Understanding the Deep Sea Coral and Sponge's Database through an ArcGIS Learn Lesson

Ashlee Robinson, 2022, MSGIS Cohort 40 and Dr. Mark Kumler, Geographic Information Science 

The deep-sea is one of the largest habitats in the world. Homing to coral and sponges that make up most of the benthic habitat to an assortment of aquatic life, and their survival is critical for ocean biology. Under the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Deep Sea Research Technology Program produces databases for an assortment of species but focuses mainly on coral and sponges. Their main database is a hub for images and data, but these data are cluttered, and users have difficulty accessing information. The focus of this project is to help users understand the database more clearly. A GIS could aid this problem by allowing users to follow a step-by-step lesson on how to download the deep-sea data and produce their own species dashboard for a location of choice from the downloaded data. To reach a wider audience in conserving the coral and sponge species, an ArcGIS Learn Lesson will help users understand the new database and dashboard application. This database will be published on the NOAA ArcGIS Online portal and a direct link to the ArcGIS Learn Lesson.