A training session on large-scale imaging techniques for the representation of coral reefs, with a primary focus on the 3D representation of the seabed, was organized in early 2022 by the Scripps Institution of the University of California, San Diego (USA), in charge of the 100 Island Challenge program
Thirty participants from around the world participated remotely and were presented with theoretical courses as well as tutorials. Three engineers from the SNO CORAIL and CRIOBE, with expertise in 3D approaches, participated. A team of 10 research professors from various American universities led the course.
The course covered the theoretical aspects of the physics and the equipment required for 3D representation (the concepts and principles of photography, data acquisition and processing, etc.) and the advantages and interests for the study of coral reefs, including both fundamental and applied aspects. Numerous case studies, such as the monitoring of reef health in the context of global warming or descriptive studies of new ecosystems (e.g. deep-sea areas) or impact studies (e.g. assessment and quantification of damage after a ship grounding), were used to help support the coursework. Tutorials, specifically focused on the use of the Metashape software, were provided to allow those who were not yet comfortable with the software, to be able to create a 3D representation from a series of photographs (see illustration below).
In-depth exchanges and discussions surrounding the case studies, specific to each participant and locality, enabled participants to engage in a rich peer-to-peer learning experience.