THE BERMUDA 100 CHALLENGE PARTNERS
The Center of Interdisciplinary Science for Art, Architecture and Archaeology (CISA3) and the Cultural Heritage Engineering and Innovation Initiative (CHEI) as well as the Drone Lab are located in the Qualcomm Institute and Jacobs School of Engineering at the University of California San Diego. Since its launch in 2006, CISA3 has developed a novel, interdisciplinary research, education and training program to promote a culture of exploration, discovery and technological innovation. Nearly 40 graduate students have gone through the program to complete their Ph.D.s in a variety of fields, from anthropology and computer science to engineering and physics. Teams from CISA3, CHEI and the Drone Lab develop diagnostic methodologies, analytical models, tools and systems for use in documenting, analyzing and conserving historic artifacts with the goal of engineering a future for the past. “The past has shaped who we are and who we hope to be,” notes Falko Kuester, a professor of structural engineering and computer science at UC San Diego, who leads both CISA3 and CHEI. “Our students have demonstrated that a common desire to learn from, advocate for and preserve the past is a powerful enabler for collaboration and innovation.” The material and intellectual products of that collaboration extend well beyond the world of ancient places or centuries of shipwrecks. The centers are catalysts to attract and nurture talented students who are eager to apply engineering skills to safeguarding cultural treasures.
LookBermuda and its LookFilms took the lead in partnering with UC San Diego’s Cultural Heritage Engineering Initiative (CHEI) on the development of interactive 3D models of shipwrecks surrounding Bermuda. CEO Jean-Pierre Rouja is the founder of the video production company, which also runs Nonsuch Expeditions, which documents ongoing conservation, research and exploration efforts on and around Nonsuch Island Nature Reserve. Nonsuch Expeditions also launched the award-winning CahowCam, bringing live cameras into the burrows of cahows (commonly known as the Bermuda petrel, a nocturnal, ground-nesting seabird) accessible from anywhere in the world via the Internet. Said Rouja: “We’re looking for ways of using engineering technology to help with conservation, research and educational outreach.” LookBermuda has worked on multiple documentaries related to well-known Bermuda shipwrecks, including the Mary-Celestia and the Sea Venture, and its photographers are documenting Biodiversity Photography Expeditions and using some of the photography in connection with Bermuda’s AirportArt project and a new series of Natural History notecards. LookBermuda is also an official photography provider for the 35th America’s Cup series to get underway in late May in Bermuda.
Bermuda’s Department of Environment and Natural Resources has responsibility for environmental assessments and the development of environmental policy for the Government of Bermuda, and leads the government’s efforts to manage certain pests and invasive species impacting Bermuda’s ecology. The department’s Marine Management section is responsible for carrying out the mandate of the Historic Wrecks Act of 2001. The section and the Custodian of Historic Wrecks (Dr. Philippe Rouja) provide advice and assistance to the Historic Wrecks Authority, as well as developing and implementing underwater cultural resources management programs, specifically for shipwrecks and marine heritage sites. Similarly but on land, the department’s Terrestrial Conservation section manages over 200 acres of government-owned nature reserves. The department is also involved in and supports numerous research projects, and through research and monitoring, department staff develop species recovery plans for Bermuda’s protected species. In partnership with the Bermuda Zoological Society, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources is responsible for maintenance and management of the Bermuda Aquarium, Museum and Zoo.