Citizen scientists to help map the Great Barrier Reef
James Cook University is calling for volunteers to help map the seafloor around the Great Barrier Reef to better protect the natural icon. "Many vessels on the Reef use relatively sophisticated echo sounders, combined with GPS to measure the depth of water and conduct safe navigation. They give a good picture of the seafloor, but the problem is the data are not logged – it just appears in the moment and then is lost," Dr Robin Beaman from JCU said. To take advantage of this data opportunity, the program installs SmartLog USB sticks on to vessels of opportunity to collect the data usually discarded from the ships echo sounder. This crowd-sourced bathymetry has the potential to make a great contribution to our understanding of the reef.