Coastal and Offshore Oregon Marine Mammal Ecological Study

Big Questions Require Big Data

The National Science Foundation-funded Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI) maintains a series of coastal and oceanic monitoring sites that consists of a multitude of physical and biological sensors. As part of this program, OOI collects continuous data from a cabled array along the continental shelf and slope off Newport, Oregon. Ocean Science Analytics is currently exploring the occurrence of vocally active marine mammal species in relation to coastal and offshore oceanographic variables following recent persistent changes (i.e. warm water “blob” anomaly) to this dynamic part of the California Current Ecosystem. We are using the open-access bioacoustic analytical software PAMGuard, R and Python methods to explore this big ocean dataset. Goals of the study are to determine variables that are useful for assessing the ecosystem health for this region, developing analytical products based on processed data, and obtaining baseline information on marine mammal acoustic presence for use in future monitoring years.  

Learn More About OOI Data

Ecosystem-based Studies of Marine Mammals

Interdisciplinary approaches to understanding the ecological role of marine mammals in marine ecosystems is necessary for monitoring the health of an environment. Take a look at our recent findings that characterize the marine mammal habitat in the OOI study area.

Project Related Resources



OSA presented results of a preliminary assessment of available passive acoustic data collected on the Coastal Endurance and Cabled arrays off Oregon.  


Details of an initial review of several periods of the passive acoustic data from the Coastal Endurance array include evaluating environmental variables for likely presence of killer whale and sperm whale prey.

This open-source software program is an industry-leader in the passive acoustic monitoring (PAM) of marine mammals.  In addition to real-time monitoring, PAMGuard provides a suite of powerful post-processing tools.  We use custom made detector configuration files and ViewerMode functionality to assess the presence of vocally active marine mammals. 

In addition to being a powerful statistical programming language, the R community has developed several useful packages for use with passive acoustic data.  We utilize R to further explore passive acoustic data through call measurement and use of soundscape analysis methods. 

Python is a versatile and powerful programming language that enables efficient analysis of computationally intensive oceanographic datasets. The OOI community provides a set of useful python-based tools and datasets to help get you started with exploration of cabled array, moorings, glider, cruise and other data. 

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