Saturday, March 9, 2002
Stephanie Harlan, Boardmember, Association of Monterey Bay Area Governments; Councilmember, City of Capitola; Chair, Sanctuary Advisory Council
William J. Douros, Superintendent, Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary
A few years ago, on the shores of Monterey Bay, the National Ocean Conference raised America's awareness of ocean issues, the need for a renewed ocean policy, and to remind us that the oceans are truly an unknown realm. From the Conference, a Presidential Panel was created to define a national strategy on ocean exploration, and from this Panel, came the NOAA Ocean Exploration Program. Built on the foundations of the National Marine Sanctuary System and the activities of the National Undersea Research Program, the Ocean Exploration Program of NOAA has embarked upon a renewed examination of the oceans, driven by the application of recently developed technonology to new areas, and the development of new technology. Without fully understanding our oceans, our performance as stewards for the rich inherited resources of the sea is compromised.
Remote sensing provides an extremely useful tool for spatial analysis of ecosystem processes. The complex and variable nature of coastal waters, however, creates problems for the remote sensing analysis of shallow submerged habitats. A new generation of imaging spectrometers can now deliver the resolution (1 to 3 m spatial, 5 to 15 nm spectral) necessary to study important ecosystem processes in critical nearshore environments across scales of meters to km. The continuous spectral data sets provided by this new technology permits the application of physically based spectroscopic approaches to the analysis of remote sensing imagery. We are developing algorithms to identify submerged plant communities and quantify their abundance in optically shallow waters from data sets produced by the airborne imaging spectrometers PHILLS and HyMAP. Effects of depth and suspended water column components (e.g. phytoplankton, sediment) on algorithm accuracy are being explored using both numerical simulation and field observations. Strong infrared signals from floating surface canopies may be useful to assess age structure and productivity of giant kelp forests, helping to identify important changes in environmental quality across time and space. We are testing the ability of these algorithms to detect changes in the distribution and productivity of submerged habitats in the Bahamas and in Monterey Bay.
Every year the ocean attracts and inspires thousands of students to pursue degrees in marine science. Yet with all the attention paid to the oceans, students often lack the information needed to make wise decisions about choosing an ocean-related career. In particular, students often overlook marine technology careers even though these careers provide a variety of gainful employment opportunities. There are a variety of reasons for this problem. First, education programs do not necessarily reflect current trends in research and industry such as multidisciplinary approaches where technology plays a key role; second, many students don't receive adequate career guidance and counseling while in school; and third, many marine technology occupations are not recognized by the Department of Labor therefore information is not readily available to students and educators searching career databases.
Tags Reveal the Migratory Movements and Environmental Preferences of Bluefin
Following large open ocean animals has always been challenging. The recent development of data logging or satellite transmitting electronic tags, has enabled investigators to describe patterns of movement and behavior of marine vertebrates (tunas, billfish and sharks) and large squid in the North Pacific. Archival and Satellite tags are providing the new tools necessary to address fundamental questions in biological oceanography concerning the distribution, behavior and critical habitats of pelagic organisms. Tag-bearing animals have been used as autonomous ocean profilers to provide oceanographic data in key ocean regions. When the biological and physical data are merged a new understanding of the relationship between the movements and behaviors of marine organisms and oceanographic processes is apparent. The new animal-collected oceanic data will complement more traditional methodologies for assimilation into oceanographic models. The temporal and spatial data generated by the data provide an organism-eye view and detailed understanding of how marine animals from several trophic levels use oceanic ecosystems.
Saturday, March 9 -- Session II
Many organisms in the ocean are able to produce light. In some cases, the mechanisms and chemistry are well understood, but there are still many unanswered questions about when, where, and how bioluminescence occurs. With my collaborators, I have been using autonomous underwater vehicles to map the three-dimensional distribution of luminous organisms in Monterey Bay. By observing how phytoplankton (plants) and zooplankton (animals) vary over time and space, we can begin to understand the cycles which regulate their abundance, and we can predict blooms and die-offs. The ultimate goal is to answer the vexing questions surrounding why bioluminescence is so important to a variety of creatures.
Early maps of the Sanctuary shoreline were produced by labor intensive field mapping techniques using optical instruments. The maps took years to produce and are of variable accuracy. Topographic maps produced in the mid- to late- 1900's utilized photogrammetric techniques applied to vertical aerial photographs. These maps displayed contours of land elevation and shoreline position and are generally accurate to about 10m. Recent advances in airborne laser altimetry have resulted in detailed maps of the Sanctuary shoreline with horizontal and vertical resolution better than 1m. As part of an effort to examine the coastal impacts of the 1997-98 El Nino event, the Sanctuary shoreline was mapped by laser altimetry in October, 1997 and April 1998.
Numerical Traditional and Non-Traditional Applications of Information
Technology or You are a Military Organization and You are Doing
Meteorology and Oceanography Center, located in Monterey CA, combines
the latest in atmospheric and ocean sciences with state of the art information
technology to provide data, information, and services to forces of the
Department of Defense anytime, anywhere. Fleet Numerical recently began
operational support using an SGI Origin 3800 supercomputer suite. We also
face major challenges with data acquisition, assimilation and distribution
- a challenge being addressed this fiscal year. That is the
of Multimedia GIS, Acoustic Remote Sensing and 3D Visualization for Marine
Habitat Mapping and Ecosystem-Based Management
Recent state and federal legislation now require our marine resource agencies to adopt a ecosystem-based approach to fisheries management, as well as the designation and design of Marine Protected Areas. While these new initiatives will require extensive information on the character and distribution of habitats used by species of critical interest, acquiring and applying this information effectively and economically presents one of the greatest challenges facing our agencies. Here I will give examples of how multimedia integration of acoustic remote sensing, ROV video, GIS processing and 3D simulations can and are being used to address these issues.