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Gaining a better understanding of the seas through citizen science

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Whale watching. Credit: Carl Safina

Twice a day, every day, Kera Mathes hops aboard a ship that sets off from Long Beach Harbor in California. As education specialist at the Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific, she helps visitors aboard the ship identify the animals they see. Mathes also supervises the aquarium’s interns (college students and recent graduates), as they collect data and photograph the same creatures. Their information on blue and fin whales goes to the Cascadia Research Collective, an oceanic education and research organization. But for years the interns’ data—weather, time, position, and photos of every sea creature they observe—went unused. Mathes needed a way to share and use such valuable information.

Click here to read the full post originally published in National Geographic Voices, April 22, 2016.

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