Researchers Need YOUR Help Identifying Creatures on the Seafloor

Written by on September 25, 2012 in Marine Life

A new interactive website, Seafloor Explorer, was created to get the public to help identify objects seen in images of the ocean floor.

The website was launched on September 13, with a preliminary set of 100,000 out of the more than 40 million images the team has.

All images were taken by HabCam, a habitat mapping camera system, developed by the HabCam group, which included marine biologists and engineers from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (WHOI), fishermen and other scientists.

A sea squirt colony covering the gravel sea floor and a sea scallop. Photo credit NEFSC/NOAA..

A sea squirt colony covering the gravel sea floor and a sea scallop. Photo credit NEFSC/NOAA..

“We’re really excited about this project,” said Dr. Scott Gallager, a WHOI biologist in the HabCam Group.  “We’ll gain a greater understanding of organisms living on the seafloor and create maps of habitats at a resolution that we would not be able to do without this kind of help – because of the manpower required.”

Public contributors will say what they see (fish, scallops, or other organisms) and will provide a description of the seafloor (sand or gravel) and will include any other important features in the image.  This will help scientists determine the distribution of these ocean creatures.

You can read more about the website and the project here: New Website Invites Public to Help Identify Seafloor Life and Habitats

An example of a benthic community. Photo credit NOAA.

An example of a benthic community. Photo credit NOAA.

Copyright © 2012 by Marine Science Today, a publication of Marine Science Today LLC.

About the Author

About the Author: Emily Tripp is the Publisher and Editor of MarineScienceToday.com. She holds marine science and biology degrees from the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and a Master of Advanced Studies degree in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation from Scripps Institution of Oceanography. When she's not writing about marine science, she's probably running around outside or playing with her dog. .

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