Plankton Portal uses crowd-sourcing to classify strange oceanic creatures
Today, an online citizen-science project launches called “Plankton Portal” was created by researchers at the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences (RSMAS) in collaboration with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) and developers at Zooniverse.org Plankton Portal allows you to explore the open ocean from the comfort of your own home. You can dive hundreds of feet deep, and observe the unperturbed ocean and the myriad animals that inhabit the earth’s last frontier.
The goal of the site is to enlist volunteers to classify millions of underwater images to study plankton diversity, distribution and behavior in the open ocean. It was developed under the leadership of Dr. Robert K. Cowen, UM RSMAS Emeritus Professor in Marine Biology and Fisheries (MBF) and now the Director of Oregon State University‘s Hatfield Marine Science Center, and by Research Associate Cedric Guigand and MBF graduate students Jessica Luo and Adam Greer.
Millions of plankton images are taken by the In Situ Ichthyoplankton Imaging System (ISIIS), a unique underwater robot engineered at the University of Miami in collaboration with Charles Cousin at Bellamare LLC and funded by NOAA and NSF. ISIIS operates as an ocean scanner that casts the shadow of tiny and transparent oceanic creatures onto a very high resolution digital sensor at very high frequency. So far, ISIIS has been used in several oceans around the world to detect the presence of larval fish, small crustaceans and jellyfish in ways never before possible. This new technology can help answer important questions ranging from how do plankton disperse, interact and survive in the marine environment, to predicting the physical and biological factors could influence the plankton community.
“ISIIS gives us a new view on plankton, enabling us to see them in their natural setting, where they occur, what other organisms are nearby, even their orientation,” explains Cowen.
The dataset used for Plankton Portal comes from a project from the Southern California Bight, where Cowen’s team imaged plankton across a front, which is a meeting of two water masses, over three days in Fall 2010.
According to Jessica Luo, graduate student involved in this project, “in three days, we collected data that would take us more than three years to analyze.” Cowen agrees: “with the volume of data that ISIIS generates, it is impossible for us to individually classify every image by hand, which is why we are exploring different options for image analysis, from automatic image recognition software to crowd-sourcing to citizen scientists.”
“A computer will probably be able to tell the difference between major classes of organisms, such as a shrimp versus a jellyfish,” explains Luo, “but to distinguish different species within an order or family, that is still best done by the human eye.”
The Latest Bing News on:
- Online Database Maps Ocean Pollution and Its Effect on Animalson June 26, 2020 at 3:01 pm
A group of German scientists has compiled findings from 1,267 studies in an effort to make information accessible to the public.
- 'Rehydrated' SpongeBob is the Pretty Patty of video game remakeson June 23, 2020 at 2:37 pm
With The Powerpuff Girls on TV and a bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch at my side, I settled in for a playthrough of SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom - Rehydrated early last week. The ...
- SpongeBob SquarePants: The Battle For Bikini Bottom Rehydrated Wiki Guideon June 20, 2020 at 8:37 am
Plankton is the villain of Bikini Bottom and ... including stealing peoples souls and opening a portal to another dimension (known as The Fly of Despair). His most peculiar trait is breathing ...
- Nintendo Download: 18th June (North America)on June 18, 2020 at 6:37 am
The latest Nintendo Download update for North America has arrived, and it's bringing new games galore to the eShop in your region. As always, be sure to drop a vote in our poll an ...
- Passenger for millenniums: association between stenothermic microcrustacean and suctorian epibiont - the case of Eurytemora lacustris and Tokophyra spon June 12, 2020 at 2:17 am
Zooplankton samples were collected from the hypolimnion of the lake to the surface using vertical hauls with plankton net (mesh of 100 µm; d = 20 cm). Concentrated samples were added into ...
- Rough-Hewn Land: A Geologic Journey from California to the Rocky Mountainson May 28, 2020 at 12:00 pm
Life converges on the plankton. Seabirds swarm the skies ... Then you wait behind cars jockeying for limited parking at the Whitney Portal trailhead. Then you wait on the trail, as day-hikers, ...
- Seasonal and spatial dynamics of the planktonic trophic biomarkers in the Strait of Georgia (northeast Pacific) and implications for fishon May 22, 2020 at 2:09 am
We explored the connections between plankton food-web components, and the seasonal and spatial dynamics of the trophic biomarkers and how this determines the availability of high-quality prey for ...
- VENTURING INTO THE OCEAN DEPTHSon June 23, 2017 at 8:28 am
The expedition should result in a series of scientific publications and even books on the gelatinous plankton found in the depths of the oceans. It is also planned to set up a unique wiki portal ...
The Latest Google Headlines on:
The Latest Bing News on:
Online citizen-science project
- Online CPD – improve your primary science knowledge with these ideas and courseson June 29, 2020 at 9:28 am
Online CPD has rocketed in popularity since lockdown – here’s how to get involved, says Anna Blewett... As you grapple with unprecedented disruption in and out of the classroom, it’s tempting to write ...
- Younger, more educated U.S. adults are more likely to take part in citizen science researchon June 25, 2020 at 12:08 pm
One-in-ten U.S. adults say they have taken part in citizen science in the past year, and 26% say they have ever done so.
- Cairns fishing enthusiasts can sign up to help local urban waterwayson June 21, 2020 at 12:04 pm
A CITIZEN science project organiser is calling on local anglers to cast ... Recreational anglers who would like to get involved can register their interest online at ozfish.org.au/cairns or call 1800 ...
- Signs the elusive tūī may slowly be returning to Canterburyon June 21, 2020 at 10:04 am
Sightings of the elusive native bird in Canterbury are on the rise, with the population climbing in the region.
- Help Rovers to ‘Better Navigate Mars'on June 19, 2020 at 12:20 pm
For the Pasadena-based research facility, a venerable center for scientific discovery and exploration, is asking that citizen scientists to give NASA's famous Mars rovers a "leg up," or perhaps a ...
- Emiratis and expats work together to find solutions to beat Covid-19 pandemicon June 18, 2020 at 7:37 pm
A bunch of vibrant youngsters with an unusual mix of Emiratis and expatriates from eight research centres are developing innovative solutions to empower the UAE and the world response to the Covid-19 ...
- Ecotourism, Careers and Creativity for a Sustainable Worldon June 18, 2020 at 3:09 pm
COVID-19, what new sectors will open up that can be done through telecommuting, social media, education, and data management? What about opportunities beyond screen presence? One promising set of ...
- EVE Online's latest citizen science project to help COVID-19 researchon June 16, 2020 at 3:55 am
EVE Online developer CCP Games has announced the latest iteration of its citizen science project, which will help understand the impact of COVID-19 on immune systems. For this third phase, Project ...
- Eve Online - Project Discovery: Players versus COVIDon June 16, 2020 at 1:02 am
VPEsports by uBu Every respectable gamer has a notion of what Eve Online means. But for the uninitiated, there’s a mystery shroud surrounding the game, and from time to time it is pierced with news of ...