Jason Holmberg joined WildMe.org in 2002 and has logged over 8,000 hours of development time on the WildMe.org Whale Shark Photo-identification Library. As Project Architect, he has designed and implemented new tools to support digital pattern recognition for Whale Sharks. Using Jason’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 WildMe.org 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 WildMe.org 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).