Get students out of the classroom and up close to science they can touch

(Active) The Floating Forest Kelp Project

*This project is currently virtual.* The creators of the Floating Forest project are a team of researchers who have been working to identify how kelp forests change over time. To view their full bios and learn more about their Floating Forest project, visit Zooniverse.

Dr. Kyle Cavanaugh is working at the University of California in LA researching how climate affects coastal ecosystems. Dr. Jarrett Byrnes is working at the University of Massachusetts in Boston researching algae and marine life along coastlines. Dr. Alejandro Pérez-Matus is a research scientist and post doc at Estacion Costera de Investigaciones Marinas (ECIM)-Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile and is studying the relation between fish and kelp. Dr. Andew Rassweiler is working at Florida State University and is researching kelp to determine how factors that determine kelp growth and survival. Dr. Alison Haupt is working at CSU in Monterey Bay researching coastal development and urbanization’s effect on kelp forests. Dr. Jorge Assis is researching species distributions in kelp forests and what environmental drivers affect these forests. Dr. Tom Bell is a postdoc scientists and the University of California in LA and the University of Alaska Southeast researching how kelp responds to its environment. Clare Butler graduated from the University of Tasmania in Australia and is working on researching kelp and their ecosystems. Isaac Rosenthal is a graduate from the University of Massachusetts in Boston and is studying the relationship between urbanization and kelp forests and is working to bring citizen science to classrooms to engage students.

Giant kelp forests are found along about 25% of all the world’s coastlines and form the foundation of marine ecosystems with their amazing and nutritious properties! Since giant kelp has such a large growth rate, the habitats they create are ever-changing and constantly growing. Although this is an incredible quality, it makes it very difficult to track kelp forests and their abundance across the global coastlines.This is a problem which you can help solve! A team of scientists and researchers from across the globe have come together to create a program called Floating Forests that serves as a platform for anyone willing to help in classifying kelp forests from satellite photos.

The program can be accessed via any web browser with access to an internet connection through this link.

Final Mudflat Acidification Infographic.