Research & Monitoring

an rov on the deck of a ship
Marine Applied Research and Exploration's ROV Beagle on the back deck of R/V Shearwater. Photo: Jackie Buhl/NOAA

Science activities at Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary are directed at helping to solve specific management problems, enhance ecosystem protection efforts, and assist in the educational interpretation of the ecosystem. Sanctuary staff partner with a variety of science entities to help coordinate sanctuary resource characterization, monitoring, and research.

A black seabass in a kelp forest

Ecosystem Connectivity and Animal Movements

The sanctuary is involved in multiple projects to further our understanding of how animal movements impact the scale, degree, and frequency of connectivity between the sanctuary and the mainland.

a black seabass swims through kelp


The sanctuary and partners are characterizing the sanctuary soundscape at both shallow and deep water listening stations to improve our understanding of soundscapes and to assess variation over time and space.

aerial view of a boat in open water

Seafloor Mapping

The sanctuary and partners have been collecting high-resolution seafloor data both inside the sanctuary and in the region through a series of initiatives.

Light shines on coral on the seafloor

Deep-Sea Corals

The sanctuary is home to vibrant deep-sea coral and sponge habitats supporting a diversity of species. Sanctuaries are working to discover, monitor, and conserve these ecosystems and the life they support.

close up of an urchin

Integrated Status and Trend Reporting

The sanctuary and partners are developing products to help dynamically update the sanctuary status and trend report and make this information readily available through the Internet to everyone including managers, scientists, and educators.

yellow flowers with a rock island and water in the background

Sanctuary Integrated Monitoring Network (SIMoN)

The SIMoN website captures a wide variety of research and monitoring activities underway at Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary led by various academic, agency, and non-governmental partners.

Research Team

View our staff bios.

Chris Caldow

Chris Caldow
Research Coordinator

Chris Caldow

Julie Bursek
Team Lead for Education and Outreach
Unit Diving Supervisor

Lizzie Duncan

Elizabeth (Lizzie) Duncan
Research Ecologist

Ryan Freedman

Ryan Freedman, Ph.D.
Research Ecologist

Jackie Buhl

Jackie Buhl
Technical Science Writer & Researcher/Deckhand, Cardinal Point Captains

Jennifer Brown

Jennifer Brown, Ph.D
Project Scientist, ECOS Consulting

Mari Cajandig

Mari Cajandig
GIS Specialist, Cardinal Point Captains

Jennifer (Jenny) Selgrath

Jennifer (Jenny) Selgrath, Ph.D.
Spatial Ecologist and Social Scientist, Cardinal Point Captains

Pike Spector

Pike Spector
Research Operations Specialist, Cardinal Point Captains