2021: A Remarkable Year for the Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation

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Despite the restrictions imposed by the pandemic, 2021 was a truly remarkable year for the Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation.

After spending ten years in the field circumnavigating the globe, we concluded the Global Reef Expedition (GRE)—the largest coral reef survey and mapping research mission in history. Prince Khaled made the formal announcement at the IUCN World Conservation Congress, where we also presented our data and findings from this groundbreaking research mission.

Now that the Global Reef Expedition is complete, we are taking our coral reef research to the next level. This past year we signed a Space Act Agreement with NASA to help them map the world’s coral reefs. We have shared over 65,000 square kilometers of our coral reef maps with NASA so they can use them as a guide for how to map coral reefs from space. We are also using our GRE data and expertise in a new partnership with the Pacific Blue Foundation that will use machine learning to automate image analysis of benthic photo transects. Meanwhile, we continue to work with our partners at the University of Miami on new coral reef health and resiliency models. This includes a new project funded by the National Science Foundation to assess the long-term health of coral reefs.

In addition to our scientific accomplishments, the Foundation had several notable achievements in outreach and education. In 2021 we launched a new TV show, Our Living Oceans, which is now playing on EarthxTV. This 6-part documentary series takes viewers on a journey of discovery, educating viewers on the health of our living oceans, the threats they face, and what is being done to save them through conversations with scientists, conservationists, and local leaders from around the world. We also expanded the offerings on our Education Portal, which continued to be a valuable resource for students and teachers, especially for those learning remotely during the pandemic.  

We are very proud of what we have been able to achieve this past year and look forward to what we will be able to accomplish in the years to come.

To learn more about our recent accomplishments, check out our 2021 Annual Report:

Finalists of the 2022 Science Without Borders Challenge (Ages 15-19)!

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Last week, we proudly announced the finalists in the ages 11-14 category of our 2022 Science Without Borders® Challenge. Today, we are excited to announce the 15-19 year-old finalists of our art contest.

Contest finalists are from China, Indonesia, Korea, Thailand, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The theme, “Ridge to Reef” was portrayed in the students’ artwork through a variety of different actions such as planting corals, cleaning up pollution, preventing overfishing, and planting trees. We were amazed by these students’ creativity, execution of the theme, and artistic abilities.

Without further ado, please meet our 15-19 year old finalists:

Announcing the 11-14 Year-Old Finalists of the 2022 Science Without Borders® Challenge!

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The Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation is pleased to announce the finalists of the 2022 Science Without Borders® Challenge, our annual student art competition. This year we asked students to create a piece of art that illustrates one or more actions that governments, non-profits, park managers, and indigenous communities can take to preserve coral reefs using a ridge to reef approach to conservation. We are thrilled with the entries that we received!

We received 510 qualifying pieces of artwork from 49 different countries, so picking the finalists was a difficult decision. Ultimately, finalists were chosen based on how well the artwork exemplified this year’s theme, the quality of the artwork, and the creativity and originality of their artwork.

We hope you will be as impressed with the submissions we received as we were. Without further ado, here are the finalists for Ages 11-14 of the 2022 Science Without Borders® Challenge:

Meet the Interns: Joana Oliveira

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The Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation is hosting two interns this semester from the University of Ghent’s International Master of Science in Marine Biological Resources (IMBRSea) program. This international program focuses on marine resource management and conservation, and provides students with the opportunity to conduct a professional practice in their field.

One of our interns, Joana Oliveira, will be helping the Foundation create StoryMaps to showcase the coral reef maps and geo-referenced data we collected on the Global Reef Expedition. Learn more about Joana and what brought her to the Foundation below.

What drew you to the Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation?
For my internship, I wanted to put into practice my marine spatial planning and GIS competencies, but I also wanted to work on my science communication skills. The position at the Foundation was the perfect opportunity at the perfect time. At the Living Oceans Foundation, I have the chance to work with world-class scientists and learn about the biggest coral reef survey ever in history…

ANNOUNCING 2022 SCIENCE WITHOUT BORDERS® CHALLENGE SEMI-FINALISTS – AGES 15-19

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Thank you to all the students who applied to the 2022 Science Without Borders® Challenge! We received some truly incredible and inspiring artwork again for this year’s theme titled “Ridge to Reef.” Students were asked to illustrate one or more actions that governments, non-profits, park managers, and indigenous communities can take to preserve coral reefs using a ridge to reef approach to conservation.

Overall, we received 510 qualifying pieces of artwork from 49 different countries. In the 15–19 year-old category, we received 211 submissions. The themes and styles of artwork varied greatly. Some students took a more realistic approach when illustrating the ridge to reef actions that they would take to conserve coral reefs, while others used symbolism and artistic metaphors to convey their messages.

Our judges chose 34 incredible pieces of artwork in the 15-19 year-old group to become semi-finalists. These artists span 11 countries around the world including some that contain tropical coral reefs, such as Indonesia, Kuwait, and the Philippines; and countries that do not have any such as United Kingdom and New Zealand.

Without further ado, please meet our 15-19 year old semi-finalists:

One month left to apply for the Science Without Borders® Challenge!

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There is still time to participate in our international student art competition, the Science Without Borders® Challenge! Students must submit their artwork by March 7 for a chance to win up to $500 in prizes. 

This year the Science Without Borders® Challenge theme is “Ridge to Reef.” This type of conservation approach works to conserve coral reefs by addressing issues across the entire watershed, from the top of the land down the streams, through mangrove forests and seagrass beds, and out to the reefs themselves. For this year’s theme, we are asking students to create a piece of art that illustrates one or more ways people can use this conservation approach to protect coral reefs. 

Shark tagging with our partners, Black Girls Dive Foundation

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“There’s a shark on the line!” The young ladies from Black Girls Dive Foundation (BGDF) squirmed with anticipation and giggled with excitement. As their chaperone, I could feel my own adrenaline surging as we watched the University of Miami (UM) team scurrying around at the back of the boat. The chaperones fitted the first four students with gloves and life vests. Then the students lined up in single file to begin their assigned individual and group tasks. It was time to get to work.

In December, I had the honor of being asked to join our partners at Black Girls Dive Foundation on a shark tagging expedition with the UM Professor Neil Hammerschlag’s Shark Research and Conservation team at Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmosphere Science. The trip is part of BGDF’s Science, Technology, Robotics, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics with SCUBA (STREAMS) program, which is designed to introduce black girls between the ages of 9 and 17 to a multitude of activities. The Shark Research and Conservation Capstone is a component of the STREAMS program that teaches about the behavioral ecology and conservation of sharks. After completing a series of lecture and lab activities, this part of the program culminates with a field-intensive research expedition: shark tagging.