MarineGEO in British Columbia
This summer the Smithsonian’s MarineGEO program along with the Hakai Institute conducted a marine BioBlitz survey in the coastal waters of British Columbia. Over 40 researchers from a dozen institutions spent three weeks participating in collections, processing of Autonomous Reef Monitoring Structures (ARMS), and visual surveys. The MarineGEO team from Smithsonian led by Ross Whippo trained new divers in RLS methods, and conducted Reef Life Surveys with newly trained University of Oregon researcher Dr. Aaron Galloway. They focused on rocky subtidal and kelp forest habitats to complement concurrent collections work done by other members of the BioBlitz. Over the course of a week, they completed 8 surveys and identified 83 species, 22 of which were new records for Reef Life Survey, including Sebastes nebulosus (China Rockfish), Sebastes diaconus (Deacon Rockfish) and Chlamys hastata (Spear Scallop). MarineGEO is continuing its use of RLS, and will be conducting more surveys this year in Belize, and next year in Alaska among other locations.