The Camera-Based Assessment Survey System (C-BASS)

ST. PETERSBURG - With support from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Marine Fisheries Service, scientists and technicians from the College of Marine Science and its Center for Ocean Technology, led by 
Steve Murawski and Chad Lembke, have developed a unique towed camera array system (C-BASS) to allow high resolution sampling of reef fishes and simultaneous habitat evaluations.  The primary motivation for the development of C-BASS is to develop absolute abundance estimates of reef fishes such as red snapper for use in setting fishery total allowable catch quotas.


Our system is equipped to process and record video from both analog and digital video cameras and currently 6 cameras are filming simultaneously. Environmental and system data sampled from an altimeter, compass, CTD, and fluorometer are also recorded.   There is a laser system used to calibrate size measurements of the scenes being filmed and a Didson forward-looking sonar to detect fish movements in response to the C-BASS.  The system was designed to operate in up to 250 meters of water (about 800 feet) but with modifications can be used much deeper.  Two custom manufactured Bridgelux 85 watt array LED lights provide illumination for the video cameras during low light deployments. Scientific sensors, including a WETLabs FLNTU fluorometer and a Falmouth Scientific 2” Micro-CTD are installed on the frame in order to better understand the environmental aspects of the assessment.  An altimeter is also mounted to the frame to ensure proper platform height above the seabed.

Initial trials and experiments with C-BASS have indicated that this system is highly capable of imaging reef fishes and assessing the habitat requirements of fishes encountered.  This system has the potential to revolutionize the assessment and management of fisheries for reef fishes in Florida and throughout tropical areas of the world.

Exploring the Deep Ocean with NOAA

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - An essential component of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA’s) Office of Ocean Exploration and Research (OER) mission is to enhance ocean science literacy and enhance understanding why it is important to explore our little-known ocean world. To help fulfill this mission, the NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer Education Materials Collection was developed to encourage educators and their students to become engaged with expeditions and discoveries made by the NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer—America’s first Federal ship dedicated to ocean exploration.

Educators are invited to join NOAA OER facilitators to learn Why We Explore (Volume 1) and How We Explore (Volume 2) the deep ocean. Participants will learn about the importance of ocean exploration and the advanced technological capabilities of the NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer used to explore the deep ocean. This 7-hour professional development will introduce standards-based, handson activities and online resources that guide classroom teaching and learning. Ocean health, sophisticated underwater mapping technologies, unique deep-sea ecosystems, remotely operated vehicles and telepresence are just a few of the topics covered.

Registration is required and space is limited. Educators will receive the NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer Education Materials Collection Volume 1: Why Do We Explore? and Volume 2: How Do We Explore?, additional resources and a NOAA Ocean Exploration Certificate of Participation. Continental breakfast, lunch and a $75 stipend will be provided.

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Florida scientists encouraging President Trump to maintain earth science programs

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - Florida Scientists send an open letter for the third time in six months to President Trump encouraging him to maintain the earth science programs at NASA and NOAA.  Listen to Frank Muller-Karger’s interview here.

Wonders of a Marine National Monument

Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument - Research vessel Okeanos Explorer has been collecting data and videos in the ocean and some of the astonishing creatures that live there.

Read the full article here