Archive for the ‘Ocean & Water’ Category

Citizen Scientists Diving to Study The Mystery of Manta Rays

By July 8th, 2017 at 11:15 am | Comment

This post is part of our Divers’ series. We encourage readers to continue the conversation by adding their own comments, question or concerns on our Facebook page. You’ll find links to other posts at the end of this story. 

Two years ago I rang in the New Year by scuba diving with giant manta rays off the coast of Hawaii’s Big Island. It was a bucket list experience I will never forget and one that introduced me to a new form of citizen science.

That evening, after enjoying a late afternoon dive among sea turtles and tropical fish, my fellow divers and I returned to the boat for snacks and some instruction. Our dive leader went over the protocols for a night dive and reminded us that rays are a vulnerable species that we must not touch. Read the rest of this entry »

Participate in Citizen Science to Celebrate World Oceans Day

By June 8th, 2017 at 5:28 pm | Comment

This article was originally posted on August 21, 2013 but we thought this project provided a great way to celebrate World Oceans Day even if you can’t make it to the beach!

Calling all citizen scientists! It doesn’t matter where you are. You can still be an ‘honorary’ diver to help with this project. The idea is simply to look at seafloor photos on your computer and catalogue what you find.

Explore the Sea Floor is part of the Integrated Marine Observing System (IMOS) using their state-of-the-art Automated Underwater Vehicle (AUV), which has several incorporated cameras. “The goal is to produce seafloor images of Australia’s coastal shelf so that we can quantify biodiversity at a continental scale and determine the effects of climate change,” says Dr. Ezequiel Marzinelli, from the Centre of Marine Bio-innovation at University of New South Wales and one of the several scientists involved in the project. Read the rest of this entry »

From the Stars to the Seas: Pairing Citizen Science with NASA Technology for Whale Shark Conservation

By April 7th, 2017 at 11:08 am | Comment

This post is part of our Divers’ series. We encourage readers to continue the conversation by adding their own comments, question or concerns on our Facebook page. You’ll find links to other posts at the end of this story. 

A whale shark, Earth’s largest fish, feeding among tuna off Utila, Honduras. Photo: Simon Pierce/Wild Me

When Jason Holmberg saw his first whale shark 15 years ago while scuba diving off the coast of Africa, he had no idea it would lead him to co-found a nonprofit that pairs citizen science with NASA technology to collect data on whale sharks around the world.

The photo collecting project, called Wildbook for Whale Sharks, helped put whale sharks on the endangered species list, and the technology it employs is now used to study cheetahs, manta rays, and other species by research institutions across the globe. Read the rest of this entry »

Reef Check Underwater Science

By March 3rd, 2017 at 8:00 am | Comment

“People protect what they love.” ~ Jacques Yves Cousteau

When I was a kid, my family and I used to love watching “The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau.” Every week we’d set out the TV tables and share our dinner with the French marine explorer as he led us on underwater adventures and taught us to appreciate the beauty of science and the sea.

His show is one of the main reasons I became an environmental reporter and earned my scuba diving certification in Monterey Bay, and it made a similar positive impact on millions of other kids and families across the globe.  Read the rest of this entry »

Saving California’s Seals and Sea Lions

By October 11th, 2016 at 10:58 pm | Comment

We tend to think of famine in human terms. But animal populations also experience wide-spread hunger, and the hundreds of emaciated young seals and sea lions stranded on California beaches in the past year were a poignant example.

Fortunately, a large team of citizen scientists at The Marine Mammal Center—an animal hospital and research institute north of San Francisco—were ready for the challenge. Twenty-eight crews of 15-20 people worked day and night shifts to rescue and rehabilitate the starving pups and yearlings. By July, 2016, about 1200 volunteers and 50 staff members had fought to save 380 sea lions, 220 elephant seals, 120 harbor seals, and 20 Guadalupe fur seals.  Read the rest of this entry »