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Research Technical Report

Exploring the Davidson Seamount: Combining Science, Public Outreach, and Resource Management

DeVogelaere, A., R. Kochevar, M. Tamburri, G. Cailliet, E. Burton, S. Benson, and W. Douros (October 2002)

Oral Presentation at California and the World Ocean '02 Conference, October 2002, Santa Barbara, CA


Scientific information is often interpreted to the public long after it has been discovered. NOAA programs and private organizations 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. Following the cruise there was national media interest in discoveries from the expedition, not only because the findings were spectacular, but because significant efforts were made to provide the media with access to the explorers and images of the findings. 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. In characterizing the biology of Davidson Seamount, we found that this model of an interdisciplinary expedition effectively integrated new scientific information into public understanding and management options for a unique area.

Conference Proceedings Paper:

DeVogelaere, A., R. Kochevar, M. Tamburri, G. Cailliet, E. Burton, S. Benson, and W. Douros. 2005. Exploring the Davidson Seamount: combining science, public outreach, and resource management. In: O.T. Magoon, H. Converse, B. Baird, B. Jines, and M. Miller-Henson (eds), California and the World Ocean '02: Revisiting and Revising California's Ocean Agenda. American Society of Civil Engineers. Reston, Virginia, pp 371-376.

Reviewed: April 11, 2024
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