Idaho Department of Fish and Game uses video conferencing

Friday, September 17 2010

When most of us think of video conferencing, we think about CEOs in massive office buildings. However, video conferencing is actually reaching a much wider audience - including the Department of Fish and Game in Idaho, Computerworld reports.

The state's Department of Fish and Game's video conferencing system, which has now been in place for three years in seven separate locations, is used to discuss issues such as wolf management and salmon runs. Thanks to the technology, biologists and other wildlife officials don't have to make car trips up to eight hours or complicated plane rides to meet in Boise and other rural locations.

"The video conferencing quality is exceptional," the department's CIO, Craig Potcher, told the magazine. "I've not heard people say the system is indispensable, but people do say, 'Hey, it's really cool' and 'Thanks for putting it in; it saves me two days of travel.'"

"We collect data on fish, wildlife, plants, habitats and GIS statewide," Potcher continued. "It isn't always productive to bring people in from around the state for a one or two hour meeting ... Video conferencing is very beneficial where sharing of data and videos are needed. Standard audio calls just don't work very well for that purpose."

Video conferencing has recently found a number of unique and interesting applications, including implementations in prison systems and courthouses.