Quirks & Quarks
Scientific research and beauty mix on the Marshall Islands
Sara Cannon measures and photographs equatorial reefs to determine their resilience.
The Republic of The Marshall Islands is located in the Central Pacific, very close to the equator. They are a chain of volcanic atolls and coral islands - over 1,100 islands in total. For that reason, The Marshall Islands are an important area for scientific research specific to the declining health of coral reefs due to climate change. Sara Cannon, a Master's student in the Department of Geography at the University of British Columbia spent her summer there measuring and photographing reefs, as well as becoming captivated by its natural beauty and charming people. Her research - yet to be compiled and analysed - may show that reefs closer to the equator are generally more resilient than others, but that human activity within the Islands has a negative impact on reef health.