The rocky intertidal is one of the longest studied marine environments yet newly available technology has not been widely integrated into intertidal monitoring and research. Traditional methods for studying this zone involve a large field commitment, cover small areas, and rely on extrapolation to provide community-wide evaluations.
Thankfully, recent advances in digital imaging and modern computing now allow for the creation of large area habitat maps. We are thus uniquely poised to apply novel techniques to create more ecologically realistic representations of these important habitats.
This project is piloting an innovative new mapping technique to create high resolution georeferenced 2D maps, or photomosaics, and 3D models of intertidal zones in California. This method enables drastically reduced survey time and maximizes data acquisition potential through non-invasively gathering data on large spatial scales.