Project Description: Deepwater Site Characterization in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (MBNMS)

Summary

The primary goal of this collaborative project, which is in its 9th year, is the characterization of the continental shelf (50-200 m water depth) and slope (200-400 m) in the Sanctuary. Video transects are being conducted at previously unexplored locations and areas of interest using a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) and a towed camera sled. Data on the distribution of fishes, invertebrates, and seafloor habitats are collected in real-time for inclusion on the Shelf Characterization and Image Display website (http://sep.csumb.edu/ifame/scid). Post-processing and further analysis are completed in the IfAME Image Analysis Lab.

Student Involvement

Since its inception in 2007, this project has provided a total of 61 student positions for students from CSUMB and neighboring institutions, including 50+ undergraduate positions and 26 graduate student positions, encompassing field research activities, data post-processing, and analysis. A total of nine Honors Capstone theses have been completed using project data to-date. This year the project also expanded to include high school research assistants from the Santa Catalina School in Monterey.

Broader Significance

This project is directly informing the on-going efforts to conserve and manage the marine environment within NOAA’s Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, the largest of the 14 Sanctuaries in US waters.

IfAME Principal Investigator

Dr. James Lindholm

Financial Support

Sanctuary Integrated Monitoring Network (SIMoN), CSUMB Undergraduate Research Opportunities Center, private donations.

Field Support

NOAA Vessel Fulmar, F/V Donna Kathleen

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