Citizen science is all about informing. Our diving qualifications give us the skills to participate in research (under the direction of professional scientists) by collecting meaningful data on a scale that researchers can’t manage alone.
Participating in marine citizen science allows our communities to develop our understanding and connection with the ocean. At the same time, we’re also increasing our understanding of the local and global issues facing the marine environment.
Depending on the project, you probably don’t need any particular skills or knowledge, just a degree of commitment – which can range from a one-off day of photos or participating in a cleanup to embarking on expedition vacations. Our Discover Scientific Diving experience for certified divers is a great introduction to underwater research!
No other community on the planet has ever been better equipped than we are today to build a realistic picture of what’s going on beneath the surface. Below are some of the ways you can participate. If you’re involved with a project that’s not listed, please let us know!
Reef Environmental Education
The Reef Environmental Education Foundation is an international marine conservation organization that implements hands-on programs to involve local communities in conservation-focused activities. Their mission is to protect biodiversity and ocean life by actively engaging and inspiring the public through citizen science, education and partnerships with the scientific community.
We leverage REEF’s materials for our Discover Scientific Diving experience and provide Roving Diver Survey materials for submission to ongoing research projects.
Spotting Giant Sea Bass
The Giant Black Sea Bass (aka wreckfish) are a critically endangered fish. We’re blessed that they’re regular visitors to the Casino Point Dive Park each year, and now all the photos we take can help researchers study them!
Spotting Giant Sea Bass is a project out of UC Santa Barbara (in partnership with other groups) seeking to answer critically important research questions about the population.
Every GBSB has a unique spot pattern. A photo of an individual’s side can be matched to another photo of the same side, or even be a new addition to the database.
You upload your photo and enter when and where it was taken. Then, researchers double-check the data and run the algorithm – it’s like facial recognition software for fish! If it matches you’ll get an email, and they’ll feature it on the site!
Reef Check Worldwide
Every year, Reef Check trains thousands of citizen scientist volunteers to survey the health of tropical coral reefs around the world and kelp forest ecosystems along the West Coast of North America.
Their California program was established concurrent with the first Marine Protected Area designations to extend surveying efforts to our kelp forests, with the goal of producing monitoring data for the management and conservation of this unique ecosystem.
In addition, they promote public education about reefs and develop ecologically sound and economically sustainable solutions for reef conservation and restoration.
Bleu World was founded by Catalina local PADI Divemaster/ NAUI Scientific Diver/ Ocean Mapping Engineer Kayla and stands for “Building a Life of Exploration Underwater.” Their mission is to build a network of ocean changemakers with a passion for conservation and exploration.
You’ll have the opportunity to participate in expedition vacations and contribute to ongoing research on kelp forests and coral reefs. Check out their new video!
The Bleu World Collaborative is a global group of organizations working in the ocean all around the world. From studying whale sharks to organizing beach cleanups, there’s a wide variety of causes to choose from.
Dive Against Debris
Dive Against Debris is a PADI AWARE program that encourages each of us to “Make Every Dive a Survey Dive”. They also sponsor and participate in larger cleanup efforts like the yearly Avalon Harbor Underwater Cleanup that brings hundreds of divers to the island every year.
Make your dive, collect debris, record your data and submit it online! You can then find your survey on their interactive map which represents the largest underwater citizen science database and movement for marine debris on the planet.
Over 90,000 Torchbearers around the world have removed and reported trash from underwater environments since 2011.