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Pacific Ridge-to-Reef

For the past two decades, the Asner Lab's Pacific Ridge-to-Reef Initiative (PRR) has worked with local land managers and government agencies in Hawaiʻi to create bioculturally sustainable conservation and management practices, ensuring that Hawaiʻi's unique land and ocean ecosystems persist into the future. The PRR team uses remote sensing and targeted field data to map critical metrics of ecosystem health, such as above-ground carbon and biodiversity dynamics.

The creation of accurate, high-resolution spatiotemporal maps and predictive models allows the PRR team to provide land managers and government agencies the critical data needed to create conservation policies and management plans. The PRR team works closely with other GDCS labs to tackle some of Hawaiʻi's most pressing environmental issues.

Currently, the PRR team is working with GDCS partners to understand the biodiversity of Hawaiʻian dry forests, the spread of deadly fungi decimating native Hawaiʻian trees, and the advance of coral dieback caused primarily by rising ocean temperatures.

Learn more about our GDCS Hawaiʻi campus here.

In 2019, GDCS launched in partnership with Hawaii’s Division of Aquatic Resources and NOAA Fisheries to provide high-tech scientific information to decision-makers and the public on the changing state of Hawaii’s coral reefs. 

Today, is a public resource that unites field-based (citizen) monitoring, high-tech aircraft and underwater technology, and Earth orbiting satellites to improve our collective knowledge about coral reefs across the main eight Hawaiian Islands. 

From Niihau to the Big Island, citizen scientists can report locally observed changes in reefs, such as coral bleaching, physical damage from boats and swimmers, and over-fishing. Meanwhile, our aircraft program provides a bird’s eye view of where live corals are located, and our satellites help find if and where corals are bleaching. Today, citizens, airplanes and satellites unite to generate a brighter future for Hawaii’s unique coral reefs.

To learn more about the 2019 bleaching event, read our series on ASU Now.

Visit for details and to read about our latest research and press coverage. 

GDCS Arizona
Biodesign Institute C building, 5th floor
1001 South McAllister Avenue
Tempe, AZ 85287

Phone: 480-727-7896

GDCS Hawaii
60 Nowelo Street
Hilo HI 96720