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Crowdsourcing helps analyze seafloor images

Mar. 14, 2012 — Digital cameras make it easy to take a lot of photos – so many, in fact, that they can be difficult to sort through. UD researchers took 250,000 images of the ocean floor last summer as part of a new approach to estimating the mid-Atlantic sea scallop population. Now they are tasked with examining each photo, searching for scallops within the frame and counting exactly how many and what size.

It’s a big job, and one in which they hope to enlist the help of science-minded volunteers. Art Trembanis, associate professor of geological sciences in the College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment, is developing a website where citizen scientists can log in, pull up individual photos and click on the small, sandy circles indicating scallops.