Community Spotlight : Ocean Sanctuaries

Two minutes Interview

This month we speak to two of the earliest MyScienceWork contributing members, Michael Bear and Barbara Lloyd, Co-Founders of Ocean Sanctuaries based in San Diego, California.


Tell us about Ocean Sanctuaries and what Citizen Science is? 

Founded in 2014,Ocean Sanctuaries is a non-profit supporting marine citizen science through its many programs open for public. Citizen Science is the practice of public participation and collaboration in scientific research, in our case, the marine world.



What programs are available for participation?

Sevengill Shark ID Project - our longest running project allows local divers to log their encounters with Sevengill Sharks. With open-source pattern recognition program, freckling patterns between eyes, gills and snout areas of Sevengill sharks help us determine if the same individual animals are returning year-to-year to the same location in San Diego and Cape Town. Recordings are validated and accessed by several well-known shark researchers here in the US and by institutions like Two Oceans Aquarium in South Africa.



The Sharks of California Project  - divers upload photos of sharks species (except Sevengill sharks) that they encounter and these sightings are pooled to provide a shark species map off the coast of California.


The Yukon Marine Life Study - divers to upload photographs of  both vertebrate and invertebrate marine life seen on the former Canadian warship HMCS Yukon




Tide Pool 'BioBlitzes'-- the general public can take invertebrate tidepool photographs and upload them to the database being run by the California Academy of Science and the California Coastal Commission


Certificate in Marine Citizen Science - participants (general public) will be trained in basic citizen science observation and recording skills which can be transferred to any other Citizen Science project, land or sea. In addition, marine life identification skills are taught (online) by our partnering collaborator 


Learn more on the subject :

Ocean Sanctuaries website

Perspectives in Marine Citizen Science by Michael Bear 

Citizen Science Project: Tracking Sevengill Sharks by Barbara Lloyd & Michael Bear 

Interview with an Octopus Researcher by Michael Bear 

Economy of shark conservation : the role of eco-tourism and citizen science by Michael Bear