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Meet the Expedition Team
Dr. Jim Maragos, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Coral Reef Biologist
As a coral reef biologist, Dr. Jim Maragos has surveyed wildlife, completed ecological assessments, created atlases and collected information to help manage protected marine areas. His expertise in the ecology of
Growing up in Long Beach, California, and reading about environmental problems inspired Jim's interest in the oceans and in their protection, and he has succeeded in working toward positive change. His research on Kaneohe Bay, Oahu, Hawaii, from 1968 through 1972, contributed to the removal of an environmentally harmful sewage outfall pipe. After completing his Ph.D. in oceanography at the University of Hawaii in 1972, Jim went on to lead the environmental office of the Pacific Ocean Division of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. He later served as chief scientist for the Pacific Region for the Nature Conservancy and was a Senior Fellow at the East West Center in Honolulu.
Today, Jim continues to study
Interview with Dr. Jim Maragos
What was the best part about doing underwater research with the Cousteau team?
Diving with such skilled and enthusiastic divers was phenomenal. Most of the time I dive with scientists who are totally focused on recording their observations and collections and don't have the time to take in the big picture and better appreciate the beauty and importance of these special places. Jean-Michel, Yves, Holly, Blair, Mike, Antoine and the rest of the film crew demonstrated incredible sensitivity and dedication in understanding each reef and getting the most out of each dive.
At present, digital photography has revolutionized the way I collect biodiversity data and monitor the status of
Many large jacks, sharks and other
A transect, or transect line, is a rope or measuring tape stretched out on a reef in a linear fashion, usually along the same depth contour, along which marine scientists collect information about the reef. For example, data on corals, fish, algae and other invertebrates can be collected precisely along the line, above the line and/or to either side of the line. Thus, transect data are easier to interpret and express in terms of quantities per unit distance (meters, or "m"), per unit area (m²) and per unit volume (m³). If permanent markers, such as the stainless steel stakes I install, are placed along the line, then the same transect site can be precisely and quickly reused in future years and resurveyed to determine changes in that reef over time. There is tremendous variety on coral reefs over short distances, and the permanent markers help realign the transect line in the same place to maximize obtaining accurate information on trends over time and minimize the inaccuracy that comes from surveying different parts of the reef. Also, transect lines are often preferred over other orientations because dive time is normally limited to an hour, and transect lines can be deployed and retrieved quickly.
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