of information. They have comprehensive knowledge of their reefs and can constructively comment our mapping protocols and products, even if they are not remote sensing experts, as is frequently the case. We also jointly publish scientific results. Partners co-author the protocols and maps for their region of expertise.

NASA Johnson Space Center, Earth Sciences and Image Analysis Laboratory (Dr. Julie A. Robinson, Dr. Kamlesh Lullah) provides continuous support for map production, and coordinates the future distribution of the products by partners such as ReefBase and the UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre. Moreover, this center is a gateway for astronaut photographs (acquired during space shuttle flights and now from the International Space Station - ISS). These images are used by this project in case of persistent cloud-cover (Andréfouët and Robinson, (2003)). The high-resolution ISS photographs (Robinson and Evans, 2002) at 5-6 meter resolution are also useful in resolving and interpreting fine features or those with a poor spectral or spatial signature at 30 meter resolution (e.g. dense reticulated structures in lagoons, narrow spillways along atoll rims, etc).

UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre (Dr. Ed Green), Cambridge UK, and WorldFish Center-ReefBase, Penang Malaysia, (Dr. Jamie Oliver and Dr. Marco Noordeloos) will be external gateways to distribute USF products.

Caribbean reefs are currently investigated with the aid of:

  • Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Panama City, for Central America reefs (Dr. Hector Guzmán).
  • Instituto de Oceanología, La Havana, for Cuba reefs (Dr. Pedro Alcolado, Sergio Cerdeira).
  • CINVESTAV, Merida, for Mexico-Yucatan reefs (Dr. Ernesto Arias-González, Nestor Membrillo, Rodriga Garza).
  • University of Miami collaborates for Bahamas reefs (Dr. Kathleen Sullivan Sealey). Western Washington University (Dr. John Hardy) provided support for Exuma's interpretation.
  • United States Geological Survey, St. Petersburg FL (Dr. John Brock) provided assistance with getting images of US reefs. There are on-going collaborations for image interpretation of the Florida Keys.
  • The Atlantic and Gulf Reef Rapid Assessment (AGRRA) monitoring program, RSMAS-University of Miami (Dr. Philip Kramer, Dr. Robert Ginsburg) advice on reefs Atlantic-Caribbean wide.
  • Center for Advanced Land Management Information Technologies, University of Nebraska (Dr. Merlin Lawson).

Pacific atolls are processed based on our own expertise, since USF scientists have extensive knowledge of Pacific atoll structures (Andréfouët et al. 2001_b) and have been involved in several atoll research programs Eastern Pacific islands (Samoa, Cook Islands, French Polynesia and Polynesia) are interpreted by USF for the same reasons. Western archipelagoes and countries (Fiji to Vanuatu, Micronesia) will require local expertise in the future.

Australian reefs (Great Barrier Reef) are investigated with the assistance of scientists and managers at Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, Townsville, (Dr. Adam Lewis, Dr. Jurgen Otto, Dr. David Lowe) and Australian Institute of Marine Science (Dr. Terry Done, Dr. Ray Berkelmans). For specific sites, collaboration for IKONOS and Landsat image processing includes University of Queensland (Dr. Stuart Phinn and Karen Joyce).

Asian reefs have not yet been investigated using Landsat for this project, but on-going collaboration for IKONOS image processing includes:

  • National Institute for Environmental Studies, for Japanese reefs (Dr. Hiroya Yamano)
  • World Resource Institute, based in Washington DC, coordinated the South-East Asia Reef at Risk program (Dr. Lauretta Burke), and provided assistance for the interpretation of the reef systems of North Borneo.

Maldives, Indian Ocean, reefs have been investigated in partnership with Dalhousie University, Canada (Abdulla Naseer, Dr. Bruce Hatcher). Abdulla Naseer is from Maldives and is currently finishing his PhD on remote sensing of Maldives structures.

French institutions that collaborate on this project include principally:

  • Université de la Polynésie Française- UPF (French Polynesia, Wallis, Futuna)
  • Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes- EPHE (French Polynesia atolls),
  • Institut de Recherche et Developpement- IRD (New Caledonia)
  • Centre Océanologique de Marseille - COM (Mayotte).

French overseas territories are scattered in each ocean and collaboration can be multi-regional. The main collaborators are Dr. Claude Payri (UPF), Dr. Bernard Salvat (EPHE), Dr. Bernard Thomassin (COM) and Dr. Jocelyne Ferraris (IRD). French overseas territories urgently need maps of coral reef areas (IFRECOR, 2002) and several managers from the various Territories provide support.


This work was supported by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA Grant NAG5-10908).

Theme by Danetsoft and Danang Probo Sayekti inspired by Maksimer