Here’s a citizen science report from Dr. John Ohab!

Let’s talk about things that frighten me and start with the mysterious creatures of the deep. I mean, really — surviving under extreme pressures and temperatures, often without sunlight, in a hostile ocean environment where you might very well be someone else’s dinner? We’ve all seen Pirates of the Caribbean. Creepy.

Still, someone needs to ensure that the marine environment is protected from various human pressures like pollution and over-fishing. That person is just not me.

That’s why I’m asking YOU to go down there on my behalf as part of Earth Dive, a global citizen science project that calls on recreational scuba divers and snorkelers to monitor the ocean for key indicator species.

When you participate in Earth Dive, your observations are recorded in a special database, called the Global Dive Log, and accessible through a clever Google mapping interface. Over time, observations are aggregated to create a Global Snapshot of the state of the world’s oceans. You can also use the satellite map feature to look for your house, which is totally cool. Importantly, everyone who contributes data is automatically added to a petition demanding that policymakers take action.

Earth Dive is what I like to call a win-win-win situation. I don’t have to be in the ocean; your hobby provides a sense of personal enrichment; and we all work together to monitor and conserve marine life on this planet.

  • Topics: ocean, diving, science policy, citizen science
  • Location: involves a trip
  • Duration: several hours
  • Cost: fee or cost
  • Gear: scuba gear, snorkel, swimsuit, computer
  • Level of Difficulty: difficult

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