immersive storyteller & director
“By using next-generation tools like 3D-scanning, virtual reality, and interactive gamified narratives, we can transport people through time and space to experience places and stories they would otherwise probably only have seen on a screen.”
The most meaningful parts of my work have been seeing it significantly impact people’s understanding of the world and advancing scientific discoveries. One early expedition took me to Vietnam’s Son Doong Cave, the world’s largest cave discovered in 2012. I captured 360-degree images there for a Virtual Reality interactive story, widely published by National Geographic. Though the story’s most meaningful impact was in Vietnam, where it supported an activist network’s campaign against an exploitative tourism project in 2015. I offered my VR experience for their campaign, which they utilized across Vietnam at universities, community gatherings, and political rallies. This allowed tens of thousands of Vietnamese, who might never personally venture into the cave, to virtually visit this national heritage wonder. The VR story thus played a crucial role in garnering support for the conservation of Son Doong Cave.
Another example was when my team and I helped scientists quadruple their field research output in remote Kyrgyzstan. Using innovative methods in rapid photogrammetry and 3D-scanning, we assisted geologists in digitally indexing a significant portion of the Tian Shan mountain range. This enabled a new method for finding potential cave entrances, previously done manually on foot. By using drones and 3D technology, we streamlined their process. During a month-long expedition, we confirmed 45 new cave openings to science, with 11 being previously undiscovered caves.
These experiences have opened my eyes to the significant contributions that my team and I, as storytellers and technologists, can make in the fields of science and conservation. Applying new technologies and collaborating across disciplines has been both challenging, fun, and rewarding, and is truly what gives meaning to my work.