The Cormorant Oceanography Project is an interdisciplinary collaboration between physical oceanographers and seabird ecologists based at Oregon State University.
The coastal ocean is a dynamic and complex region and environmental conditions are challenging to adequately sample from satellites, oceanographic vessels, or autonomous vehicles. The development of miniaturized biologging tags for marine birds, such as cormorants, offers a unique opportunity to sample environmental conditions along the daily foraging paths of diving seabirds.
We are refining and deploying dozens of solar-powered, network-connected (GSM) biologging tags to measure in-situ environmental conditions along the daily foraging paths of cormorants.
Along with these biologging tags, we are developing processing algorithms to measure vertical profiles of temperature, surface currents, bathymetric soundings, surface gravity wave statistics, and the air/sea temperature contrast. We assimilate this data into numerical simulations to increase their skill in estimating bathymetry in littoral regions around the globe. We then use these data to guide and improve numerical model forecasts of coastal ocean regions around the globe.