A community page for coastal and ocean citizen science

This online space serves as a hub for citizen science groups, or individuals interested in citizen science, to connect, communicate, and share resources.

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North Central Coast
Blog Post
by David W. McGuire / Shark Stewards
October 25, 2017

The waters outside the Golden Gate host an abundance of marine life, and a diversity of marine protection from our State MPAs to the rocks of the California Coastal National Monument to our National Marine Sanctuaries.

North Coast
North Central Coast
Central Coast
South Coast
Blog Post
by Sarah O. Hameed / Marine Conservation Institute
September 19, 2017

Banner photo credit: Brian Skerry

An earlier draft was originally published by Marine Conservation Institute

Blog Post
by Michael Bear / Ocean Sanctuaries
May 26, 2017

Mary Ellen Hannibal is author of the book 'Citizen Scientist: Searching for Heroes and Hope in an Age of Extinction' [https://tinyurl.com/yd6mvqxt] and she gave an excellent talk at the Long Beach Citizen Science Symposium that we attended this year.

South Coast
Blog Post
by Erin Meyer / California Ocean Science Trust
April 26, 2017

As the upcoming Fish and Game Commission meeting on April 27, 2017 marks the close of the initial phase of South Coast MPA monitoring, we would like to extend a most sincere thank you to the local ocean community who were interested, involved, and en

South Coast
Blog Post
by Laurel Kellner / California Ocean Science Trust
March 27, 2017

FEATURED IN MULTIPLE MEDIA OUTLETS

South Coast
Blog Post
by Dina Liebowitz / California Ocean Science Trust
February 23, 2017

Sharing MPA Baseline Monitoring Reporting: March 20-24, 2017

North Coast
North Central Coast
Central Coast
South Coast
Blog Post
by Dina Liebowitz / California Ocean Science Trust
September 08, 2016

California's marine protected areas (MPAs) are in the process of transitioning from regional baseline monitoring, to statewide long-term monitoring to inform decisions about our coast and ocean.

Blog Post
by David W. McGuire / Shark Stewards
August 03, 2016

“It is a fabulous place: when the tide is in, a wave-churned basin, creamy with foam, whipped by the combers that roll in from the whistling buoy on the reef. But when the tide goes out, the little water world becomes quiet and lovely.

North Central Coast
Blog Post
by Dina Liebowitz / California Ocean Science Trust
May 09, 2016

The last twelve months have been an incredible journey for the North Central Coast MPA baseline period, as we reconnected with the local ocean community to share details of the first-ever broad characterization of the re

Blog Post
by Rebecca Johnson / California Academy of Sciences
April 25, 2016

Snapshot Cal Coast

A Coordinated California Coastal BioBlitz- June 4-12, 2016

 

Blog Post
by Erick Burres
April 11, 2016

Preserving and restoring water quality protects the public from waterborne illness when recreating (swimming, wading, surfing...) continues to be a topic of importance to communities nationwide. Citizen Science offers great opportunities for collaborative monitoring projects focused on recreation

Blog Post
by Michael Bear / Ocean Sanctuaries
March 12, 2016

Showing the power of social networking and marine citizen science working together, today, the  'Citizen Scientists of the Ocean' group on Facebook reached 3,000 members, both divers and non-divers a like.

Blog Post
by Miranda Camp / Stetson University
March 07, 2016

Hello! I am looking for YOU to participate in this survey if you have recently been a part of, or served as a mentor in, a coral reef-related citizen science program. This survey is being used for student research by an undergraduate at Stetson University, FL.

Blog Post
by Dina Liebowitz / California Ocean Science Trust
March 01, 2016

In early December 2015, California Ocean Science Trust, in collaboration with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and California Ocean Protection Council, had the pleasure of hosting a series of community gatherings throughout the North Central Co

North Coast
North Central Coast
Central Coast
South Coast
Blog Post
by Michael Bear / Ocean Sanctuaries
January 31, 2016

The ‘Zero Data Project’ for Sevengill Sharks

Didn’t see any sharks on your dive today? No problem – – we still need your data!

Blog Post
by Benét Duncan / California Ocean Science Trust
January 28, 2016

We're looking for a candidate with experience in science communications, policy and marine biology/ecology to advance our work on marine protected area monitoring in the South Coast. The Fellow will work closely with the South Coast MPA monitoring team to develop and share reporting pro

Blog Post
by Michael Bear / Ocean Sanctuaries
January 15, 2016

Ocean Sanctuaries Founder, Barbara Lloyd will be presenting on 'Using Citizen Science to Identify Sevengill Sharks' on February 20th, 2016 at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, California.

Blog Post
by Kim Thompson / Aquarium of the Pacific
December 11, 2015

The Aquarium of the Pacific and its Marine Conservation Research Institute (MCRI) are hosting a one day symposium on February 20, 2016 to highlight the efforts of citizen scientists like you! This symposium is designed for you to lead the conversation.

Blog Post
by Michael Bear / Ocean Sanctuaries
November 20, 2015

My paper titled 'Perspectives in Marine Citizen Science' was accepted for publication this year in a special issue on Citizen Science  by the Journal of Microbiology and Biology Education (JMBE).

Blog Post
by Dina Liebowitz / California Ocean Science Trust
November 17, 2015

California Ocean Science Trust, together with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and California Ocean Protection Council, invite you to take part in an open, informal exchange as we share the results of the North Central Coast Marine Protected Area (MPA) Baseline Program, and

Blog Post
by Dina Liebowitz / California Ocean Science Trust
November 02, 2015

Thank you to everyone who completed the North Central Coast Monitoring Survey!

Blog Post
by Amanda Van Diggelen / California Department of Fish and Wildlife
October 27, 2015

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) would like to share a handful of marine protected area (MPA) short stories, facts, updates, and important management information with you!

 

Blog Post
by Michael Bear / Ocean Sanctuaries
September 15, 2015

Today, Ocean Sanctuaries' Founder Barbara Lloyd was interviewed by KPBS journalist Erik Anderson regarding the Yukon Marine Life Survey, a citizen science project documenting marine life on the Yukon, open to all divers with a camera.

Blog Post
by Michael Bear / Ocean Sanctuaries
September 09, 2015

Since we at Ocean Sanctuaries have been working with them over the past year or so, I wanted to put in a plug for Citsci.org, which provides tools for the entire citizen science research process including: creating new projects, managing proje

Blog Post
by Marnin Robbins / California Dept. of Fish and Wildlife
September 03, 2015

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife and California State Parks have teamed up to teach California students about the state’s network of marine protected areas (MPAs) through California State Park’s PORTS (Parks Online Resources for Teachers and Students) program.  Using live video-conferencing and on-line interactive lessons, thousands of students are now learning about California’s MPAs.

Blog Post
by Laurel Kellner / California Ocean Science Trust
August 26, 2015

This year, Ocean Science Trust is honored to be the local host of the Western Society of Naturalists (WSN) Annual Meeting located in Sacramento, California, November 5-8, 2015. We have introduced a convening topic of "Marine Science Informing Management." 

Blog Post
by Dina Liebowitz / California Ocean Science Trust
August 11, 2015
Project coordinators and managers of North Central Coast monitoring projects are invited to complete the North Central Coast Monitoring Survey

Open August 11 – October 7, 2015

Blog Post
by Anna Neumann / Reef Check California
August 05, 2015

“So, how are the oceans doing?”

This is the one question that has haunted me since I started working in the marine science field. People are always so curious about what is happening in the ocean

Blog Post
by Michael Bear / Ocean Sanctuaries
July 09, 2015

 

 

 

by Andrew Lewin, Founder of 'Speak Up for the Blue' an ocean conservation website and podcast site: 

 

Blog Post
by David W. McGuire / Shark Stewards
June 04, 2015

Celebrate the San Francisco Bay and Oceans on World Oceans Day

Blog Post
by Michael Bear / Ocean Sanctuaries
April 02, 2015

Because we are using National Geographic's 'Fieldscope' data collection tool for citizen scientists, National Geographic has added our 'Sharks of California' to the 'Regional Projects' section of their Fieldscope Projects page, a

Blog Post
by David W. McGuire / Shark Stewards
March 23, 2015

As an active diver and underwater videographer, I have been diving the California coastal marine protected areas, many before they were formed under the Marine Life Protected Act. Last fall I visited La Jolla Cove, one of the

Blog Post
by Michael Bear / Ocean Sanctuaries
March 22, 2015

On Feb. 11, 2015, Barbara Lloyd, Founder of Ocean Sanctuaries, presented an abstract called: IDENTIFYING SEVENGILL SHARKS IN SAN DIEGO WITH 'WILDBOOK'

Blog Post
by Marisa Villarreal / California Ocean Science Trust
March 10, 2015

My favorite thing about conferences is the networking. I know all you introverts just cringed a little (or a lot).

Blog Post
by Marisa Villarreal / California Ocean Science Trust
February 05, 2015

Citizen science and ocean resource management - what’s the opportunity?

Blog Post
by Michael Bear / Ocean Sanctuaries
February 03, 2015

Ocean Sanctuaries is pleased to announce that we will be presenting at the 2015 Citizen Science Conference on Feb. 11, 2015.

Blog Post
by Michael Bear / Ocean Sanctuaries
January 28, 2015

Please join us on Facebook, where we (Ocean Sanctuaries) have set up a page devoted to the latest in ocean-related citizen science--we have over 700 members and are growing fast:

 

https://www.facebook.com/groups/citizenscientistsoftheocean/

Blog Post
by David W. McGuire / Shark Stewards
December 09, 2014
The Golden Gate MPA Collaborative has successfully brought together environmental NGOs, agencies, fishermen, scientists, aquaria and vessel captains interested in raising awareness of marine protected areas in Marin and San Francisco counties, including the Farallon Islands.
Blog Post
by David W. McGuire / Shark Stewards
December 09, 2014

As the largest estuary on the west coast of North America, the San Francisco Bay hosts many species of elasmobranchs, the taxonomic group of cartilaginous fishes we know as sharks, skates and rays.

Blog Post
by Anna Neumann / Reef Check California
November 19, 2014

I stood on the “landing pad” at the Mendocino Headlands site, also known as Pipeline, catching HSU students as waves pushed them one at a time onto the flat rocky outcropping which made this site dive-able.

Blog Post
by Carolyn Rosevelt / NASA-Ames/California State University, Monterey Bay
November 13, 2014

The 5Gyres Institute is on a mission to educate the world about the downside of its reliance on single-use plastic.

Blog Post
by Michael Bear / Ocean Sanctuaries
November 12, 2014

We are posting this to assist Victoria Elena Vásquez at the Pacific Shark Research Center at Moss Landing. 

Blog Post
by Michael Bear / Ocean Sanctuaries
November 12, 2014

Friendly reminder: Ocean Sanctuaries offers 2 Citizen Science shark observer apps--both free:

Blog Post
by Michael Bear / Ocean Sanctuaries
November 03, 2014

San Diego divers have been documenting surface water temperatures as high as 75 F in recent months. 

Blog Post
by Anna Neumann / Reef Check California
October 31, 2014

        From a young age I remember my Mom talking to me about shark attacks, my brother and I grew up surfing and playing in the ocean in central California and every few years a white shark would pop up and bite someone.

Blog Post
by Anna Neumann / Reef Check California
October 29, 2014

I sprayed down my Omer open cell wetsuit with a mixture of hair conditioner and water and began the semi-disgusting process of sliding myself into the suit.  Thinking about to the first time I wore the suit 4 years earlier on my first ever scuba dive in the Smith River, I’ve come a long way.

Blog Post
by Michael Bear / Ocean Sanctuaries
October 21, 2014

"In a world where fisheries and marine biodiversity are continuing to decline, marine protected areas (MPAs) are an essential tool needed to slow and reverse the oceans’ downward trajectory.

Blog Post
by Michael Bear / Ocean Sanctuaries
October 11, 2014

I recently put the question out on the CitSci.org listserv, 'How do you motivate citizen scientists to see the value of the 'zero data' point?' We had a colorful and sometimes humorous series of replies back and forth from the various PIs on the list, unfortunately, not possible

Blog Post
by Michael Bear / Ocean Sanctuaries
October 03, 2014

Sometime in late 2015, Ocean Sanctuaries is planning to offer an opportunity for San Diego divers to contribute to a citizen science survey of the abundant marine life that has accumulated on the Canadian destroyer 'Yukon' since its sinking off the coast of San Diego to be an artificial reef in 2

Blog Post
by Andrew Streett
October 03, 2014

UPDATE: We've had an amazing turn out for The $10,000 Blue Fellowship Grant.  There have been 7200+ people engaged in the campaign with 400+ votes and 20 submissions.  We could use everyone's help voting for the submission that they like and also uploading any ideas that you have.

Blog Post
by Michael Bear / Ocean Sanctuaries
October 01, 2014

Ocean Sanctuaries is pleased to announce a partnership with the Terra Mar Project,  featuring their daily ocean news feed 'The Daily Catch' on our hompage, second item down on the right hand side. 

 

Blog Post
by Ryan Meyer / California Ocean Science Trust
September 30, 2014

Today we're happy to release a new guidance document that brings together our findings from the California Citizen Science Initiative.

Blog Post
by Michael Bear / Ocean Sanctuaries
September 27, 2014

In the bad old days of ivory tower academia, only scientists with white coats and Ph.Ds were considered qualified to gather and interpret scientific data—and, God forbid you should suggest otherwise.

Blog Post
by Michael Bear / Ocean Sanctuaries
September 25, 2014

Long-time San Diego recreational and science divers Barbara Lloyd and Michael Bear have joined forces to establish an ocean conservation non-profit organization, called Ocean Sanctuaries.org, devoted to species conservation, ocean sustainability as well as supporting citizen science projects and documentary films which involve the ocean.

Blog Post
by Michael Bear / Ocean Sanctuaries
September 25, 2014

July 12: San Diego’s Ocean Sanctuaries has teamed up with National Geographic and is using their interactive, customizable data gathering  tool for citizen scientists, called 'Fieldscope,' to monitor shark encounters in the San Diego area.

Blog Post
by Liz Whiteman / California Ocean Science Trust
September 08, 2014

Summer coastal fog dampens the ground and an acrid smell pervades the air. It’s 5am on an August morning at Pillar Point harbor and the docks are already stirring with movement. Commercial squid season is now in full swing.

Blog Post
by Mary Patyten / California Department of Fish and Wildlife
September 02, 2014

“So… what is this…” the woman tilted her big sunglasses up over her forehead, squinting to get a better look at the brochure, “this… marine… PROTECTED area?” She looked up at me, nose wrinkled, the question written all over her face.

Blog Post
by Amy Freitag / Virginia Sea Grant, NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office
August 29, 2014

“That came from over there? With the old bicycles and other trash from Oakland?” remarked one enthusiastic and surprised BioBlitz participant on the shores of Lake Merritt.

Blog Post
by Amy Freitag / Virginia Sea Grant, NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office
August 26, 2014

As part of a trio of Ocean Science Trust delegates to the International Marine Conservation Congress that happened recently in Glasgow, Scotland, I had the opportunity to meet with many other marine-conservation minded people from around the world.

Blog Post
by Amy Freitag / Virginia Sea Grant, NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office
August 25, 2014

If you go for a dive almost anywhere in the world, you can record what you see and contribute those observations to a long-term, large-scale database of marine fish coordinated by Reef Environmental Education Foundation (REEF). In California and other temperate areas, there’s also opportunity to add observations of algae and invertebrates. In the western Atlantic, you could catch the invasive lionfish and have a local chef cook it up for you according to the REEF cookbook. In short, there’s something for everyone.

Blog Post
by Amy Freitag / Virginia Sea Grant, NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office
August 25, 2014

“Hmm”, a surfer wonders, “I wonder where I should surf today?”. The next step is a quick web crawl, checking the tides, wave forecast, and water quality.

Blog Post
by Amy Freitag / Virginia Sea Grant, NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office
August 22, 2014

The Basics

Blog Post
by Amy Freitag / Virginia Sea Grant, NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office
August 20, 2014

Early in the summer of 2013, Dr. Pete Raimondi of UC Santa Cruz started receiving calls from people all over California reporting that their local sea stars were turning to goo or disappearing.

Blog Post
by Amy Freitag / Virginia Sea Grant, NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office
August 07, 2014

We're bringing a citizen science perspective on the overall theme of the International Marine Conservation Congress of "Making Science Matter".

Blog Post
by Amy Freitag / Virginia Sea Grant, NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office
July 18, 2014

In the aftermath of Cosco Busan spilling nearly 54,000 gallons of oil around the Bay Bridge and outer coast from Drakes bay to Half Moon Bay in 2007, Beach Watch volunteers mobilized to walk the beach each m

Blog Post
by Jan Freiwald / Reef Check
July 14, 2014

Reef Check has created a new video featuring its California volunteers and the ways in which they get involved in California’s MPA monitoring.  The video features three Reef Check California volunteers and tells their stories in a fun and lively way.

Blog Post
by Amy Freitag / Virginia Sea Grant, NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office
July 14, 2014

The Basics: Grunion run onto sandy beaches during their spawning season at night after the highest tide associated with a full or new moon. Volunteers contribute to our evolving understanding of the grunion by reporting observations of when and where they run.

Blog Post
by Amy Freitag / Virginia Sea Grant, NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office
July 08, 2014

Collaborative Fisheries Research West is a program that supports and facilitates research involving fishermen, managers and scientists. Unlike other cases we have examined, this is a program dedicated to supporting one very particular kind of citizen science.

Blog Post
by Amy Freitag / Virginia Sea Grant, NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office
July 01, 2014

One would think this is an easy question to answer: ask around, make a list, and count. Yet, when someone asks me this question - as frequently occurs - I say ‘around 30’. So why the fuzzy math?

 

Blog Post
by Amy Freitag / Virginia Sea Grant, NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office
June 26, 2014

When the picture of a black rockfish appeared onscreen, a large number of ears in the room perked up. Then a few eyebrows raised and you could almost see the mental cogs turning.

Blog Post
by Amy Freitag / Virginia Sea Grant, NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office
May 12, 2014

Now that baseline monitoring in the Central Coast is complete, the we are working closely with the Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Ocean Protection Council to design and implement the next phase of MPA Monitoring. This includes updating the monitoring plan, and conducting a survey of research and monitoring activities throughout the region (see here for more about this process). photos by Jim Wicker

Blog Post
by Amy Freitag / Virginia Sea Grant, NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office
May 09, 2014

“Citizen science comes in all shapes and sizes”. That’s a phrase that has become a mantra within the California Citizen Science Initiative.

Blog Post
by Lee Pagni / LightHawk
May 06, 2014

All of us have probably seen it, that small plane flying low, whizzing by just off the coast. “What a view they are getting” I think to myself whenever I see this. Besides a pretty view, small planes can also be a useful resource for coastal conservation. photo: The Bay Foundation scientist carrying out a marine vessel survey, by Lee Pagni, LightHawk

Blog Post
by Robin Meadows / Freelance Science Writer
April 01, 2014

Karina Nielsen loves going to the beach as much as any Californian — and may love it even more than most. That's because as a marine ecologist, she knows those long sandy stretches that look so empty are actually busy with life.

Blog Post
by Amy Freitag / Virginia Sea Grant, NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office
March 18, 2014

Standing in front of the large kelp forest tank at the Monterey Bay aquarium, volunteer SCUBA divers with the Reef Check program look at the list of species held within like a checklist. “I’ve seen all but one of these” says one. “And sometimes there’s a lot more sea stars” says another.

Blog Post
by Amy Freitag / Virginia Sea Grant, NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office
February 12, 2014

This is the first in a series of longer articles profiling the citizen science programs of the Central Coast based on our research efforts (see the introduction here).

Blog Post
by Sara B. McPherson
January 24, 2014

Due to a long history of perceived competing interests, recreational fishermen, academics, scientists and charter boat captains aren’t necessarily known for working well together.

Blog Post
by Sarah Ferner / San Francisco Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve
December 03, 2013

A few weeks ago, in preparation for a meeting with Amy Freitag and Ryan Meyer about the California Citizen Science Initiative, a few staff and collaborators from NOAA’s San Francisco Bay National Estuarine Research

Blog Post
by Jennifer Savage / Ocean Conservancy
October 21, 2013

It’s no secret that California’s marine protected area (MPA) process was rooted in collaboration among ocean lovers of all walks of life; it was one of the key hallmarks of its success.

Blog Post
by Dana Murray / Heal the Bay
October 16, 2013

This post was originally written for the Heal the Bay blog, and is re-posted here as a way to highlight an active citizen science program already engaging with marine protected areas.

Blog Post
by Rick Starr / California Sea Grant Extension Program
June 05, 2013

While both are deeply invested in the future of the state's coastal waters, fishermen and ocean scientists haven't always agreed on the need for or proper location of marine protected areas (MPAs) in California. Yet both agree on the need for MPA monitoring.

Blog Post
by Jan Freiwald / Reef Check
June 03, 2013

Tracking the health of our oceans is a large, complicated job – but by working together, we can meet the challenge.