U.S. Virgin Islands Benthic Habitat Spatial Data

Web Site Owner: National Ocean Service

I am enamored of this dataset; it is essentially “marine ecological regions” for U.S. territorial holdings in the Carribean (Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands):


Along with simply satisfying curiosity, I think it might be useful for understanding the spatial distribution and preferred habitat of invasive lionfish in the Virgin Islands, in a broad sense.

Pairing occurrence records with habitat classifications may provide useful insights.  There is a Java application called Weka that can reveal clustering in your data.

By pairing this data with the names of the delineated habitat, I believe the tabular data within the spatial dataset can reveal any natural clustering (Although the clustering may be biased towards popular dive / snorkeling sites).

Another interesting data point which clustering can reveal is the depth at which the animals are most often found. However, this again may simply be a reflection of the “preferred depth” of divers (e.g., not greater than 30 m).

Aerial frame for Sandy Point NWR: http://www8.nos.noaa.gov/biogeo_public/aerial/viewer.aspx?source=usvi&id=244


About Tanner Jessel

I am a recent M.S. in Information Science graduate from the University of Tennessee School of Information Science. I was formerly a graduate research assistant funded by DataONE (Data Observation Network for Earth). Prior, I worked for four years as a content lead and biodiversity scientist with the U.S. Geological Survey's Biodiversity Informatics Program. Building on my work experience in biodiversity and environmental informatics, my work with DataONE focused on exploring the nature of scientific collaborations necessary for scientific inquiry. I also conducted research concerning user experience and usability, and assisted in development of member nodes with an emphasis on spatial data and infrastructure. I assisted with research designed to understand sociocultural issues within collaborative research communities. Through August 1, 2014, I was based at the Center for Information and Communication Studies at the University of Tennessee School of Information Science in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Posted on July 14, 2014, in Personal Life, Research. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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