Research Technical Report
Exploring the Davidson Seamount: Combining Science, Public Outreach, and Resource Management
DeVogelaere, A., R. Kochevar, M. Tamburri, G. Cailliet, E. Burton, and W. Douros (March 2003)
Poster Presentation at the Sanctuary Currents Symposium, Seaside, CA
Scientific information is often interpreted to the public long after it has been discovered. NOAA programs are interested in more immediate sharing of information with the public so that it can be more effectively used in resource management. The Davidson Seamount is an underwater volcano off the coast of Central California, and recent advances in technology provide the opportunity to explore and characterize the biology of this deep-sea habitat. With an interdisciplinary team of scientists, outreach specialists, and resource managers, this exploration was presented to the public as it was happening with daily updates on a web site. The public also interacted by e-mail with the explorers during the expedition. Huge corals and sponges, deep-water fishes, and the technology needed to study this deep, dark habitat particularly engaged the public, resource managers, and scientists alike. Resource managers are already using summary information from the cruise in processes that may potentially protect Davidson Seamount habitats. Even before the scientific data has been completely analyzed, the public and resource managers have been engaged in a healthy process of information sharing.