Citizen Science

Fishing for Data

The ocean is desperately under-sampled. Remember, we cannot forecast what we do not monitor. The problem of under-sampling is often stated about the deep ocean, but it is also very much the fact in the coastal ocean, as well in the marginal ice zone. These regions are characterized by high economical and societal value, and by high biological activity, including fish.

Collecting enough of data to describe these dynamic regions using standard research vessels would be extremely expensive. Robots struggle here as well, because of strong currents, ice, shallow water, risk of collision with vessels, etc. However, where there is fish, there is fishery… Why not employ fishing vessels to collect ocean data? Berring Data Collective is doing exactly that. SCOOT partner SMHI (Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute) is supporting the effort to bring “Fishing for Data” to Sweden. A number of Swedish fishing vessels have expressed interest, stay tuned…

The beauty of Fishing for Data is the cost-effectiveness. Just by attaching some robust sensors, and then doing their usual fishing activity, these vessels put near real-time data into open portals and aggregators, such as EMODnet and Copernicus Marine Services. This is where the computers of operational forecasters (such as SMHI) automatically go to find the data that feed their models. This also where ocean and climate scientists find data.

More about Fishing for Data

Technology for Marine Citizen Science

On December 16th SCOOT had invited a passionate group of people to the Kristineberg research station. During an intense and hands on workshop we got demonstrations of new equipment and methods for ocean data acquisition. Not the tools that many professional oceanographers are familiar with, but the kind of technology that open up the field of ocean data collection to many, many more than before. This is citizen science, and there are strong reasons to believe that it will transform marine science. (This workshop was the second event under the banner of Ocean Data for Ocean Health. You may remember the ODOH conference SCOOT co-arranged last year?)

During the workshop we looked at sensors and at apps that are suitable for a wide range of users, including fishermen, boaters and basically anyone in contact with the ocean.

  • Berring Data Collective demonstrated how local fisheries can put sensors on their gear, collecting data useful both for their own fishery and for oceanographic research.
  • Deepoid AB demonstrated their miniature loggers for ocean currents, temperature and light. Super easy to deploy on a moored line and endurable thanks to low power consumption.
  • Sailing 4 Science showed castaway CTD, an easy-to-use instrument that quickly delivers a vertical profile of temperature and salinity.
  • SMHI presented the app EyeOnWater from MARIS and others. The app allows anyone can upload photos of the sea-surface to help capture the ocean color, an important parameter for determining particle content and presence of algae.
  • Maranics AB presented an app for the project Algal Blooms Sweden, which invites anyone to share images and observations of blooms in the ocean.

New technologies open new opportunities for observing the ocean, that is wonderful… But that does not immediately translate into action, or impact for that matter! We discussed at length how and why broader groups of our society can be engaged in building knowledge about the ocean. Uta Wehn, from University of Gothenburg and IHE Delft, has long experience in this field and led us in the discussion. We were joined online by John Tumpane from Formas, who pointed out that citizen science has an important role in the UN Decade of Ocean Science for a Sustainable Development.

Marine Citizen Science is about co-creating ocean knowledge, it is about a radically more democratic ocean science and ocean governance. Are the current actors in academia and public agencies ready for that?

More about (marine) citizen science

New actors, new ideas, new sensors!

We must get more players into the water, more actors into doing technology for ocean measurements… That is why we started SCOOT and that is why we:

  1. Put resources in the hands of entrepreneurs.
  2. Connect entrepreneurs with new partners from industry, academia and the public sector.

Let us give you a small example of how it can work:

A new sensor for ocean currents
from Deepoid AB

  • Anna Willstrand Wranne, leader of SMHI’s marine technology group, tells about an interesting company, Deepoid AB, delivering an acoustic modem to SMHI.
  • SCOOT’s coordinator contacts Anders Brodin from Deepoid, who says they are working on a new type of logging sensor for ocean currents.
  • SCOOT’s coordinator also contacts oceanography professor Göran Broström, who think this sounds interesting and writes to Anders at Deepoid.
  • A joint discussion about scope, technical solutions, ambition, time line and funding ensues. (This time without external funders.)
  • A new innovation project takes off: Deepoid shall develop, manufacture and deliver 10 current loggers to the University of Gothenburg. The technology is based on position sensing of a pendulum, with minimal weight and minimal power consumption.

Testing in real environment
and communicating results

Last week SCOOT’s coordinator, together with communicator Maria Holmkvist (Centre for Sea and Society) visited Göran and Anders at classic research station Bornö in Gullmarn. We saw Göran cracking theory, while Anders adjusted some of the loggers. Most of all we saw real environment testing and validating data collection (day and night!), new sensors deployed together with traditional acoustic sensors. Göran had brought his mini-ROV, which allowed for inspection and nice underwater photos of the deployed loggers.

SCOOT will continue to follow Deepoid AB and this project. Specifically we want to support the next steps: Communicating with more potential users and finding funding for further development, such as including measurements of temperature and light. We believe this robust and easy to deploy sensor is optimal for:

  • Coastal marine research.
  • Monitoring around planned or completed constructions, such as aquaculture.

Thoughts? Contact Deepoid and SCOOT:

Ocean Changemaker: Berring Data Collective

We are extremely happy to share that Cooper Van Vranken has been selected as an ‘Ocean Changemaker‘ at the World Ocean Initiative, arranged by The Economist Group. Cooper is the founder of the Berring Data Collective. This is indeed a game-changer in ocean observing: Using fishing vessels to bring in high quality data from ocean regions where data is most desperately needed, including around Greenland. Check it out, it is already live!

Cooper was invited speaker at our online conference Ocean Data for Ocean Health in September. Afterwards he joined us for the follow up breakfast webinar on alternative platforms for ocean sensors. Cooper collaborates closely with Patrick Gorringe who works EMODnet Physics and at the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute. Together they make data collected by fishing vessels available to all users, including ocean and climate researchers, operational forecasters and environmental monitoring agencies. Cooper and co-authors have published their work in Frontier in Marine Science.

Ocean Data conference spurs collaboration!

September 29th at Nya Varvet and online

What a day… The conference Ocean Data for Ocean Health covered a lot of the themes SCOOT has been involved in the last two years. We hosted the event on September 29th at SCOOT’s space at Nya Varvet in Gothenburg, and we were happy to gather quite a number of old and new SCOOT people and partners.

The programme scratched on the surface of many urgent topics. SCOOT is committed to contribute to keeping up the momentum of this dynamic environment! (Just hosted breakfast meeting on sensors platforms of opportunity, see below.)

Especially intense for SCOOT was the final Block 4, demonstrating autonomous technology for collecting ocean data, see below.

Block 4: Demonstration of ocean robots

Autonomous vehicles

VOTO‘s research coordinator Louise Biddle and oceanographic technician Olle Petersson explain how gliders on and below the seasurface monitors the ocean.

Play Video
Next generation ocean observers!

Elsa and Jakob from the Science Club in Lysekil show their drifter Dynamene, built by Science Club and deployed in the morning, retrieving data live!

Play Video
Experimental platforms

Ola Benderius from Chalmers Revere lab and Robert Rylander from RISE Maritime research demontrate how knowledge from the automotive industry can be applied in the maritime domain. (Special appearance by flying drone from MMT Swden AB…)

Play Video

October 21st, breakfast webinar on tuna and fishing vessels

We were 6 persons having our morning coffee at Nya Varvet and another 6 joining the video meeting. Picking up from Sept 29th, we talked at some length about opportunities (and challenges) around data from tagged animals and from sensors mounted on fishing gear/vessels. Take home messages:

  • These data have huge potential to fill serious gaps in existing ocean monitoring programmes, where other and autonomous methods struggle. These gaps include shelf and coastal seas and marginal ice zones.
  • The cost-benefit relation is very good!
  • The infrastructure for collecting and distributing these data is rapidly expanding and maturing.
  • Challenges include subsurface communication and integration into existing monitoring data flows.

Recording from the meeting.

Research engineer from Moscow wins the Killer Shrimp Invasion Challenge!

In March the Killer Shrimp Invasion Challenge was opened on Kaggle by Ocean Data Factory Sweden (coordinated by SCOOT): Use innovative machine learning (ML) solutions to predict the spread of the so-called “Killer Shrimp” (Dikerogammarus Villosus) into the Baltic Sea. The challenge is now closed , the referees have completed the evaluation and announced that the winner is…

Dimitriy, research engineer at IBRAE RAS in Moscow, Russia! Dimitriy nicked the winner’s place with a score of 0.99954 (out of a maximum possible 1) and by complying to all rules. Dimitry will be presenting his model in an open webinar on June 16th, see below:

The Benefits and Challenges of Open Innovation and Citizen Science for Solving Ocean Challenges through Applying ML to Ocean Data

Join us on June 16th for a Zoom discussion (Please register here):

  • 15:30 to 15:40 Introduction to Ocean Data Factory Sweden and afternoon discussion
  • 15:40 to 16:10 The Killer Shrimp Invasion Challenge on Kaggle: An online competition tackling the spread of invasive marine species through machine learning
  • 16:10 to 16.20 Break
  • 16.20 to 16.50 The Koster Seafloor Observatory on Zooniverse (still open to join!): Using citizen science and machine learning to annotate subsea imagery
  • 16.50 to 17.00 Concluding remarks

Join the Killer Shrimp Invasion Challenge!

Ocean Data Factory Sweden (coordinated by SCOOT) releases an open challenge: Use innovative machine learning (ML) solutions to predict the spread of the so-called “Killer Shrimp” (Dikerogammarus Villosus) into the Baltic Sea. Join the Killer Shrimp Invasion Challenge online on Kaggle!

Are you

  • a data scientist interested in applying your knowledge to environmental challenges?
  • a marine scientist interested in using Machine Learning in your work?
  • generally passionate about the ocean and keen to learn more about Machine Learning and Marine Science?

Then this is the right challenge for you! The winner of this competition will be awarded a €150 prize, along with the opportunity to present their winning model at the next ODF Sweden Grand Meeting. The event will be in the beautiful city of Gothenburg in June 2020 (date tba).

Join ODF Sweden in the The Koster seafloor observatory!

Ocean Data Factory Sweden (coordinated by SCOOT) is now stepping into a truly demanding territory: Automated species recognition in subsea images. See the promo video and join the The Koster seafloor observatory online on Zooniverse!
 

About The Koster seafloor observatory

At the Koster seafloor observatory we want to know how climate change and human activities influence Sweden’s marine ecosystems.

For the last 20 years, we have used Remotely Operated Vehicles and cameras to monitor the Kosterhavets National Park (click images above for example videos!). A highly-diverse and unique marine reserve in the south of Sweden. Now, we need your help identifying the habitat, species, and presence of litter recorded in over 3,000 hours of underwater videos.

Your answers will allow us to filter out crucial information from the recordings and study how the fauna on the sea floor has changed in response to warmer waters, fishing activities, and changes in environmental protection.

Submerge yourself among large sponges, starfish, and cold-water corals to help us understand the health of the Koster’s sea floor and how we can better protect it.

Words from project owner Victor Valdes

The researcher

“We are excited to bring you a new way to dive into Sweden’s first marine national park. By classifying the underwater videos you will explore our unique marine biodiversity and enable us to better understand the health of Sweden’s marine ecosystems.” 

Learn more!

ODF Sweden supports Baltic Seabird AI/UX Hackathon

Ocean Data Factory Sweden (coordinated by SCOOT) will support the AI/UX Hackathon about the Baltic Sea Guillemots (“Sillgrisslor”), taking place on November 21-22 in Gothenburg. ODF Sweden will be in the Hackathon jury and our partner SMHI will deliver local oceanographic data.

The Guillemots are fascinating seabirds high up in the food chain. They can tell us a lot about the state of the fish and the rest of the Baltic Sea ecosystem. Gathering and annotating data is a heavy task for the scientists of the Baltic Seabird Project. In last year’s trial, huge leaps were made with the help of citizen science. The live stream hosted by WWF produced some 1300+ comments and insights. With the use of AI, recognition of individuals and frequent events could be automated, leaving the extra-ordinary and rarer observations to researchers and citizen science. 

Register and more info here. Deadline for registration is November 7.

SCOOT welcomes SunChallenger II to Gothenburg

Difficult winds will unfortunately mean that the SunChallenger II will not make to Gothenburg on June 19. Constructor Jonas Blanck will nevertheless be there and explain his project.

On Wednesday June 19, SCOOT will welcome the newly launched SunChallenger II to Gothenburg. SCOOT is an eager friend of the SunChallenger project. SCOOT director Seb Swart leads the welcoming committee, which includes representatives from GU, MMT Sweden AB, Chalmers University of Technology and Research Institutes of Sweden. Everybody is invited to join us! The event is hosted by MMT Sweden AB and takes place at Nya Varvet, starting in the marina at 9.30 am. After lunch we continue with a seminar/discussion about what to expect from projects and platforms such as the SunChallenger. 

Specifications SunChallenger II: 16 ft Catamaran, 5x 300W glass-glass Solar panels, 2x MPPT solar chargers, 2x 500W electric trolling motors, 5x 12v 80Ah Lifepo4 batteries, 2x Raspberry Pi, 2x Jetson Nano, Dual GPS, Compass, PiCamera, 360° camera, 4G modem, AIS transponder, CHIRP DownVision Sonar & Fishfinder, water/air temperature, pH, Conductivity sensor, CO2 sensor, wind sensor, LED Lanterna, Horn, Flag.

SunChallenger II, Autonomous Solar-Powered Vessel, launched in June 2019