San Diego-based nonprofit Ocean Sanctuaries, who are currently running two citizen science shark monitoring programs which allow local divers to document their encounters with various species of shark, have another citizen science project planned for later this year: a comprehensive survey of the marine life present on the former Canadian warship ‘Yukon,’ which was sunk in 2000 off the coast of San Diego to act as an artificial reef to attract dozens of species of marine life (a task it has been stunningly successful at doing).
Ocean Sanctuaries’ citizen science study will be a follow-up to the original survey, done in 2005, by Dr. Ed Parnell of Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the San Diego Oceans Foundation.
Ocean Sanctuaries plan to offer San Diego divers the opportunity to take photographs of selected areas of the ship in an effort to monitor how marine life growth in those areas changes over time.
Ocean Sanctuaries believe that the field of citizen science has finally come into its own in the 21st Century. With more and more divers and non-divers alike becoming aware of the critical state of both the oceans and even the planet itself, now is the time for citizen scientists to assist in the collection of scientific data in a scientifically sound manner, so that ocean managers can begin to assess what needs to be done to prevent further damage to the oceans.
For more information on this and other citizen science projects, visit www.oceansanctuaries.org/wordpress/citizen-science-projects/.