Exploration to Conservation Through Underwater Robotics

World-class ROVs on the E/V Nautilus. Photo: Shah Selbe

Some of the strongest validation that conservationists get towards the need to protect a certain area comes directly as a result of exploration of that area. Through exploratory expeditions, we get to see the magnificence and scientific significance that these places have to offer. This provides the justification behind many of the political and economic decisions that are made as a result of any conservation project. This is partly why conservation and exploration have always felt so at home together at the National Geographic Society and why so many of my fellow Explorers are conservationists at their very core. If you look at the work of Enric Sala’s Pristine Seas Initiative or what Sylvia Earle focuses on through the Mission Blue Hope Spots, they both stress on the importance of exploration and documentation as a prerequisite for conservation.

World-class ROVs on the E/V Nautilus. Photo: Shah Selbe

This resonates with us because it is part of human nature to be inquisitive and explore; it has always been a deep desire of people to be explorers. As you look back throughout history, humanity has always driven to venture into the unknown. While there were generally additional complementary incentives (economic —> Read More Here


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