November’s Guest Speaker – Jason Holmberg – Wildbook for Whale Sharks

Jason Holmberg will be speaking to us about his passion for identifying and cataloging Whale Sharks. The Wildbook for Whale Sharks photo-identification library is a visual database of whale shark (Rhincodon typus) encounters and of individually catalogued whale sharks. The library is maintained and used by marine biologists to collect and analyze whale shark sighting data to learn more about these amazing creatures.


 Round Table Pizza
10070 Southwest Barbur Boulevard
Portland, OR 97219

When: Thursday, November 5th, 2015 at 7pm

Bio: JASON HOLMBERG, Director, Secretary, Information Architect, Co-founder started working on this Wildbook in 2002 and has logged over 8,000 hours of development time. As Information Architect, he has designed and implemented new tools to support digital pattern recognition for Whale Sharks. Using Jaon’s tools, the project has been able to categorize and manage a large amount of Whale Shark data and to identify individual animals from multiple photos taken by different researchers many years apart. Jason’s interface also encourages public participation in Whale Shark research via an automated email system that sends individual data contributors automatic updates on individual Whale Shark re-sightings. Jason also undertook further field-testing of the project’s methodology and technology in the Galapagos Islands in October 2004, Honduras in March 2005 and Australia in April 2005. He gave two talks at the International Whale Shark Conference in Perth, Australia in May 2005 and later that year accepted a Duke’s Choice Award on behalf of the team for innovative use of Java technology for Whale Shark data management and pattern recognition. Jason co-authored a widely lauded paper with Zaven Arzoumanian and Brad Norman on a 12-year population study at Ningaloo Marine Park in Ecological Applications (January 2008).