We are changing the way science and society see and explore vulnerable island environments around the world through drone mapping, open data, storytelling, and citizen science.
Open Reef launched in 2016 in the Central American country of Belize, home to the second largest reef system in the world. In less than 20 fieldwork days, we have successfully drone mapped and processed nearly 150 islands in Belize. Our innovative methods are fully developed and ready to be deployed in drone mapping missions around the world to protect and conserve the world’s most vulnerable island environments.
It Takes a Village
We are a group of passionate, diverse, and energetic people committed to better connecting science and society. Open Reef was founded in Belize in 2016 during a casual, afternoon beach conversation among friends dreaming of what was possible. We are now expanding around the world.
The Open Reef team is comprised of faculty and students from University of Central Florida, University of Belize, State University of New York Plattsburgh; independent research and education consultants; educators; youth; and citizen scientists like you. Open Reef is an initiative of Citizen Science GIS, a 2017 Esri Special Achievement in GIS Award winner (one of four higher education awardees worldwide).
Additional Open Reef partners for the Belize work include: Belize Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute (CZMAI), World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Belize, Belize Port Authority, The Smithsonian Institute, MarineGeo, The U.S. National Science Foundation, Hamanasi Resort, Total Business Solutions Limited Belize, Belize Telemedia Limited, and James Cook University.