College of Science

Research Diving Program

Underwater Faculty Research

Lindholm dive
Photo by: James Lindholm
Logan dive
Photo by: Cheryl Logan
Moore dive
Photo by: Steve Moore
FacultyProjects (with diving)Summary
Corey Garza Pacific Spiny Lobster populations at Catalina Island MPA The Marine Landscape Ecology Lab (MLEL) is using SCUBA to assess the effectiveness of a long standing Marine Protected Area (MPA) on Catalina Island and its impact on populations of the Pacific Spiny Lobster (Panulirus interruptus). Used in conjunction with aerial drones and remotely operated vehicles (ROVs), SCUBA is helping measure changes in lobster populations since the establishment of the MPA - providing researchers and managers with strong quantitative information on the impact of the MPA (including the importance of habitat type) on key demographic features of spiny lobster populations. 
Cheryl Logan Galápagos Corals: Canaries in the Coal Mine The Galápagos islands represents a good case study for understanding the future of coral reefs, given its extended history of bleaching and mass die-off. Yet some Galápagos corals have persevered and may be uniquely thermally resistant. Coral thermal tolerance was surveyed across the archipelago for the first time using a portable coral bleaching autonomous stress system, targeting location where recovery has been strongest.
James Lindholm Landscape Ecology of Fishes on Deep Walls and Reefs Surveys of the "lost reefs" between 20-40 m water depth, an understudied zone between standard SCUBA_based surveys and deeper ROV/camera sled/submersible surveys. The study couples diver-held stereo video (DOV) with traditional underwater visual census (UVC) techniques to sample fishes and invertebrates using shore-based SCUBA operations.
  Immersion! VR (CUIA) Immersion VR videos provide a virtual diving experience in the coastal waters of California's marine protected areas (MPAs) through a smart phone, computer or VR headset.
  Landscape Ecology of Nearshore Biological Communities Along the California Coast Video-based Diver Transects to Spatial Modeling. Projects analyze changes in abundance, diversity, and species composition with latitude. On-going efforts include fine-scale analyses of patterns in fish-habitat interactions within and among sites as well as inside and out of State Marine Protected Area, and spatial modeling resulting from the combination of observational data and the high-resolution topographic maps produced by the California Seafloor Mapping Project (CSMP).
  Anthropocene Research Award in Marine Conservation Project provides undergraduate marine science majors who are also research divers funding to prepare for careers related to marine conservation and management.
Steve Moore Coral Reef Conservation with One People One Reef in Micronesia Teaming up with local fisherman to jointly assess the health of Ulithi's coral reefs and the resident fish populations. Using small ROVs, time-lapse undersea cameras, and other technologies to collect video data from water up to 150 m deep, providing islanders with valuable and otherwise inaccessible information about the health of their deep reefs and the availability of potential food sources living there.
  Development of Low-cost Instrumentation to Support Student Marine Ecology Projects Senior undergraduate students enrolled in MSCI 437 (Ocean Instrumentation Projects) design, build, and test innovative, low-cost, seafloor instrumentation (many deployed by divers from small boats), which students can use to collect data for marine research projects. In addition to gaining experience with marine research, students develop valuable skills in electronics, computer programming, and robotics.