Chris Fisher is an archaeologist, National Geographic Explorer, and Professor of Anthropology at Colorado State University. He is the Director for the Center of Archeology & Remote Sensing (CARS). Chris has performed fieldwork throughout Latin America, Europe, and North America. His work is featured in the New York Times Bestselling Book, The Lost City of the Monkey God by Douglas Preston. He founded the Earth Archive out of his experiences using remote sensing technologies in Mexico & Honduras to better understand the causes and consequences of urbanism and environmental change.
The Earth Archive is an unprecedented scientific effort to LiDAR scan the entire surface of the Earth before it’s too late.
In this episode, we discuss the following:
- Chris’s background growing up in Minnesota and his career in anthropology (~01:30)
- Chris’s fieldwork including his work on an empire in Mexico and a transformative experience on a site in Honduras that hasn’t been inhabited for thousands of years (~02:50)
- An overview of The Earth Archive and LiDAR Technology and how it can be used as a conservation tool and in resolving the climate crisis (~07:30)
- Other potential use cases for The Earth Archives (~12:30)
- Why this project is important to Chris (~18:40)
- Where The Earth Archive is on their timeline and how soon will they start scanning (~20:50)
- What else is needed to get archiving (~22:00)
- What are the main activities required to build an archive and what the output will actually be (~24:40)
- Using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to pre-classify the data (~30:00)
- Thoughts on this data and the ethics of using it (~31:30)
- Chris’s advice for humanity (~34:00)
- How to support The Earth Archive (~35:00)