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MCRI Research Archive

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.

Divers looking at coral
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Sea Turtle Tagging

As of October 2006, the Aquarium of the Pacific, with the cooperation of the National Marine Fisheries Service and others, has released three green sea turtles with satellite tracking tags into the waters of the Gulf of California and off Southern California. Data was received from one of the released animals for over ninety days and allowed thousands of Aquarium visitors to track its movements and learn more about the habits and behavior of sea turtles.

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Orange County Giant Kelp Restoration Project

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.

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A Study of the Taxonomy of Hydrocorals of the Genus Stylaster (2002)

Samples of a local variety of cold water coral (Stylaster californicus) provided by the Aquarium of the Pacific have revealed, through the use of DNA analysis, that what was previously thought to be one species, is in fact, seven distinct species.

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Species Composition and Abundances of Nearshore Reef Fish

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.

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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.

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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.

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Humbolt Squid Husbandry Research (2006 - 2007)

Assistant Curator of Fishes Steve Blair traveled to the Gulf of California in September 2006, where he made observations on the behavior of these little understood animals and conducted experiments aimed at determining their ability to tolerate capture, anesthesia and transport.

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Flexibility and Morphology of Spines in Swimming Sharks (2006 - present)

The Aquarium of the Pacific is currently supporting a study by UC Irvine researcher, Marianne Porter that examines vertebral flexibility of swimming sharks and its effect on their maneuverability. The ability to maneuver quickly and effectively has behavioral implications ranging from mating to prey capture and predator avoidance.

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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.

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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.

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