Soon we head to Micronesia to work with KnowledgeWell, a nonprofit founded by our friend Aaron Smith. We will be measuring and modeling ancient ruins at Lelu on Kosrae island. We’ll use LiDAR and multibeam side scan sonar to create hyper-accurate digital models which can be used to document and analyze what’s important and still undiscovered, before it’s too late.
Lelu ruins on Kosrae are, along with moai on Easter Island, among the wonders of the Pacific. Their massive walled compounds probably date back to A.D. 1400, and were likely residences of kings and high chiefs. There are also royal burial grounds and sacred compounds associated with Kosraean gods. Archaeologists have been researching these tombs for over 100 years. Now we can use technology to re-examine and rediscover these ancient sites.
Sustainable Tourism Plan
Kosrae’s LIVING coral reef system, pristine Yela Ka forest, and growing number of SCUBA divers and tourists coming to this rare, untouched land are on a collision course. As more people visit Kosrae it will be important to have sustainable tourism plans in place to support and expand Kosraean livelihood, as well as to preserve their unique and precious resources which include pristine coral reefs, watersheds and rich history.
Having digital models of the historical and manmade resources will lay the foundation for sustainable development and help planners and developers better understand their priceless resources.
This work supports KnowledgeWell’s UNESCO World Heritage Site Initiative and their overall mission to transform barriers faced by under-resourced nations into opportunities.
We’ve also received an invitation from the Governor of Chuuk to come talk about measuring and modeling Truk Lagoon. We’ll discuss preservation of the WWII-era wrecks that make up the premiere site for wreck diving in the world, and Chuuk’s primary source of tourism income.
More Reef Modeling
With luck we’ll model more coral as Kosrae is home to one of the most pristine reef systems in Micronesia.