Lesson three: Foster and develop key partnerships
If ever there were a year that makes it clear the challenges our world faces are too large to tackle alone, 2020 is it. We’re grateful to be working with some of the smartest and most talented partner organizations on the planet.
For example, during 2020, our Global FinPrint project — the world’s first-ever benchmark study on reef shark populations — revealed discouraging findings: Reef sharks were absent in nearly 20% of the areas surveyed. That means they are functionally extinct in many of the planet’s reefs. As disheartening as this was to discover, it resulted in urgent conservation efforts, none of which would have been possible without the teams at Florida International University, The Australian Institute of Marine Science, Curtin University, Dalhousie University, and James Cook University.
Our Skylight project also continues to have a measurable impact on illegal fishing. This unique technology empowers maritime analysts to spot suspicious vessel behavior and alert authorities to take action. It’s currently being used in 19 different countries, covers more than 9.9 million square kilometers of ocean, and is successful largely thanks to the partners listed in the project recap below.
And, as another year has proven the dramatic impact climate change has on our daily lives, we’re thankful for our partnerships with California Institute of Technology, the University of Washington, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory Columbia University, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Together we continue to identify gaps in climate modeling through the Vulcan Climate Modeling Program, which takes advantages of the latest computer programming languages, machine learning, and supercomputing platforms to build models that are stronger, faster, and contain an unprecedented level of detail.