Have boat - please help with research... PLEASE PARTICIPATE WITH SECCHI APP
You can participate in this project by making a Secchi Disk and using the free to download iPhone or Android ‘Secchi’ application.
Join in and make this the World’s largest, ongoing Citizen Science marine biological study.
"You don’t need a network connection to use Secchi. Secchi stores all the data until you get a mobile signal when it will ask you if you want to submit your data now, or wait until later."
RK, SV Odontella
The marine phytoplankton account for approximately 50% of all photosynthesis on Earth and, through the plankton food web that they support, they both underpin the marine food chain and play a central role in the global carbon cycle strongly influencing the Earth’s climate.
Living at the surface of the sea the phytoplankton are particularly sensitive to changes in sea surface temperature. A recent study of global phytoplankton abundance over the last century concluded that global phytoplankton concentrations have declined due to rising sea surface temperatures as a consequence of current climate change.
We need to know much more about these changes and you can help by making a simple piece of scientific equipment called a Secchi Disk and using the Secchi App.
- Please see the two presentations for iOS and Android. Full instructions are also included with the App.
- The phytoplankton underpin the marine food chain and so we need to know as much about them as possible.
- Secchi App is for seafarers and scientists.
- The Secchi App is free and it is free to take part, however, we do ask you to make a Secchi Disk.
- A Secchi Disk is a 30 cm, flat, white disk attached to a tape measure or a rope, and weighted from below by a small 200 g weight.
- Yes. It is very important that everyone uses a disk that is the same size to standardise the survey.
- A Secchi Disk is used to measure the Secchi Depth. The Secchi Depth measures the turbidity of the water, which is influenced by the amount of phytoplankton in the water column.
- Phytoplankton - also called microalgae - are microscopic plant-like cells and they are the sea's main primary producers.
- With the sun behind you, you lower the Secchi Disk vertically into the water from the side of your boat. The point at which the disk just disappears from sight is the Secchi Depth.
- Yes. A Secchi Disk can be made from any material so long as it is white, or it is painted white.
- You can take a Secchi Disk reading as often as you wish, every day, once a week, twice a month, or just occasionally.
- You can take a Secchi Disk reading wherever you wish at sea so long as you cannot see the seabed and you avoid estuaries.
- Yes. The Secchi Depth should be measured between 10.00 hrs and 14.00 hrs.
- Yes. Please do not wear sunglasses when you measure the Secchi Depth.
- Yes. It is important to keep your Secchi Disk clean so that its visibility does not change.
- The data you collect will help scientists around the world to understand the phytoplankton.
- In this case, the data will be stored on your phone as a pending reading. When you next get a network connection you will be prompted to either submit or delay until later.
- Secchi data occupies about 4 kb per reading. Photographs occupy about 50 kb.
- This project begins now and continues indefinitely into the future.
- We hope so, but that is up to you.
Secchi App for Google Nexus 7 released
BBC News report on the Secchi App
Secchi App and SecchiDisk database launched