The student will work in support of the Kelp Restoration project entitled ‘Where, when and how? A guide to kelp restoration in California using spatio-temporal models of kelp dynamics’ (Project Number: R/HCEOPC-18; PI Jennifer Caselle). The proposed student project consists of the expansion of the datasets currently obtained to calibrate the models of kelp density in order to run several sensitivity tests of the models to the use of spatial data at different spatial resolutions. Additionally, the student will evaluate the accuracy of the habitat (rock vs sand) interpolations into the ‘white zone’ (shallow areas), which constitute one of the most important seafloor terrain datasets that were not obtained from seafloor bathymetry. The goal of this project is to help a student of under-represented background to develop their research skills by engaging them in the data acquisition, evaluation and testing process of a desktop-based research project with the guidance of a mentor and by allowing opportunities to engage with researchers.
Specifically, the objectives of this project are: 1. To evaluate the spatial interpolations of seafloor habitat obtained during this project and previous project and that will be used in the development of kelp density models. 2. To expand the spatial resolution of the seafloor terrain variables available to build the kelp density models of California. 3. To use the seafloor terrain variable obtained at different spatial resolution and test the effect of spatial scale in the performance of kelp density models.