COASTAL OCEAN SAMPLING
PISCO’s physical oceanographic research focuses on how physical processes in the marine environment, such as ocean currents, waves, and winds, affect ecological dynamics in the coastal zone. We are particularly interested in the nearshore region, also known as the inner-shelf (the area approximately 5-10 km from shore), which is home to most of the communities we study. We use fixed transects and underwater gliders to monitor temperature, salinity, chlorophyll a concentration, and oxygen levels. Specific protocols are available upon request-- Contact us!
Our kelp monitoring SCUBA surveys have been running continuously since 1999 in shallow (5 - 20m depth) nearshore sites located on rocky bottom habitat. They are situated in varying oceanographic regions and conditions (e.g., coastal upwelling) as well as inside and outside of existing marine protected areas. These surveys can provide us with data that help to assess causes and consequences of environmental changes that might be driven by climate changes, natural oceanic cycles or local human influences such as fishing. Access protocols.
ROCKY SHORES SAMPLING
PISCO’s research focus on rocky shore habitats reflects their ecological and scientific importance along the coastal region of the California current ecosystem. To gain an understanding of the responses of communities and individual species to climate change, ocean acidification, and other environmental factors we conduct two different community survey programs and sea star population monitoring. These programs are conducted at different spatial and temporal scales, but are designed to complement one another. Access protocols.