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Three photos: scuba diver installing equipment, bathymetry map, and ROV.

About the Lab

Welcome to Professor Steve Moore’s Ecosystem Electronics Lab (EEL) within the Marine Science Department at CSUMB! Our work in this lab seeks to understand the habitat requirements and physical ecology of benthic (bottom-dwelling) marine invertebrates through the use of custom robots, seafloor cameras, or other ocean technologies built or modified by CSUMB students. We are particularly interested in exploring, characterizing, and understanding the dynamic habitats of animals living between about 20 and 150 meters (70 - 500 feet) deep -- just beyond the reach of most scuba-based research. This under-studied "Twilight Zone" is fascinating to explore, because it contains steep and constantly changing gradients in temperature, light availability, water motion, dissolved oxygen concentration, and other biologically important parameters. Here in the Monterey/Carmel area we are lucky to have Twilight Zone habitats accessible to students, who can study them from small boats or even from the beach using our remotely controlled equipment. We have three main study sites: 1) areas off Cannery Row in Monterey, 2) the head of Carmel Submarine Canyon near Point Lobos State Reserve, and 3) mesophotic coral ecosystems in tropical seas. We frequently share our research tools and expertise to assist local schools, agencies, and community organizations with ecosystem monitoring, research, and education.

Specialty Areas

  • Benthic ecology of marine invertebrates
  • Remotely-operated underwater vehicles (ROVs)
  • Programmable cameras and sensor systems for monitoring ecosystem change
  • Web-based telepresence in remote habitats
  • Wildlife, fish, and habitat surveillance

Student Opportunities

We are a small lab focused primarily on providing applied marine research and technology experiences for undergraduate students. During a typical semester, we'll have about 6 undergraduates and 1 graduate student working on projects in the lab and in the field. Significant participation in the lab requires a minimum time commitment of 3-6 hours per week. Priority is given to students who have completed MSCI 337: Robotics for Ecological Research (4 units) and MSCI 437: Ocean Instrumentation Projects (4 units), or have similar preparation, and who are interested in developing and using marine technology for marine biology/ecology research.

Lab Director

Steven W. Moore, Ph.D. (stmoore@csumb.edu)