Dauphin Island Data Management

Proficient citizen scientists foster a culture of community engagement that, when paired with scientific methods, generate valuable research. This NASEM Gulf Research Program funded citizen science project is developing an innovative community-based approach for documenting shoreline processes. Volunteers are trained and mentored by oil spill response and coastal geomorphology experts to collect critical data that are typically lacking during oil spill planning and response in regions with offshore oil and gas operations. Community members in Dauphin Island, Alabama attended a series of workshops addressing (1) key factors affecting the nearshore environment, (2) coastal spill science and response strategies, and (3) field training in shoreline data collection. The volunteers used a simple, standard beach profiling method with inexpensive tools, hand-held DGPS units, and cameras to generate important datasets for the program. Depositional and erosional cycles are documented by this method, providing an understanding of seasonal beach dynamics which becomes critical when evaluating whether burial or remobilization of oil may take place. Participants also learned how to identify tar balls and collected tar ball distribution data during the beach surveys, providing the first year-long perspective of background oiling data on select sections of Dauphin Island. These data will be compiled for long-term preservation after project completion and made publicly available for all end-users: contingency planners, responders, and researchers. Our approach provides a template for other communities who wish to build a coastal citizen science program that generates critically important baseline data for local shoreline spill response efforts.

Documents & Downloads

Browse and download files from the selection below.

Type Download Modified
1_page_nontech_summary.pdf 2017-11-27 14:42 CST
2018 Dauphin Island Technical Report
Available Upon Request. Contact Mark Kulp: mkulp@uno.edu
Alabama DIPS Volunteer Manual_2018.pdf 2019-02-22 17:52 CST
Beach Profile Checklist.pdf 2019-02-08 15:21 CST
Dauphin Island_Profile-Tarball_Form.pdf 2019-02-08 15:21 CST
Electronic(Web) Flyer_Dauphin Island Shoreline Monitoring Program.pdf 2018-07-11 03:50 CDT
Florida Volunteer Manual.pdf 2019-07-30 15:43 CDT
JSA_2018 Dauphin Island Beach Monitoring form.pdf 2019-02-08 15:21 CST

Research and ideas reported within this data portal was supported by the Gulf Research Program of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine under award number 200007351. The content of this publication is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the Gulf Research Program or the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.