Linking research and education with virtual reality
Virtual reality (VR) provides exciting opportunities for environmental education and research.
We invite your participation in a new program to engage students, anglers, and citizen
scientists in fish ecology and climate change research using new VR methods. Participants will
learn about fish ecology first-hand by exploring streams in VR and will be members of a
research team lead by US Geological Survey (USGS) scientists. This program is free and designed
for students, anglers, and citizen scientists of all ages.
Here’s how it works:
1. USGS collects 360-degree video samples from trout streams in Shenandoah National
Park, Virginia (completed during summer 2018).
2. Participants access videos from a website and use standard computer monitors or VR
headsets (e.g., Google cardboard) to watch them.
3. Participants then record data on fish species abundance and behavior using Google
Forms (or email).
4. USGS then analyzes the combined data and reports key findings to participants.
The inaugural program runs February to May 2019 and supports flexible scheduling:
participants can watch as few or as many videos as they want at any time. The program begins
with an introductory webinar by USGS in February and concludes with a webinar reporting
results in May. Your ideas and participation are essential for the success of this new program!
For more information and to register contact:
Nathaniel (Than) Hitt, PhD
US Geological Survey, Leetown Science Center
If you do participate, be sure to inform Ethan.