About this Research Topic
Global oceans are critical for humanity. They maintain the planet habitable, regulate its climate, supply nutrition, oxygen, and so on. At the same time, our understanding of the oceans and our ability to manage and conserve these critical marine ecosystems are inhibited by our limited ability to acquire quality marine observations at optimal resolution and coverage, analyze them at scale, and optimally apply the resulting insights to inform scalable ecosystem management, conservation, restoration, and marine science.
Many important observational tools are not well suited for cost-efficient scalable deployment or reliable long-term unattended operation at sea. For example, most types of biological observations are still performed manually from ships, with sparse coverage and over short periods of time, as limited by the cruise logistics and costs. Data services to streamline scientific analysis of marine observations and/or inform ecosystem management applications are still few and far in between, and could use significant development.
These observational, technological, and operational issues propagate a variety of challenges in multiple areas of ocean sciences and marine ecosystem management, from marine food web studies to sustainable fisheries management, to forecasting and predicting the consequences of rapid changes in critical marine ecosystems, such as degrading coral reefs and warming polar regions.
We propose this Research Topic as an opportunity to provide the academic research community with an incentive and a mechanism to focus on the research and development of scalable technologies, workflows, and data analysis tools that would help overcome the large disparity between the needed scales of marine observation and data analysis and the current state of the art in this area.
This Research Topic will showcase examples of innovation in scalable, practical, and cost-efficient ocean observation techniques that enable transformative yet affordable improvement in the understanding of the oceanic processes and marine ecosystems, such as low cost robotic marine survey platforms and workflows, innovative intelligent sensing technologies and methodologies, novel marine instruments, resource-efficient planning and execution of marine survey and monitoring, effective observational practices and methodologies that are easy to use and transfer to broad user communities with reduced expertise and training requirements, intelligent and intuitive data analytical tools and services, ecosystem manager needs-aware informational products and services, and other related innovative technologies, methodologies, and analytical services with high impact potential for ocean sciences, ecosystem management, and environmental conservation.
Keywords: Ocean Observation, Marine Instruments, Ocean Data Services, Marine Robotics, Ocean Survey Infrastructure
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