2018 ARCS Scholar of the Year Chris Shuler gave the inaugural lecture on HaloCampus, a ground-breaking digital platform that streams 3D holograms of University of Hawai‘i faculty to American Samoa Community College classes in real-time. Chris, a Toby Lee ARCS Scholar in Earth Sciences, talked about his research on sustainable water resources in American Samoa, which faces challenges that include increasing plastic waste and climate change.
“It’s definitely super cool to go to American Samoa as a hologram,” said Chris, a postdoctoral researcher with UH’s Water Resources Research Center. “The main goal of our American Samoa research program is to improve people’s lives in the territory. Working in such a remote location necessitates some creativity.” The program is building and maintaining relationships with key stakeholders and experimenting with recent advances in cyber-infrastructure, social networking and open-source cloud-computing tools to make results accessible to those who need it, despite the distance between islands.
Launched 13 months after the Hawaiki transpacific submarine cable< directly connected American Samoa to Hawai‘i, HaloCampus is the first of its kind in the Pacific. UH President David Lassner calls it a remarkable new approach to distance learning that will spark new ideas and approaches for collaboration.