Video Analysis, Experimental Design, and Database Management of Submersible-Based Habitat Studies

Video Analysis, Experimental Design, and Database Management of Submersible-Based Habitat Studies

Brian N. Tissot

Video Analysis, Experimental Design, and Database Management of Submersible-Based Habitat StudiesThis is part of Marine Habitat Mapping Technology for Alaska
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Description

Submersibles are used in a diverse array of scientific studies such as geophysical mapping and interpretation, physical and biological oceanographic studies, and fishery investigations. Studies using submersibles deserve careful attention to planning, design, and implementation in order to be effective in meeting their objectives. The most important first step in these studies is to carefully articulate and plan the experimental design of the project from start to finish. Special attention should also be paid to statistical issues, such as randomization, replication, independence, and power, as they can have a large impact on the usefulness of the data to meet the objectives of the study. The processing and analysis of videotapes resulting from submersible dives involves a high level of training and quality assurance with staff who are comfortable with taxonomic identification, survey methods, and the wide array of technical tools used to analyze these data. Issues associated with this video processing include training, minimizing observer bias, using the proper equipment, and entering and verifying data. Large, complex projects should always be managed using a relational database that can effectively integrate complex data types, can validate data types and ranges, and is significantly less prone to errors than spreadsheets. Given the high cost of conducting submersible studies, it is imperative that sufficient attention is focused on issues that impact data quality and that projects be well thought out in their entirety prior to going to sea.

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