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San Diego Trip-Coral Reef Sperm Bank

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Kati Chapman, (Marketing/Comm) here. I’m sitting in the airport with my colleague Eric Pfeifle (Media/Web Design) waiting on our flight to San Diego, California! We’re headed to the ESRI conference to check out their awesome GIS programs and to meet and greet interesting people. Hopefully we’ll make a stellar presentation to chief ESRI scientist Dawn Wright and make some like-minded conservation comrades that way.   We’ve got our business cards, our “Best Practices for Oil Spill Cleanup” CDs, our WFCRC shirts (check them out in the gift shop), and a good talk game. We’ve got great ideas to back our talk game up, though: who else do you know that adds a specific location component to unique pieces of coral, and comes back and checks on the same coral pieces/sections of reefs/reefs pretty much every time someone dives in that area? And then shares the information on a GIS dashboard for scientists and citizen researchers all over the world to use and share? Notwithstanding our Best Practices, which provides a way for people all over the world to find out what’s the best way to combat an oil spill in their area.

Speaking of great ideas, that brings to mind the great idea and effort of one particular scientist, Dr. Mary Hagedorn. She’s collecting coral sperm in an attempt to save and preserve the coral species that are being decimated throughout the world (http://www.smartplanet.com/blog/science-scope/a-sperm-bank-to-restore-the-worlds-corals/13138). Over a trillion samples have been saved, and this great idea has the potential to help with local economies, save species -not just coral, but the life that thrives around it as well- and provide research potential into pharmaceuticals, which is an important issue for the WFCRC. Coral reefs hold the potential for cures to Alzheimer’s and types of cancer, -some types of coral are even being used in drug Ara-C, which is used in chemotherapy. These potentialities should be explored fully, and Dr. Hagdorn’s work takes a huge step in the right direction.

Boarding time! Until next week-

-KC