Project Title: Kahakai to Hohonukai*: Environmental Studies of Marine Biota Using Underwater Time-Lapse Photography and Multiple Camera Arrays at Various Depths.
*(Hawaiian words meaning shallow to deep ocean; to deepen understanding of the ocean)
Seventy percent of Earth is covered with water, yet only 5 percent of the world’s oceans have been explored due to the immense challenges posed by underwater research. Recognizing the urgent need to develop and engineer the equipment and methodology necessary to conduct undersea research, “Kahakai to Hohonukai: Environmental Studies of Marine Biota Using Underwater Time-Lapse Photography and Multiple Camera Arrays at Various Depths,” describe the challenges of developing standardized, inexpensive camera arrays that can be easily reproduced and effectively utilized. By making ocean research affordable, accessible, and applicable to a variety of research endeavors, mankind will be able to extensively explore the undersea world and revolutionize how assessments of ocean environments are made on a global basis.
Christopher Lindsay is a 17-year-old student from Honolulu, HI, preparing to enter his first year at the University of Southern California to participate in the USC Resident Honors Program and Thematic Option Honors Program while pursuing degrees in Astronomy and Environmental Science.
Christopher helped discover an extrasolar planet, lived aboard a NOAA research vessel, swims with sharks, and studies rarely observed marine biota thriving at more than 500 meters depth. As a Davidson Fellow Laureate, Christopher’s research celebrates mankind’s curiosity, ingenuity, scientific achievements, and determination to explore the unknown.
Scientists agree that barely 5 percent of the world’s oceans have been studied due to the immense challenges posed by ocean research. Factors affecting the health of Earth’s water ecosystems such as pollution, global warming, ocean acidification, overfishing, habitat destruction, and invasive species need to be monitored, yet are difficult to study, especially over time. In his project, Christopher developed efficacious methods to observe and record marine biota in the Epipelagic and Mesopelagic Zones of Hawaiian waters using a variety of deployment procedures and strategies. Arrays of inexpensive underwater time-lapse camera systems were designed and engineered to take time-lapse images, probably the first of their kind to compare the behavior of marine biota in their natural habitat with those living in direct contact with human debris, i.e. discarded munitions. This project demonstrates that time-lapse photographic studies are crucial to assess the effects of human debris on marine environments and yield unexpected results concerning the effects of pollution in our oceans.
Although we suspect that our world’s oceans may actually hold solutions to world hunger, possible cures for human diseases, and the health of Planet Earth, we don’t know much about life in our oceans. Christopher believes that the development of standardized, inexpensive camera arrays will revolutionize how assessments of ocean environments are made on a global basis. Another rewarding aspect of Christopher’s work is encouraging others to fearlessly explore the Universe.
Raised in a family of avid musicians and extremophile scientists, Christopher spent his childhood playing multiple instruments (including the pipe organ, classical and jazz flute, and drum set), serving as narrator for his sister’s concerts, and performing in classical and jazz venues throughout the U.S. and Japan. He has hunted for fossils, visited remote telescopes throughout the world, observed bizarre astronomical phenomenon, made his singing and dancing debut as “Big Daddy,” earned a black belt in Shotokan Karate, competed nationally in USTA tennis, and admired the work of Hieronymus Bosch. Christopher is especially grateful to be named a 2016 Davidson Fellow Laureate because his sister had a 7-year head start on him. Always a hard act to follow, Melody Lindsay was a Davidson Fellow Laureate in 2009.
Q & A
Do you collect anything?I collect rocks, books, and pokémon.
Aside from necessities, what one thing could you not go a day without?
I couldn’t go a day without my friends.
If you had a warning label, what would yours say?
WARNING Extremely Unpredictable When Drowsy
If you had a super power, what would it be?
I’d like to be able to time travel so I can sleep in a never be late:)
In the News
Hawaii high school student awarded for developing ocean research methods, October 31, 2016, University of Hawaii at Manoa.HAWAII STUDENT AWARDED FOR DEVELOPING OCEAN RESEARCH METHODS
Christopher Lindsay to be Awarded $50,000 as a 2016 Davidson Fellow Laureate
Reno, Nev. – The Davidson Institute of Talent Development has announced the 2016 Davidson Fellows. Among the honorees is 17-year-old Christopher Lindsay of Honolulu, Hawaii. Lindsay won a $50,000 Davidson Fellows Scholarship for his project, Kahakai to Hohonukai: Environmental Studies of Marine Biota Using Underwater Time-Lapse Photography and Multiple Camera Arrays at Various Depths. He is one of only 20 students from across the country to receive this honor.
“As a Davidson Fellow Laureate, my research celebrates mankind’s curiosity, ingenuity, scientific achievements, and determination to explore the unknown,” said Lindsay.
For his project, Lindsay developed new methods to observe marine life using arrays of inexpensive underwater time-lapse cameras. His project demonstrates that time-lapse photographic studies are crucial to assess the effects of human debris on marine environments and yielded unexpected results concerning the effects of pollution in our oceans.
Click here to download the full press release.
Click the links below to see hi-res photos of Christopher:
Started in 1999, the Davidson Institute for Talent Development is a 501(c)3 private operating foundation. Our mission is to recognize, nurture and support profoundly intelligent young people ages 18 and under, and to provide opportunities for them to develop their talents to make a positive difference.
Profoundly gifted students are those who score in the 99.9th percentile on IQ and achievement tests. Read more about this population in this article.