Students in the Fullerton Drone Lab will soon be spending time helping marine biologists and researchers study sharks along the California coast. A new collaboration between the Fullerton Drone Lab and the Shark Lab housed at California State University, Long Beach has been created to help capture and provide data by drone for use by researchers in their study of sharks.
“”The CSULB Shark Lab is eager to partner with the Fullerton Drone Program to aid us in conducting video surveys for water users and sharks along the Southern California coastline,” said Dr. Christopher Lowe, professor and director of the CSULB Shark Lab.
The goal of the Shark Lab’s current study that the Drone Lab will assist in is to quantify recreational water use along Southern California beaches, advance the knowledge of white shark-human interaction behaviors, and assess the risk associated with marine recreation.
“This will not only provide an excellent training opportunity for Fullerton College students, but they will get to contribute to our coastwide shark-human survey project,” Lowe added.
Fullerton drone students will fly missions along the coast capturing images and data, catalog them and provide them to the marine biologists and researchers from the Shark Lab.
“This is a great opportunity for the drone students to gain real-world experience while working with undergraduate and graduate students on research that is important to California,” said Jay Seidel, professor and coordinator of the Fullerton Drone Lab.
The Fullerton Drone Lab provides courses that train students on the proper use, regulations, applications and development of drone technology. The Shark Lab, established in 1966 at CSULB as part of the school’s Marine Biology program, is committed to the study of sensory biology and behavior of sharks.
The collaboration is set to begin in December.