What is Ocean Bitemap?

Ocean Bitemap is a global effort to map predation rates and associated predator community data in nearshore marine habitats.

Who runs Ocean Bitemap?

Ocean Bitemap was designed and is managed by the Smithsonian Institution’s Marine Global Earth Observatory (MarineGEO) as part of the Tennenbaum Marine Observatories Network.

Who can participate in Ocean Bitemap?

Ocean Bitemap is open to anyone who would like to participate, including: professional researchers, students from elementary to university, and private citizens/citizen science groups. If you would like to participate, please visit our Protocols page and see if Ocean Bitemap is a good fit for you.

Where will Ocean Bitemap research take place?

All over the world! Right now our only requirements are that the experiments be done in seagrass and unvegetated marine habitats. 

What if there is no seagrass near where I am?

For the time being, we are focusing primarily on seagrass habitats paired with unvegetated habitats in marine waters. However, we hope to expand into different types of marine habitats soon, and if you are able to deploy Squidpops in your area (regardless of marine habitat type) we want to hear from you! Just go to the Data page to upload your data.

How long will Ocean Bitemap run?

Right now we are recruiting our first ‘class’ of participants to deploy their experiments over the course of Summer ’16. It is our hope that this initial effort will lead to ongoing data collection at different times of the year by many participants in many locations for years to come. 



What are protocols and where can I find them for Ocean Bitemap?

Protocols are a set of detailed instructions that tell you how to deploy, retrieve, record data, and submit data for an experiment. The protocols for Ocean Bitemap can be found on our Protocols page, both as text on the page and in downloadable PDF formats.

I want to participate but am unable to do all the protocols listed on the Ocean Bitemap Protocol page. What can I do?

We understand that it takes money and effort to accomplish this experiment and we want to make it as accessible to everyone as possible. At the very least, we are always interested in receiving new data from our most inexpensive protocol, the Squidpop assay. If you are able to deploy Squidpops in any type of marine environment, we want to hear from you. Just download the Squidpop protocol from the Protocols page, conduct your experiment, and then submit through our Data portal. Your Squidpop data will be added to our database and displayed on our Data page. 

Where can I find all the materials listed in the protocols?

Many of the materials listed in the Bitemap protocols can be found at your local hardware store or from online retailers. You can find links for some materials on our Resources page. 

What if I don’t understand some of the instructions in the protocol?

If anything is unclear in our protocols, please feel free to contact us at MarineGEO@si.edu with INQUIRY BITEMAP PROTOCOLS in the subject line. We will respond as soon as we are able. 



How to I submit data to Ocean Bitemap?

There are two ways to submit Ocean Bitemap data, depending on the type of data you are collecting.

For Squidpops, download a Squidpop Field Datasheet from our Resources page before you go out in the field, then enter your collected data in our data form on the Data page. You will need to submit a form for each of your Squidpop deployments/recoveries.

For seine , site characterization, and video data use the appropriate field data sheets to record your data in the field/lab, then transfer it to the associated data spreadsheet excel file both found on our Resources page. You can then email the excel file to: MarineGEO@si.edu with the subject line BITEMAP SEINE DATA OR BITEMAP SITE DATA OR BITEMAP VIDEO DATA depending on the type of data you are submitting. 

When will my data appear on the website?

In general, you will see your data reflected on our webpage within one business day of submission. All data collected will be put through our quality control/quality assurance process, at which point it will become visible as part of the data visualizations on our Data page. Our goal is to update this page once per business day, though if we receive multiple data files at a time it may cause the process to move a bit slower. 

How can I get a copy of all the data Ocean Bitemap has collected?

To receive a complete set of data files that contain all Ocean Bitemap data collected to date, send a request to: MarineGEO@si.edu with the subject line BITEMAP DATA REQUEST. After all sites have conducted the 2016 Bitemap experiment, probably around Sep or Oct 2016, we will provide you with spreadsheets minus personal identifiable information that you may use for analysis. More detailed data use guidelines will be included in the metadata attached to the files.. 

What credit do I get for participating in Ocean Bitemap?

In 2016, the leader of each site that submits data from a successfully completed Bitemap run, including both Squidpop data and fish seine data from a vegetated and and unvegetated site, will be eligible to be a co-author on the peer-reviewed journal article we will prepare from the data. By eligible, we mean that co-authorship will require continued engagement during the process of quality-checking, analyzing, and interpreting the data, and writing the manuscript.