Project Description: California Undersea Imagery Archive (CUIA)

Summary

The primary objective of this project will be to establish a physical archive of undersea video imagery collected state-wide using various visual tools (including remotely operated vehicles or ROVs). Initially, the goal will be to accumulate all existing imagery stored on tape (including mini DV, Hi-8, etc.) that was either collected by, or supported financially by, the state, and house those tapes in an accessible, temperature-controlled facility that is centrally located. To that end the archive will be located at the Institute for Applied Marine Ecology (IfAME) at California State University Monterey Bay. A part-time technician will be employed to assist in the set-up and subsequent monitoring of the archive, as well as to make any requested tape copies and to digitize all tapes for future use in an on-line web portal.

Student Involvement

This project has just been initiated. A recent CSUMB graduate has been hired as the Video Archivist.

Broader Significance

The deep (> 20 m water depth) ecosystems of California’s continental shelf have been surveyed using visual tools (such as remotely operated vehicles) to address a variety of pressing management issues, including the baseline characterization and monitoring of state marine protected areas and various fishery-related studies. This imagery, collected state-wide, constitutes a vital resource for addressing management questions in the future. Data can be mined from the imagery to answer questions that were not posed as part of the original studies that collected the imagery, and the imagery can serve as an important visual baseline against which future change (from climate change and/or other factors) can be evaluated. While a number of existing efforts (e.g., Ocean Spaces) have focused on the upload and maintenance of data extracted from undersea imagery, there has yet to be a coordinated effort to organize and store the imagery collected across a variety of projects. A single-point of contact for access to all existing state-wide imagery will serve as a vital resource as the state moves forward with new initiatives, including the long-term monitoring of MPAs and any new climate change-related research.

IfAME PI

Dr. James Lindholm

Financial Support

CA Ocean Protection Council

Field Support

N/A

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