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2008 Mutibeam mapping in San Francisco Bay. United States Geological Survey.

Multibeam survey supporting the on-going effort to assess sediment transport dynamics within the mouth and western portion of the San Francisco Bay.

2006-07 Northern Central California Coast Mapping Project: Año Nuevo to Point Arena. California Coastal Conservancy (California Coastal and Marine Mapping Initiative) and CA Department of Fish and Game. Additional shiptime support provided by Monterey Bay (MBNMS), Gulf of the Farallones (GFNMS), and Cordell Bank (CBNMS) National Marine Sanctuaries.

During the December 2005 Statewide Marine Mapping Planning Workshop, the participants ranked all state waters between Stinson Beach and Año Nuevo as the highest priority area in need of mapping along the Northern Central California coast (Monterey to Bodega Bays). The purpose of the collaborative project will be to survey and map as much state waters habitat (MHHW out to 3 nm) as possible within this high priority region. The team proposing this work is a uniquely qualified partnership between academia, industry and resource management comprised of the most experienced and highly skilled experts on seafloor mapping along the California coast. Members include the Seafloor Mapping Lab at California State University Monterey Bay, US Geological Survey National Seafloor Mapping and Benthic Habitat Studies Group, Fugro Pelagos Inc. and the Center for Habitat Studies at Moss Landing Marine Labs. Not only does this group bring years of regionally relevant professional experience to the project thereby ensuring a successful mapping campaign, but the broad involvement of undergraduate and graduate students in the effort will contribute significantly to the training and education of young scientists skilled in the application of geospatial technology to coastal resource management issues.

Acquisition of mapping data will be accomplished using bathymetric LIDAR and multibeam echo sounders (MBES) to obtain both bathymetry data and acoustic backscatter and reflectance imagery. The surveys and the information created will comply with the recommended requirements for statewide seafloor mapping as specified in the Workshop Report, including:

- Seabed geomorphology (relief via xyz digital elevation models - DEM)
- Texture ( (substrate type via acoustic backscatter and reflectance mosaics)
- Ground-truthing (via video or physical samples)
- Surveys designed to meet or exceed IHO Order 1 standards, and to be carried out at the maximum resolution obtainable using state-of-the-industry tools
- Best available geodetic positioning technology (vertical and horizontal)

2006-08 Multibeam survey in the Santa Barbara Channel region. CA Coastal Conservancy.

The Seafloor Mapping Lab will undertake a collaborative data acquisition effort with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and other partners ( Minerals Management Service, the BEACON (The Beach Erosion Authority for Clean Oceans and Nourishment) consortium of local government agencies, and the City of Carpinteria) for the Santa Barbara Channel and Ventura Coast. The project will support the collection of new data using high-resolution multibeam and side-scan sonar mapping systems. The collaborative effort will deliver processed data and map products for data users and resource managers. In 2006 the mapping area will primarily focus on all state waters from Ventura to approximately Mugu Lagoon. In 2007 the mapping effort will be focused on completing the continuous coverage of state-waters from Venture to Goleta

2006 Multibeam sonar survey of Hueneme Canyon. United States Geological Survey

The CSUMB Seafloor Mapping Lab conducted a multibeam survey of the Hueneme submarine canyon head shoreward of the 300 m isobath. The collaborative survey was part of an ongoing USGS project investigating offshore oil seeps, coastal sediment transport, and benthic habitat.

2006 Lobster Habitat Mapping In Support Of Community-Based Collaborative Fishery Research: Assessing Fishery Impacts Of CA Marine Reserves. Bren School, UC Santa Barbara.

The purpose of the work was to provide high-resolution (1-5m grid) multibeam bathymetry and sonar-derived habitat products for areas designated by the PI’s within the California Channel Islands Marine Protected Area Network. Surveys were conducted at Santa Rosa (Carrington Pt) and Santa Cruz Islands (Gull and Scorpion Pt).

2006 Multibeam bathymetry survey of Morro Bay. CalPoly San Luis Obispo/Center for Integrative Coastal Observation, Research, and Education (CICORE).

The purpose of the work was to provide high-resolution (1-3m grid) bathymetry and habitat GIS products for the areas within the scope of the Morro Bay Ecosystem-Based Management (EBM) project. Our goal was to use hydrographic survey techniques (multibeam and sidescan sonar) to identify and map the distribution of critical subtidal benthic habitats assciated with key species of concern within the EBM area. These habitats included rocky reefs and sand flats within the Estero Bay from as close to shore as safe navigation allowed (approx 5m water depth), out to the 3nm state waters limit (approx 200m water depth). Within Morro Bay, mapping was focused on the navigable waterway and tidal creeks of sufficient depth to accomodate the survey vessel. Data produced will serve as the base habitat maps for species/habitat assessment and environmental change detection (with repeated mapping in future if funded).

2006 ROV and Sidescan sonar surveys of squid populations in Monterey Bay. Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute.

Surveys of squid egg distribution in Monterey Bay using our EdgeTech sidescan sonar and Hyball ROV systems. The purpose of the project was be to determine the effectiveness of sidescan sonar for mapping squid egg distribution and abundance.

2005 Strategic Mapping Workshop for California Marine Habitat Mapping. California Coastal Conservancy.

The Strategic Planning Worlkshop was supported by and organized at the request of the California Coastal Conservancy in their capacity as staff to the California Ocean Protection Council (OPC). The objective of this planning effort was to develop a prioritized strategic plan for statewide seafloor mapping in California state waters, in consulation with relevant stakeholders, including academic institutions, management agencies, and other mapping data consumers. The planning effort was built on previous priority-setting exercises such as the California Marine Habitat Mapping Task Force Workshop (January 2000); existing inventories of data and maps; and mapping priority-setting studies. [report] [website]

2005 Multibeam bathymetry survey in Humboldt Bay. Center for Integrative Coastal Observation, Research, and Education (CICORE).

Collocated hyperspectral (FERI) and acoustic (SFML) data sets in Humboldt Bay (a CICORE partner site) will be used for hyperspectral data calibration and correction for water depth and substrate type classification.

2004-05 Habitat mapping at the mouth of San Francisco Bay. United States Geological Survey (USGS) & US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE).

This survey, done in conjunction with the US Geological Survey (USGS), was carried out to assist with a study of the wave regime and sediment movement at Ocean Beach, San Francisco. Tthe new data reveal that dramatic changes have occurred at the SF Bay mouth since the last bathymetric survey conducted over 50 years ago. Upwards of 6 m of shoaling has occurred in the vicinity of the Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) dredge spoil site, and new patterns in sand bar formation, seen for the first time in the bathymetry, explain the increased beach erosion. The tidal migration of massive dune fields at the bay mouth was also observed and quantified for the first time. These data are being used to develop and refine sediment transport and current models used by USGS and USACE to maintain the SF Bay entrance channel, adopt new dredge spoil disposal strategies and create a beach replenishment program to halt further erosion of Ocean Beach.

2004-05 Habitat mapping at San Clemente Island. National Marine Fisheries Service.

SFML proposed to survey White Abalone habitat at San Clemente Island and Farnsworth Bank using the Reson 8101 multibeam sonar system aboard the R/V Ven Tresca. The primary target area was the depth contours between 20-60m along the west and north shores of SCI and all of Farnsworth Bank.

2003-06 Multibeam mapping of SIMoN priority habitat areas within the MBNMS. Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, Sanctuary Integrated Monitoring Network (SIMoN).

The purpose of the work proposed here is to provide high-resolution (1-5m grid) multibeam bathymetry and sonar-derived habitat GIS products for the SIMoN priority mapping areas identified in the MBNMS RFP. Our goal will be to cover as many of these areas as possible during 50 days of survey time spread over a three-year period. Because the SIMoN program has identified shallow, rocky, kelp forest habitats that include PISCO subtidal monitoring sites as the areas in greatest need of mapping, we have divided and ranked the major survey areas accordingly.


Survey Areas

Depth Range


Monterey Peninsula fill-in (Cypress Pt to Pt Lobos)



Pt Ano Nuevo to Pt Santa Cruz



Pt Lobos to Pt Sur



Pt Sur Priority Block



Pt Sur Priority Block



Pt Sur to Lopez Pt



Pt Ano Nuevo to Pt Santa Cruz



Pt Lobos to Pt Sur


The multibeam bathymetry data collected for this project will be integrated with at least five other research and mapping efforts including:

  • CICORE hyperspectral data
  • USGS coastal LIDAR mapping
  • Existing SFML, USGS and MBARI bathymetry data
  • PISCO and SIMoN monitoring sites
  • CDFG GIS Lab mapping and management priority designations

2002-05 Victoria Land (Antarctica) Latitudinal Gradient Project: Benthic Marine Habitat Characterization. National Science Foundation and Italian Antarctic Research Program.

The purpose of this request is to enable the CSUMB Seafloor Mapping Lab (SFML) to take advantage of an invitation to participate in the multi-national and multidisciplinary Victoria Land Latitudinal Gradient Project (VLLGP). This international collaboration, initiated by polar scientists from the U.S., New Zealand and Italy, has received funding from both the Italian Antarctic Research Program (PNRA) and Antarctica New Zealand research program (ANZ). The overall goal of the VLLGP is to take a latitudinal gradient approach to ecosystem studies in Victoria Land, Antarctica, with the following objectives:
· Determine climatic and environmental variability across a latitudinal gradient in Antarctica and interpret their connections to terrestrial and marine ecosystem structure and function.
· Integrate datasets from diverse disciplines (biology, glaciology, oceanography, geochemistry, geology and atmospheric sciences) in interpreting environmental variability and ecosystem connections across the Victoria Land Coast as a global barometer of climate change.
· Foster research, logistic and data management collaborations among scientists from different disciplines and national programs.

The specific coastal marine ecosystem goals of the proposed Italian/U.S. collaboration in this project are to:
· Identify the environmental gradients linked to latitude and relate community transitions along the Victoria Land Coast to climatic, geomorphologic and oceanographic features.
· Identify biochemical, physiological and other adaptive responses of representative organisms.
· Quantify biodiversity patterns and test the hypothesis of "progressive emergence" of marine assemblages with latitude.
· Use biotic changes associated with steep environmental gradients to predict potential effects of climate change.
[field report][paper]

2003-04 Characterization of the Benthic and Planktonic Communities of Elkhorn Slough. Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, Sanctuary Integrated Monitoring Network (SIMoN).

Our goal is an ecosystem description of Elkhorn Slough that will serve as a baseline for assessments of the rapid change in this coastal habitat. Historical data are available that will be gathered to evaluate past changes and guide predictions of future ecological shifts. Research, including published studies, theses, gray literature, and unpublished data from our 25-plus years of research in the slough, will be compiled into a computer database. We propose new studies, focusing on benthic and planktonic ecosystem components, to provide a well-defined foundation for future comparative and experimental work. We will work closely with the Sanctuary Integrated Monitoring Network (SIMoN) to make the historical and new data easily and rapidly accessible to any interested parties.[CSUMB paper]

2003 White Abalone Habitat Mapping Survey at Cortes Bank, California. National Marine Fisheries Service.

The project proposes to spend from July 7 to 16, 2003, traveling to and mapping White Abalone habitat at Cortez Bank aboard the NOAA R/V David Star Jordan using our Reson 8101 multibeam sonar system. The primary target area to be surveyed will out to the 100 m depth contour. Preliminary geotiffs of the multibeam products will be provided during the cruise to aid in the positioning of the ROV survey efforts. Final products will be provided to in ESRI ArcMap-ready format and shall include:
-xyz data
-Gridded xyz data
-Digital elevation models (DEM) in shaded relief (2-5 m horizontal resolution raster geotiff)
-Contour lines (shapefile)

2003 Enabling "live" PDA-based GIS through wireless technology. Federal Wireless Technology Inititative.

The purpose of this project will be to enable CSUMB students to seamlessly download and view GIS data content (e.g. attributed aerial photos, satellite images, maps, terrain models, data bases, CAD drawings, etc.) on wireless, GPS enabled PDA's, and at the same time to view their GPS position superimposed on these views, while acquiring and attributing new geospatial data with <2m, realtime Differential GPS positioning. Implementation of this capability will make use of existing but underutilized CSUMB site licenses for: ESRI ArcPad PDA GIS software, ESRI Internet Map Server software for delivering GIS content over the internet, Trimble Terra Sync PDA-based GPS data acquisition system, and Trimble Community Base Station software for generating and distributing differential GPS corrections over a network. We have selected the Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve as the primary demonstration site for installation of a - stationary wireless base station and IMS server, because of its extremely rich GIS archives, its long history of supporting CSUMB student research projects, and because of other funded research there that will be used to greatly leverage the scope and depth of this proposed project. This new wireless PDA approach to GIS would be a significant enhancement to the already established and community-centered curriculum in geospatial technology offered at CSUMB.

2002-04 Development of an integrated data acquisition and coastal marine GIS analysis system for habitat mapping and change detection in the Elkhorn Slough NERR. NOAA Cooperative Institute for Coastal and Estuarine Environmental Technology (CI-CEET).

Habitat change and loss due to anthropogenic and natural factors is the major environmental problem facing many coastal and estuarine resource management agencies. Harbor creation adjacent to the Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve (ESNERR) has led to increased tidal scour that is rapidly eroding the banks, salt marsh and main channel of Elkhorn Slough, destroying freshwater wetlands, and inundating an active railroad line. There is also evidence that seismic activity may be contributing to the loss of salt marsh habitat and increased tidal scour. The purpose of the work proposed here will be the development and implementation of an integrated system of RTK GPS telephony, acoustic remote sensing, and marine GIS tools for marine habitat mapping and change detection within the ESNERR. This collaborative work will be undertaken with 4 industry partners involved in the commercial development of new technologies in three main areas: 1) RTK GPS for hydrographic survey applications, 2) automated seafloor substrate classification and 3) tidally explicit marine GIS. Working with Trimble Navigation, we will be breaking new ground in RTK-based hydrographic surveying and on-the-fly tidal modeling. Working with Triton-Elics and Quester Tangent, we will be developing automated habitat discrimination products for classifying subtidal estuarine habitats and plant communities using sidescan sonar data. We will also be working closely with ESRI to provide the only estuarine data set to be used in the development of the ArcGIS Marine Data Model. The goal of this model is to create a Marine GIS capability for addressing the multiple dimensionality and dynamism of marine data, handling the temporal and dynamic properties of shoreline and coastal processes, dealing with the inherent fuzziness of ocean boundaries, and the need for spatial data structures that vary their relative positions and values over time.
These new technologies will be developed, integrated and applied to achieve the following research objectives at the ESNERR over the 3-year project period to:
· Classify and map the distribution of marine habitats within the ESNERR
· Determine the spatial and temporal distribution of rates of sediment erosion, deposition and habitat change
· Determine the elevations and rates of subsidence of the Southern Pacific Railway across the salt marsh
· Test the hypothesis that subsidence during 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake has contributed to tidal flooding and marsh loss in the headword region of the Elkhorn Slough
The Seafloor Mapping Lab at CSUMB, making use of its existing RTK GPS, multibeam, sidescan and sub-bottom sonar survey systems, will be responsible for all data collection. All geospatial results and products from the research project will be made publicly available on-line via ESRI Internet Map Server (ArcIMS) linked to the ESNERR website. Our industry partners will be responsible for bringing commercially developed products to market by the end of the second year.
[CSUMB paper]

2002-04 Hydrographic Data Acquisition in support of MLPA and MLMA implementation. California Department of Fish and Game.

The purpose of this proposed three year contract is to produce high-resolution marine habitat maps of nearshore sites deemed critical to the implementation of the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) and Marine Life Management Act (MLMA) by the California Department of Fish and Game (DFG) Marine Region management team. The main goal is to provide high-resolution (1-2m grid) multibeam bathymetry and sonar-derived habitat map products for a.Central California (one-third of total sites), b.Southern Mainland California (two-thirds of total sites). Survey data collected by the SFML for all sites will include: multibeam bathymetry, sidescan and sub-bottom sonar, along with geolocated video grabs of substrate and biotic communities, and sediment grabs for ground truthing the acoustic imagery. The SFML will also develop and populate a ESRI Internet Map Server (IMS) web-based GIS server capability for sharing the geospatial data and products. These raster, vector, point and database products would include, but are not limited to: DEMs in shaded relief, xyz data and grids, bathymetric contours, sidescan sonar mosaics, habitat interpretations, and full FDGC-compliant metadata.

2002-03 Center for Integrative Coastal Observation and Research (CI-CORE). NOAA- Ocean Assessment Program.

Managing the commercial, recreational and environmental burdens placed on California's coastal resources by agriculture, industry and urban development requires better understanding of coastal ocean dynamics. To this end, the California State University (CSU) has established CI-CORE. Leveraging the expertise of CSU institutional partners, the CI-CORE observatory is distributed along the entire 1200 miles of California coastline. This distribution uniquely positions CI-CORE to address the variety of challenges to coastal environmental quality, including watershed alteration, shoreline erosion, chemical contamination of food webs, depletion of fish stocks, toxic plankton blooms, marine-borne pathogens, and the rapid invasion of coastal and estuarine waters by non indigenous species.

Unique to CI-CORE's approach to delivering timely, indispensable and appropriate environmental data to the regulatory agencies responsible for coastal management policies will be the development of web-based, geo-referenced time series of environmental observations. The specific long-term objectives of CI-CORE are to: (i) establish research & monitoring infrastructure of critical coastal habitats in California for integration into global ocean monitoring efforts; ii) conduct research on problems that affect the economic and environmental well-being of California; (iii) develop models for predicting change in coastal environments; (iv) enhance management capability of regulatory & resource management agencies for sustainable use of the coastal zone; (v) enhance public awareness of the importance of coastal management.

2002-03 Integrated Spatial Data Model Tools Set for the Auto-classification and Delineation of Species-Specific Habitat Maps from High-Resolution, Digital Hydrographic Data. NOAA National Ocean Service (NOS).

We used high-resolution multibeam bathymetry, together with precisely geolocated (± 5m) ROV observations of fish distribution, to produce species-specific and genus-specific habitat suitability models for eight rockfish (Sebastes) species in the Del Monte shale beds of Monterey Bay, CA., USA. A high-resolution (2m) multibeam bathymetry digital elevation model (DEM) was generated and used to produce derived habitat characteristic layers [slope, rugosity, and Topographic Position Index, (TPI)] using repeatable, non-subjective algorithmic methods. These data layers, together with the positions and counts by species from 229 rockfish observations (2892 total fish) were then used to create predictive models of habitat suitability and fish distribution. Factors evaluated for incorporation in the models included depth, slope, rugosity, and TPI at various scales. Statistical and empirical testing revealed that distance to a TPI50 “peak” was the most effective predictor of fish location, while other factors (slope and rugosity) seemed important but less significant. For this reason, distance to TPI50 peak was used as a simple indicator of habitat suitability for all species. Between 62% and 89% of fishes from the eight species examined, and 87% of all Sebastes, were found within optimal habitat as defined by this simple model (Model 1), even though the optimal habitat comprised only 22% of the area surveyed for Sebastes. By incorporating depth, a refined suitability model (Model 2) was created for four species. Model 2 optimal habitat contained 89% of olive/yellowtail (S. serranoides/S. flavidus), 79% of brown (S. auriculatus), 78% of rosy, (S. rosaceus), and 78% of flag (S. rubrivinctus) rockfish, while accounting for a lower percentage (mean = 13%) of the total area surveyed. Both models were used to produce stock estimates for all species and for all Sebastes, based on observed densities of rockfish within the ROV survey area and total area of habitat suitability classes in the overall shale bed study area. Model 1 estimates approximately 53,000 Sebastes (of the eight spp. studied) in the shale beds; substituting Model 2 estimates for the four relevant species raises this estimate to approximately 54,000 fish.

2002-03 Hydrographic Data Acquisition for the Design and Management of Two Proposed California State Marine Protected Areas. NOAA National Ocean Service (NOS).

The purpose of the work proposed here is to provide high-resolution (1-2m grid) multibeam bathymetry and sonar-derived habitat map products for the proposed Cambria and Diablo Canyon SMRs, plus 1 mile north/south control zones. The CSUMB Seafloor Mapping Lab (SFML) will conduct the surveys with its Reson 8101 multibeam and sidescan sonar system, in full compliance with NOS and FGDC data standards and protocols.

2002 OCNMS habitat mapping survey.

Proposed mapping for the nearshore marine habitats along the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary from Cake Rock north to Carroll Island, from as close to shore as safety allows out to 30m water depth. Work will be done aboard the R/V MacGinitie, and will include multibeam and sidescan sonar acoustic remote sensing. Time and weather permitting, we will also groundtruth the acoustic results using sediment and video grabs. Final products will be provided to the OCNMS in ESRI ArcMap-ready format and shall include:
· Sidescan sonar mosaic (50 cm resolution raster geotiff)
· xyz data
· Gridded xyz data
· Digital elevation models (DEM) in shaded relief (2-5 m horizontal resolution raster geotiff)
· Contour lines (shapefile)
· Habitat interpretation (shapefile)

2002 Nearshore Marine Habitat Mapping at Point Arena, California. California Department of Fish and Game and National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.

This project supported CDFG researchers with their species-habitat relationship studies by combining acoustic remote sensing (multibeam, side scan sonar, and associated data) and ROV biotic survey technologies.

2002 White Abalone habitat mapping at Tanner Banks, California. California Department of Fish and Game and National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.

Scientists from the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), the United States Geological Survey (USGS), and California State University Monterey Bay (CSUMB) embarked on a ten day research cruise during July 2002 aboard the NOAA R/V David Starr Jordan. The goals of the cruise were to use a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) in combination with acoustic remote sensing tools (i.e. side scan sonar backscatter data and multiple-beam sonar depth data) to locate the endangered white abalone (Haliotis sorenseni) on Tanner Bank, 100 miles off the coast of southern California. The acoustic survey provided high resolution habitat maps of Tanner Bank which were used to guide the ROV survey for white abalone. Text from NMFS summary report. [USGS article]

2001-04 Mapping and Assessment of Shallow Water Habitats in Santa Monica Bay.

There is a critical need for baseline data on the composition and distribution of subtidal shallow water benthic habitat along the coast of Santa Monica Bay. Availability of these data would allow resource agencies to assess the impacts of runoff from degraded watersheds on benthic habitats, design comprehensive restoration efforts, monitoring programs and watershed management plans to protect the beneficial uses of the nearshore waters of Santa Monica Bay. The purpose of the project proposed here is to conduct a three year nearshore marine habitat monitoring, assessment and research program that will:
1) Create a high-resolution basemap and classification of critical marine habitats within the Santa Monica Bay nearshore environment (0-50m water depth).
2) Map and assess the current availability of rocky habitats and the potential for kelp forest and Rock Fish replenishment.
3) Identify and distinguish between seasonal and longer term trends in sediment burial of rocky habitats.
4) Assess the extent to which kelp forest and Rock Fish habitats have been lost due to sedimentation over the past 25 years, and identify the most likely source watersheds. [report] [Appendix C: Sediment Data, 2MB]
[Appendix D: Map Layouts, 9MB]

2000-02 Fisheries Habitat Characterization of the California Continental Margin. National SeaGrant Essential Fish Habitat Program.

The purpose of this project will be to identify, catalogue, digitize, re-interpret and apply vast archives of proprietary industry side scan sonar, subbottom and bathymetric data not previously available to the general scientific community for the purpose of creating habitat maps of the California continental margin. Our personal contacts and agreements with private survey companies such as Racal Pelagos, Inc. and Delta Oceanographics, Inc. allows us access to these data if this proposal is funded. We will use the data needs ranking results from the recent 20-agency California Marine Habitat Task Force (CMHTF) Meeting to guide our prioritization of data sets to be processed into marine habitat GIS themes. Where no industry data are found to exist for sites identified as high-need areas by the 80 Task Force representatives, we will use CSUMB's state-of-the-art seafloor mapping facility to acquire and process the needed data over the two-year project period. Our goal will be to create a Digital California Marine Habitat Atlas covering at least the top-ten sites identified as high priority areas by the CMHTF. This atlas will be a web-based interactive GIS interface serving the habitat maps and data to the public via the internet. Most all of the industry data sets are in analog format and will need to be digitized before incorporation into a GIS. We will also produce a metadata catalog of industry data sets and their relationship to other data sets (i.e., geologic maps of Greene and Kennedy, 1986-1990). The CMHTF website and email list serve will be used to insure input from and distribution to those local, state and federal agencies and institutions for who the results are most needed.

2000-02 Fate and Effects of Domoic Acid in the Benthic Versus Pelagic Food Chain: Chronology, Tracking and Development of New Indicator Species. ECOHAB.

The purpose of the research proposed here will be to: 1) determine and compare the timing, pathway and mechanism for the transmission of HAB produced domoic acid (DA) through pelagic and benthic food chains, and 2) develop and refine the use of two new species for monitoring DA in the environment. Definitive evidence from Monterey Bay California has shown that during P-n blooms, DA transferred through the pelagic food chain can present a serious health hazard to high level marine picivorous predators (sea lions and sea birds). In addition there is now evidence from some of these same HAB events showing that DA also enters and moves through the nearshore benthic food chain to sea otters, but with a significant time lag following the causative bloom and appearance of DA in the pelagic food chain. This benthic pathway and the reason for the apparent time lag, however, are not known. Here our goal will be to test the hypothesis that DA is transferred to the benthos via two spatially and temporally separated pathways. First, intertidal filter feeders exposed to P-n containing surface waters may ingest either P-n cells directly or zooplankters that have consumed P-n. This first pathway would result in benthic toxicity contemporaneous with pelagic toxicity. The second pathway involves the flocculation process following the collapse of the P-n bloom, wherein P-n cells rain down and form a scum or flock layer on the seafloor that is consumed by benthic deposit feeders. This latter pathway would result in a time lag between the appearance of DA in pelagic and intertidal benthic organisms and its subsequent appearance in the more subtidal benthos. [MLML, MS Thesis]

2002 Development of a classification scheme for species/habitat associations and biodiversity in Antarctic benthic communities. National Science Foundation and Italian Antarctic Program.

By invitation form the Italian ENEA Antarctic Project, under the National Antarctic Research Program (PNRA), we will participate in the development of a species/habitat classification scheme for Antarctic benthic communities at Terra Nova Bay. Our role in this effort will be to employ our acoustic seafloor mapping system to produce a detailed and spatially accurate GIS (Geographic Information System) map of physical habitat diversity at Terra Nova, and to develop an appropriate scheme for classifying this diversity. We will then work with Italian biologists to make use of their georeferenced ROV (underwater Remotely Operated Vehicle) video imagery taken in 1997 of the Terra Nova biotic communities, to relate the spatial patterning of biodiversity with variation in habitat types from 20 to 300 m water depth. This product will provide the first step toward the creation of an internationally applicable classification scheme for species/habitat associations in nearshore Antarctic marine habitats. Specifically, this work will test the hypothesis that acoustic habitat classification techniques can be used to accurately map species distributions, biodiversity and community patterns in the Antarctic marine environment. If successful, this approach and the geophysical classification scheme which we have used for defining critical fisheries habitats along the west coast of North America, would provide a cost effective tool for assessment and selection of Antarctic marine areas proposed as Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) due to high biodiversity.

2000 Multibeam sonar survey of priority habitats in the San Juan Islands, Washington.

2000 Marine GIS development for Big Creek Ecological Reserve. National Marine Fisheries.

2000 California Marine Habitat Task Force Workshop, Jan 20-21. NOAA, National Ocean Service.[report]

The California Marine Habitat Task Force Meeting was sponsored by California Department of Fish and Game, National Ocean Services Special Projects Office, and National Marine Fisheries Service and hosted by California State University Monterey Bay on January 20-21, 2000. Sixty-eight participants representing 38 federal and state marine resource agencies and institutions sharing a vested interest in mapping the marine habitats along the California attended the meeting. The overall Task Force mission was to build consensus around a Strategic Action Plan for Mapping the California Continental Shelf and consisted of the following objectives:
· Identify current data holdings or planned collections available for sharing.
· Identify common needs for habitat maps and data coverage
· Define appropriate scales of resolution and coverage based on site-specific needs
· Divide the California continental shelf into priority regions for habitat mapping.

· Define and prioritize sites along the California coast for which habitat data are needed, and define the criteria used to select and prioritize these sites.
· Discuss the need and make recommendations for a universal habitat classification scheme.
· Provide overview of state of knowledge related to marine habitat mapping
· Specify methods for filling data gaps
· Develop protocols and draft memorandum of agreement to facilitate data sharing of marine habitat data.
The associated final report can serve as a blueprint for future coordination, collaboration, data sharing and funding efforts among task force members. The report includes: tables and maps summarizing the recommendations for high priority sites and data gaps to be mapped and filled, a draft habitat classification scheme, recommendations for compilation and processing of existing data, and recommendations to facilitate data sharing among task force members. The top ten sites
recommended for mapping included fishing blocks near: Point Arena, Farrallon Islands, Cordell Banks, Monterey Peninsula, Point Sur, Channel Islands, Long Beach, and Point Arguello. Fisheries management, parallel use conflicts, and a need for general baseline data were the criteria most frequently given as the reasons for selection of these priority data needs areas.

1999 Video and acoustic survey of OCNMS subtidal habitats. NOAA, Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary.

This paper summarizes the changes in the distribution and abundance of selected benthic species within sea otter prey communities along the Washington State Olympic coast between 1987 and 1999. During this 12 year period, the Washington otter population has undergone a dramatic increase in both numbers and range, now occupying habitats that were otter free when first sampled in 1987. Quantitative video and in situ counts of invertebrate prey and algal cover at monitoring sites established along the coast in 1987, 1995, and 1999 reveal significant changes occurring as sea otters expanded their range into previously unexploited habitats. Invertebrate prey such as commercially harvested sea urchins that were abundant just outside the boundaries of the 1987 sea otter range are now virtually absent along the entire outer rocky coast. Understory foliose red, coralline, and brown algal cover have also undergone changes as otters removed large invertebrate grazers from the newly occupied habitats.

1992-99 Ice scour disturbance and the structure of Arctic seafloor communities. National Science Foundation.

1999-00 Initiation of the California Continental Shelf GIS of Essential Marine Habitats. California Department of Fish and Game.

1999 Marine habitat mapping of Point Lobos Ecological Reserve. California Department of Fish and Game.

1999 Fish habitat mapping of Punta Gorda Ecological Reserve. California Department of Fish and Game.

1998 Nearshore Ecosystem Data Acquisition. California Department of Fish and Game.

The California Department of Fish and Game Nearshore Ecosystem Database Project is designed to address the policy of the State to assess, conserve, restore, and manage California’s ocean resources and the ecosystem as stated in Executive Order No. W-162-97. The purpose of this project is to enable the Department to expand its Geographic Information System (GIS) database to include and make available to CERES, data from the marine subtidal and nearshore ecosystems. The primary components of the project are: GIS mapping of essential marine habitats, nearshore reef fish stock assessment, and marine reserve research. The Early Implementation Phase of this project has focused on accelerating the acquisition of baseline bathymetry and substrate data as outlined in the GIS Mapping of Essential Marine Habitats portion of the project. This effort has included four tasks:
Task 1) Data Needs: Identification of departmental needs for bathymetry and substrate data.
Task 2) Data Catalog: Assessment and collection of metadata for currently available data on marine bathymetry and seafloor substrates.
Task 3) Procedures, Protocols and New Technologies: A review of current and emerging methods and providers for mapping marine habitats.
Task 4) Data Processing: Process and incorporate existing bathymetric and substrate data into Department GIS coverage themes.

1996-98 ROV-based assessment of Antarctic benthic communities and anthropogenic debris. National Underwater Research Program, NOAA.

The primary purpose of the Winter Quarters Bay Marine Debris Study (WQBMDS) has been to map and categorize anthropogenic debris in the nearshore marine environment (to 60m) at McMurdo Station, Antarctica. Phase I, a systematic survey of the seafloor of Winter Quarters Bay (WQB) and the region between Hut Point and the sea-ice transition road, was conducted during the 1994, 1995 and 1996 austral summer seasons using SCUBA, ROV, underwater videography, GPS mapping, and acoustic remote sensing. Two consecutive summers of shorefast sea ice precluded the planned single season survey vessel operations forcing a shift from side scan sonar to ROV video data acquisition. During Phase II, data analysis abnd GIS development, over 1,000 individual debris objects were identified, categorized and geolocated on the seafloor, including 603 barrels, 15 vehicles, and 26 large shipping containers and milvans. Water depth and acoustic seafloor classification data were used to produce the most detailed bathymetric map of the McMurdo Station marine habitat to date. These data are now incorporated into the Winter Quarters Bay Marine Debris Study GIS, a multimedia product designed to archive and display georeferenced environmental data for McMurdo Station. [paper]

1996-97 Rockfish habitat mapping in Big Creek State Reserve, California Department of Fish and Game.

1995-98 Video-based assessment of benthic community changes following expansion of the Washington State sea otter population. Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary. NOAA.

1995-98 GIS database and browser interface development for McMurdo Station, Antarctica. National Science Foundation.

1995-97 Estuarine wetland and watershed inventory using NOAA Coastwatch change analysis project (C-CAP) protocol in California's Central Coast. NOAA and California Coastal Commission

1995-96 Seafloor mapping of habitats and anthropogenic debris near Fort Ord, Central California. Department of Defense.

1994-98 Seafloor mapping and GIS database development for anthropogenic debris and marine habitats at McMurdo. National Science Foundation.

1994-96 Impacts of Bottom Trawling Disturbance to Benthic Communities in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. National Underwater Research Center.

1994-96 Image applications for coastal resource planning. NASA.

1994-96 Site characterization and bibliographic database for the Monterey National Marine Sanctuary. NOAA.

1993-96 Rates of tidal scour, erosion and loss of salt marsh in the Elkhorn Slough. NOAA.

1993-95 Ice Scour Disturbance in Arctic Communities. National Geographic Society.

1991-96 Monitoring and assessment of highway reconstruction on nearshore benthic communities. California Department of Transportation.

1991-92 Natural and anthropogenic disturbance in nearshore Antarctic benthic communities. National Science Foundation.

1989-90 Distribution, fate and effects of spilled fuel oil along Washington State outer coast. Minerals Management Service, Department of the Interior.

1988-89 Benthic survey of sea otter habitat, Shumagin Islands, Alaska. US Fish and Wildlife Service.

1988-90 Benthic survey and species inventory along the outer coast of the Olympic Peninsula, Washington state. Olympic National Park and Washington State Department of Wildlife.

1986-87 Assessment of sea otter prey communities around the Kodiak Archipelago, Alaska. US Fish and Wildlife Service.


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