A Sea of Glass: A Quest for Ocean Biodiversity

Drew Harvell, Cornell University, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Ithaca, NY, United States, David Owen Brown, Cornell UNiversity, Howard Johnson Museum, Ithaca, NY, United States, Genevieve Tremblay, Co-Founder and US Executive Director, ASKXXI, Bellevue,, WA, United States and Peter Fried, NYU Tandon School of Engineering, Dept Applied Physics and NYU Future Lab, Brooklyn, United States
Our quest is to find and display the living matches to the Blaschka glass marine invertebrate collection, which is a time capsule of sea anemones, corals, nudibranchs, squid, octopi, and sea cucumbers that were common in 1880. These models serve as a record of ocean life 150 years ago, and therefore are valuable to studies of evolution and the impacts of climate change. The quest highlights the endangered status of some of the once-common invertebrates of the 19th century and the excitement of searching today’s oceans by SCUBA. It uses the superpowers of history, art and modern imaging to inspire wonder in the magic of today’s ocean biodiversity and the threats to it. The Blaschka’s crafted over 800 different masterpieces in glass, with a taxonomist’s attention to detail of correct species identification. In my book, A Sea of Glass, I tell the stories of our initial SCUBA dives from Hawaii to Indonesia, the Mediterranean and both coasts of the new world to find and film the living matches. In this talk I will show these stunning invertebrates in still and video and also our newer work to produce 3 dimensional scans of the glass and project them in augmented reality and send them out to the audience in augmented reality cards.