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Secchi App – Citizen Science for Sailors


Secchi App
Well, I'm new to the forum - hello - and I'm here to promote a Citizen Science project about the marine plankton that wants to involve seafarers.

It's conducted by a free smartphone app called Secchi in conjunction with a simple to make Secchi Disk, and its home website is www.secchidisk.org

Please tell me if it is inappropriate to reach seafarers through fora in this way.

So, by way of some background.

Two years ago a paper in the science magazine Nature reported that the global phytoplankton population had declined by 40% since the 1950s.

Phytoplankton primary production governs marine productivity at all levels above in the marine food chain. The phytoplankton also create 50% of the oxygen in the air we breathe, and, by drawing down carbon dioxide, they influence the climate. Chemicals released by some phytoplankton when they die also help create the clouds in the sky and the smell of the sea. Changes in phytoplankton abundance therefore influence the global ecology.

The report of a global decline in phytoplankton abundance provoked controversy among marine scientists, some of whom thought abundance had actually increased. Part of the controversy stems from poor data coverage of the oceans - there aren't that many scientists collecting data - and while we now have satellite imagery such as SeaWifs - in-situ data is invaluable.

In contrast to a few scientists, there are a lot of seafarers and hence the Citizen Science project.

Please take a look at the website. I'd be interested to hear your views.

So far the response from sailors who have seen the media coverage has been very positive. Within two days of the project's launch on the 21st February we received data from New Zealand and the Mediterranean Sea.

There is a BBC media report here:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-21547272

I am posting on this forum to raise awareness of the project and encourage you to participate.

I hope you find it interesting.


Secchi App
Nearly 5 years ago I signed up to tell you about the Secchi Disk study, a new global study of the phytoplankton undertaken by seafarers.

A lot has happened since then. Not least, the Secchi Disk study has become the world's largest cituzen science stuyd of the phytoplanton with sailors collecting data from around the world, and with some groundbreaking locations included, such as the first measurments from the recently, ice free Northwest Passage.

I have now returned to tell you about the first scientific paper to be published from the study.

It is published in the journal The Public Library of Science ONE, or PLOS ONE and you can read the paper or downlod it for free HERE

You will see that Secchi Disk Seafarers are the first author and their address is, The oceans.

I hope you find the first work interesting.

The Secchi Disk study has no end date and so we hope that this will be the first publication of many. Why not take part and colect data to appear in the next publication?

Best Wishes