The Southern California Bight Marine Biodiversity Observation Network (SCB MBON) is designed to provide a complete picture of marine biodiversity in the region. SCB MBON is developing a widely applicable research model that integrates new information with existing data to improve current research and monitoring programs and provide greater insight into marine biodiversity.

Millions of dollars are spent annually monitoring marine resources, however, such efforts are uncoordinated and have major information gaps. We are developing a scalable and reproducible Marine Biodiversity Observation Network using the Southern California Bight as a case study. This network will connect existing marine monitoring efforts in the Southern California Bight and work to fill information gaps.

Focusing on the Southern California Bight allows our researchers to explore marine biodiversity from whole marine ecosystem level all the way to the smallest microbe communities. The ability to study such a range of biodiversity is due to the extensive amount of existing biological monitoring and research programs conducted by our partners. Yet even with the extensive research being conducted in the Southern California Bight, there are still information gaps. To fill these gaps, SCB MBON is testing novel methods for monitoring biodiversity, including automated image analysis and genomics.

SCB MBON is one of four demonstration marine biodiversity observation networks established in the United States to build a better understanding of marine health and biodiversity on a global scale.

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