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MCRI Research Archive:
Scientific Diving

Below are the research projects (in PDF form where available) that the Aquarium of the Pacific has been involved in since the inception of MCRI.

The primary research efforts at the Aquarium of the Pacific are focused on species propagation. We have also developed collaborative relationships with various outside researchers and institutions who wish to study the species in our collection. In addition, our team of scientific divers support a variety of agencies and researchers in the field by collecting data.

Scientific Diving

Nancy Caruso- Marine Biologist/ Project Director Dirk Burcham- Biologist/ Research Associate

June 3, 2009

Orange County Giant Kelp Restoration Project

Data Summary for the Stakeholders of the Marine Life Protection Act

The purpose of this report is to provide a brief overview, for the MLPA process, of select species groups that have been monitored for the last seven years in Orange County as part of the Orange County Giant Kelp Restoration Project.

Chris Martin, CSULB

November 7, 2006

Species Composition and Abundances of Nearshore Reef Fish

On the Long Beach and Huntington Beach Offshore Petroleum Platforms (2006)

As the majority of the twenty-seven petroleum platforms off of California are slated to end productivity within the next ten years, the issue of decommissioning is becoming of greater public interest. Previous surveys in the Santa Barbara Channel have shown that petroleum platforms act as rearing habitat for many over-fished rockfish species, however no thorough systematic surveys of the platforms located off Long Beach and Huntington Beach have been conducted.

Aquarium of the Pacific AAUS Volunteer Diving Program, Nancy Caruso and Dirk Burcham, California Coast Keeper Alliance

November 7, 2006

California Coast Keeper Alliance (2006 - present)

Trained AAUS volunteer scientific divers from the Aquarium of the Pacific are assisting the California Coast Keeper Alliance with a two-year monitoring project at Crystal Cove State Park.

Aquarium of the Pacific AAUS Diving Program, Dr. Doug Hammond and Steven Colbert, USC/University of Washington

November 7, 2006

USC Sediment Circulation Study (2006)

Trained AAUS volunteer scientific divers from the Aquarium of the Pacific assisted researchers from USC and the University of Washington studying seawater circulation through nearshore sediments by obtaining core sediment and water samples from the substrate from three sites off of the coast of Huntington Beach.

Aquarium of the Pacific AAUS Volunteer Diving Program, National Park Service, Coastal Marine Archaeology Resources

November 7, 2005

Maritime Archaeology/National Parks (2005)

In November 2005, the Aquarium Dive Safety Officer participated in the annual NPS/CMAR shipwreck survey in California’s Northern Channel Islands.

Aquarium of the Pacific AAUS Volunteer Diving Program, University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB), Partnership for Interdisciplinary Studies of Coastal Oceans (PISCO), Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary (CINMS), Channel Islands National Park (CINP), California Department of Fish and Game (CDFG)

November 7, 2005

Channel Islands Monitoring (2005)

The overall goal of this community-based research program is to train volunteer non-scientists to conduct research and collect data relating toquestions of marine conservation and management inside the recently established Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) of the CINMS. Data was collected during a one week research expedition to the Channel Islands, where the divers practiced data collection following specific sampling protocols. Information obtained was used to supplement existing monitoring projects already underway by researchers at UCSB, PISCO, CDFG, the CINMS, and the Channel Islands National Park Service’s Kelp Forest Monitoring Program (KFM), among others.

Aquarium of the Pacific and UC Davis/Sea Grant

November 7, 2005

UC Davis/Sea Grant – Marine Debris Study (Derelict Gear Pilot Project) (2005)

Aquarium scientific divers-in-training participated in part of a statewide study managed by University of California, Davis/Sea Grant and funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Coastal Conservancy to locate and identify abandoned marine debris in the waters surrounding Catalina Island.

Mike Navarro, CSU Fullerton

November 7, 2005

Tracking the Brown Sea Hare (Aplysia californica) in the Southern California Bight (2005)

Volunteer scientific divers from the Aquarium of the Pacific assisted California State University, Fullerton PhD. candidate Mike Navarro with his studies aimed at understanding how larvae of many species disperse in ocean currents.

Diana Lloyd, CSU Fullerton

November 7, 2005

Cal State Fullerton – Larval Mollusc Movement Study (2005)

Scientific divers from the Aquarium of the Pacific assisted graduate students from California State University, Fullerton by collecting larval sea hares and various other mollusks. Deciphering the connectivity of marine populations involves tracking larval sources and settlement sites.

Bridgette Nace, CSU Northridge

November 7, 2004

Reproductive Behavior and Coloration of Black Perch (Embiotoca jacksoni)  (2004)

Aquarium scientific divers assisted with weekly observations from the Summer of 2004 through the Summer of 2005 as part of a study to determine details of the spawning periodicity of black perch, in King Harbor at Redondo Beach, California.

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