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Make a Difference Giving to Michigan State University
  • $660 RAISED OF $5,000 GOAL


  • Valerie Kiel $10
  • Kenneth Kramer $300
  • Jennifer Kramer $50
  • Atsuko Kanazawa $100
  • David Kramer $200

Global Coral Bleaching Project

“When corals are stressed by changes in conditions such as temperature, light, or nutrients, they expel the symbiotic algae living in their tissues, causing them to turn completely white.” - []

A “Godzilla” El Niño is predicted for late 2015 and early 2016 threatening catastrophic effects on the world’s coral due to coral bleaching.

MSU Hannah Distinguished Professor Dr. David Kramer and his research team have developed technologies to help understand the stresses coral reefs endure and save the world’s coral reefs. Help us raise funds to build and distribute our CoralspeQ, hand-held scientific instruments that allow citizen scientists to collect data on site. This project will help the assessment of coral bleaching process, and the conservation of coral reefs.

Coral Bleaching: What causes coral bleaching?

Your Support Will Make a Big Impact

Due to the lack of ground-collected bulk data, and the shortage of scientific instruments, the process of coral bleaching is not clear. We have developed a sophisticated, compact and inexpensive instrument called CoralspeQ. CoralspeQ will empower the citizen scientist and researchers with a device to quickly and accurately collect data on coral reefs and easily compare it to data on coral reefs from around the world. With your help, we could distribute them all over the world.

How It Works

The contributed funds will be used for the construction of CoralspeQs (about $500 a piece). All the CoralspeQs will be distributed free to users. In turn, the users will perform guided research and share their results. This will allow the team to better understand and ameliorate coral bleaching. At the conclusion of the project all donors will be able to see data from the field using the instruments they support!

CoralspeQ is a handheld device that scans coral reef material and collects data on florescence, reflectance and much more. The device is connected via Bluetooth to an Android device so the collected data can be sent to the cloud database.

This allows scientists and researchers to analyze and compare data from around the world, to determine ways to fight coral bleaching or other diseases. Compared to similar devices that costs up to $20,000 and take up to three minutes to scan plant material, CoralspeQ will cost $500 and will collect data in three seconds. The new instrument, would not only help scientists, but also the park rangers and the local communities that depend on the coral reefs for tourism and fisheries.

Who We Are

the CoralspeQ team: Dr. David Kraer, Robert Zegarac, Sebastian Kuhlgert, Vanessa Quevedo, Geoff Rhodes, Atsuko Kanazawa

Our team at PHOTOSYNQ is a group of scientists, engineers and programmers, who are ‘creating an open, global database of plant health,’ with the help of researchers, educators and citizen scientists all over the world. One of our current projects is helping the farmers in Africa by providing MultispeQ instruments and data analyses.


Coral photo credit to Aaron Florn who is a MSU graduate student working on corals at Richard Hill Lab.

Make a Gift by Mail:

University Advancement
Spartan Way
535 Chestnut Road, Room 300
East Lansing, MI 48824

*Make check payable to Michigan State University and write “Appeal 16CRFPR1GBCORAL” in the note section.

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