Research Opportunities

SeaKeepers and other non-scientists participate in volunteer-based projects when utilizing their privately-owned vessels. By uniting the academic and scientific world with the yachting community, our efforts go towards conserving our oceans and combating critical ocean issues.

To engage in an initiative or propose a new project, please contact our staff at [email protected] Learn more about several of our citizen science initiatives below:

Citizen Science

Citizen science expeditions offer an opportunity for vessel owners to get involved in smaller-scale marine research initiatives. These expeditions do not require scientists to be aboard, but they permit vessel owners and crew to participate in ongoing research projects which depend on the participation of non-scientists within the community. One of our main projects supported by citizen scientists is the S.A.R.A.H. Initiative, a citizen science movement engaging the yachting community by providing comprehensive onboard kits to allow yacht crews and owners to conduct plankton survey-style transects to describe and quantify the presence of marine microplastics.

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Instrument Deployments

The International SeaKeepers Society works with a number of institutions, including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), World Meteorological Organization (WMO), and Argo to make ongoing oceanographic measurements. The collection of consistent and accurate data is extremely important for oil spill and marine debris accumulation analyses, weather and hurricane prediction models, quality control tests on satellites, and an overall better understanding of the marine environment. It is vital that the global instrument arrays are well distributed; private vessels can achieve this along routes that are not typically traveled. Currently, The International SeaKeepers Society employs the use of two types of devices — SeaKeepers Drifters and Argo Floats. These instruments have been designed to be scientifically productive and efficient while minimally invasive to the environment.

SeaKeepers has also partnered with Florida International University’s Global FinPrint, a Paul G. Allen initiative, which is conducting the first global survey of shark and ray populations with the use of baited remote underwater video (BRUV) surveys. SeaKeepers vessels can support the effort by deploying the BRUV rigs at coral reef locations around the world. Each rig is minimally invasive and includes an underwater camera and attached bait box. Marine organisms are attracted to the bait and are then filmed. Researchers review the footage to obtain important information about the populations of these globally threatened species, in order to drive shark and ray conservation through research and policy. Areas of particular interest include the Dry Tortugas, Indonesia, and French Polynesia.

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Citizen Science Initiatives


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S.A.R.A.H. Initiative

The S.A.R.A.H. Initiative will unite the academic world and the international yachting community in an effort to conserve our oceans and combat plastic pollution. This unique partnership between liberal arts college, Florida International University College of Arts, Education, and Science (CASE) and the International SeaKeepers Society has the ability to collect invaluable data for scientific research, leading to effective solutions.

This citizen science movement engages the yachting community by providing comprehensive onboard kits to allow yacht crews and owners to conduct plankton survey-style transects to describe and quantify the presence of marine microplastics.

Find out if you can participate in our S.A.R.A.H. Initiative by clicking the button below and contacting our team at [email protected]

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Spotter Device Program

SeaKeepers is teaming up with SoFar on the Spotter Device, a compact, solar-powered, surface-follower, which measures surface waves and currents. This device can be used by other entities and can help with improved ocean weather forecasting.

The broader implications are that SoFar and its Spotter technology can help vessel captains, as well as those studying weather systems and climate change with real-time ocean weather forecasting.

Find out if you can participate in our Spotter Deployment Program by clicking the button below and contacting our team at [email protected]

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eXpendable BathyThermograph (XBT)

An eXpendable BathyThermograph (XBT) is a temperature probe that is launched from the stern or the bridge wing of a ship using a hand launcher or Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory automatic launcher. The data is logged to a computer with software provided by National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), where it is processed and formatted for satellite transmission in real-time through the Global Telecommunications System (GTS).

The data is then used by national and international organizations, universities, and government. laboratories for weather and climate forecasting and for climate research. Find out if you can participate in our XBT Program by clicking the button below and contacting our team at [email protected]