CERF Webinar on 5/19/21: Providing Interactive Web Access to Long-Term Seagrass Monitoring Data with Open Science Data Analysis Tools

Providing Interactive Web Access to Long-Term Seagrass Monitoring Data with Open Science Data Analysis Tools

Presenters: Marcus Beck and Gary Raulerson, TBEP

Wednesday, 19 May 2021
10:00 – 11:00 AM PT | 1:00 – 2:00 PM ET

Register Now

Special Complimentary Webinar - Open to All!

About the Webinar

Marcus Beck and Gary Raulerson will provide an overview of the environmental history of Tampa Bay through the lens of seagrass management and showcase the open science tools to evaluate the region’s seagrass data. These tools provide an open, transparent, and reproducible approach to evaluating the nearly 30 years of Tampa Bay seagrass data. The presentation will include a live demonstration of the Tampa Bay Seagrass Transect Dashboard developed using the tbeptools and shiny R packages. The dashboard provides access to the seagrass transect database including maps, graphs, data download and an extensive set of interactive tools for exploring the rich information in this dataset. The SAV Mapping/Monitoring Community of Practice invites you to join us for a discussion of open science data analysis and the tools used to create this website. We also encourage you to join our Discourse forum to learn more about best practices in monitoring seagrass ecosystems.

About the Presenters

Marcus Beck is the Program Scientist for TBEP and is developing data analysis and visualization methods for Bay health indicators. He received his BS in Zoology from the University of Florida in 2007 and his MSc and PhD in Conservation Biology from the University of Minnesota in 2009 and 2013. Marcus has experience researching environmental indicators and developing open science products to support environmental decision-making. Marcus is also an avid software developer and creator of online dashboards that facilitate science communication.

Gary Raulerson
Gary Raulerson, TBEP Ecologist, participates in research, restoration, and monitoring projects that improve habitats (such as seagrass, oysters, mangroves, marshes, and freshwater wetlands) throughout the Tampa Bay watershed. Previous positions include working for the Sarasota Bay Estuary Program, Florida’s Aquatic Preserve program, and as Assistant Director of the Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve near St. Augustine. Gary received his B.S. in Wildlife Ecology from the University of Florida, his M.S. in Wildlife Ecology from the University of Kentucky and his Ph.D. in Coastal Sciences from Louisiana State University.

Moderated by Randy Chambers

GERS Student Introduction by Dottie Byron

Affiliate Society (GERS) Introduction by Anna Armitage

Don’t miss this webinar put together by the SAV CoP!

Start the conversation early by replying to this post with questions for Marcus or Gary. They will also field questions posted here during the webinar and the conversation will continue here afterwards.

1 Like

How are the transects oriented in the Tampa Bay landscape and has that configuration changed over the yeas? Should it?

Dr. Beck’s cake:

An overview of the “Open Science Framework”:

TBEP Github repo is very much worth perusing:

1 Like

Thanks for the screenshots @patdavid, yes please check out our GitHub repo, there you’ll find source code for all of our OS products. You can also check out our data visualization page for the “top of the cake”: Data Visualization For Decision Makers - Tampa Bay Estuary Program


@mfinkbeiner I believe Gary responded during the call, but the locations were picked historically at areas of management interest, i.e., places with known/dense seagrass beds, places near outfalls or other sensitive shoreline areas, etc. So, these are not a true random sample, but capture areas of interest. The locations have been fairly consistent over time, which has been the true value of these data.

1 Like

Thanks Marcus. I enjoyed the talk and will definitely take a look at your structure and code as we setup another project that will coordinate the sharing and analysis of data.

1 Like

@mfinkbeiner the only thing I’ll to what @Marcus_Beck said is that the transects generally begin at the shoreline and extend perpendicular to the shore beyond the seagrass line, which means some transects are 100m and our longest is about 2700m. There are a few exceptions where transects are over longshore bars (so no shoreline).

1 Like

@Marcus_Beck how are you collating and standardizing all the data from the different partners? Are you using an online reporting form that is fed into a database? Does each partner manage their own data and submit to you only the parameters you are interested in?

I really enjoyed your talk, and seeing it a second time, I learned even more! Thank you and Gary for taking the time to share what you guys have learned and what you guys are doing.

1 Like

Thanks Dottie! The data entry and collation methods have changed a bit over the years, but we now have a fully digitized entry system where our partners can enter data in the field using a tablet/web form. Once the tablet is connected to the internet back in the office (or parking lot or wherever it reconnects), the data are uploaded to our USF database (http://dev.seagrass.wateratlas.usf.edu/).

Most of this is completely automated except for some manual QA checks. We also coordinate annual training each year so that the partners are familiar with the field methods and also how to use the online entry form (if they prefer, paper options are still available!).

Pinging @Gary_Raulerson for additional info.

Hi Dottie, thanks again! Quick clarification, if they’re using the Water Atlas site, the data is fed into the database as they enter it in the field. However, other options also include Trimble (we have an established directory that can be downloaded and dumped into the database) or, when all else fails, hard copy (which is then put into the Water Atlas database in the comfort of your home/office).