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Internship Opportunity

Habitat Mapping GIS Project in the Gulf of Mexico

Posted on: 01/09/2018
Research Area(s): Internships / General

Summary / Description

Despite the obvious importance of habitat in the analysis and understanding of spatial distributions of fish and its impact on abundance we know very little about habitat available in the Gulf of Mexico. The sheer size of the basins coupled with depth and light limitations preclude easily describing habitat in the ocean. One of the main objectives of the SEAMAP reef fish video survey is to move to a habitat based design that is based on a combination of multi-beam mapping that we’ve acquired from partners or collected ourselves and a 26 year history of dropping video cameras throughout the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean. Recently NOAA has developed the Coastal and Marine Ecological Classification Standard (CMECS) that allows for compatibility between labs and otherwise uncoordinated data collection efforts. As such the CMECS standard is a recent development relative to our historic data collection and thus the historic data did not evaluate imagery and create data to this standard. Thus there is a tremendous archived resource that could provide the basis for a habitat based survey design for the SEAMAP optical surveys that are conducted in the Gulf and Caribbean. This project will be composed of three parts including 1) learning and applying ArcGIS to create a habitat layer for use in stratifying the reef fish video survey and 2) digitizing and uploaded historic video/still imagery to the server for geosetting and inclusion in the ArcGIS project, and 3) learning how to evaluate bathymetry and imagery to create data that meets the CMECS standard.

Skills Required

Willingness to work outdoors, as well as at a microscope. General laboratory skills are helpful. Ability to work as part of a research team. Ability to pay attention to details, yet have an interest in broad scale ecological processes.


NOAA Mississippi Laboratory/Pascagoula, MS

Other Information

Intern Supervisor:
Andre Debose
Number of Slots Available:
Is free housing available:
Can international students be placed:

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NCCOS delivers ecosystem science solutions for stewardship of the nation’s ocean and coastal resources, in direct support of NOS priorities, offices, and customers, and to sustain thriving coastal communities and economies.

National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science
1305 East West Highway, Rm 8110
Silver Spring, MD 20910
Phone: (240) 533-0300 / Fax: (301) 713-4353
Email: nccos.webcontent@noaa.gov

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