Coral Reef Watch Contributes to Coral Disease Forecasting Workshop at the 14th International Coral Reef Symposium

Dr. Jamie Caldwell (University of Hawaii-Manoa), a major NOAA Coral Reef Watch project partner, presents new forecasting tools under development by the University of Hawaii and NOAA Coral Reef Watch, as part of ‘Coral disease forecasting for the Pacific Ocean – demonstrating a new tool for scientists and managers’, a workshop at the 14th International Coral Reef Symposium, held virtually this year.

NOAA Coral Reef Watch (CRW) staff contributed to the development and promotion of a workshop associated with the 14th International Coral Reef Symposium (ICRS), held virtually on July 21, 2021.


The workshop introduced potential users to new forecasting tools, currently under development by the University of Hawaii (UH) and NOAA CRW that will enhance CRW’s satellite-based Coral Disease Outbreak Risk products for Pacific coral reef areas. Led by CRW collaborator, Dr. Jamie Caldwell (UH-Manoa), the workshop demonstrated new prototype Regional Virtual Stations that will eventually connect users to an interactive tool that provides near-term forecasts at 5km-resolution of the risk for two widespread coral diseases in the Pacific Ocean. The interactive tool will allow users to explore and define forecast scenarios at multiple spatial scales and assess disease mitigation potential through modeled scenarios. CRW, UH, and the other project partners will continue to present the prototype tools at smaller stakeholder group meetings, to obtain critical feedback to assist further product development. 


The NOAA CRW program is an initiative supported by the Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center (ESSIC)-administered Cooperative Institute for Satellite Earth System Studies (CISESS). ESSIC/CISESS Scientists include Associate Research Scientist Dr. Gang Liu; Senior Faculty Specialist Jacqueline De La Cour; and Faculty Specialist Erick Geiger. The team also includes ESSIC/CISESS subawardees, Drs. William Skirving and Blake Spady, at ReefSense in Townsville, Australia.