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Environmental & GIS Services

Oil Spill Response & Crisis Management:
Real-time Oil Distribution, Quantity & Trajectory Mapping
SCAT and NRDA Field Team Support
Oil Recovery& Response Resource Allocation Support
Land-based Oil & Chemical Spill Mapping

Natural Resource Monitoring:

Kelp & Eel Grass Mapping
Intertidal & Subtidal Substrate Mapping
Sediment Fate & Transport
Wetland Mapping

SeaView: Fisheries Support Services

Environmental Analysis:
Wetland Restoration Planning & Monitoring
Water Quality & Runoff Monitoring
Change Detection
Thermal Discharge Tracking
Dredging & Disposal Monitoring
Environmental Impact Assessments

Resource Management & Litigation Support:
Environmental Damage Assessments
Expert Witness Testimony
Restoration Progress Assessments
Annual Natural Resource Surveys

Geodatabase Design & Creation
GIS System Maintenance for Emergency Response
Spatial Analysis
Spatial Visualization

Grant Funded Research & Development




Grant Funded Research & Development

Since its inception, Ocean Imaging has been very active in scientific research. Unlike many other remote sensing and GIS companies that only provide commercial data and services, we routinely receive research grants from federal, state and corporate agencies. Our sponsors have included the National Science Foundation, NASA, NOAA, the Navy, Minerals Management Service, EPA, Oregon and California Fish and Wildlife agencies, and large corporations. We also routinely collaborate on grant funded research with academic institutions. 

In many cases, the research activities target the development of new remote sensing applications or the use of novel remote sensing techniques to study particular events of interest. These studies evolve, in turn, to long-term, operational monitoring projects. We welcome collaborative research opportunities which combine our remote sensing resources and expertise with the expertise of other scientists and specialists to help advance physical, biological or ecological knowledge.


Aug 2009 - Development of an Oil Spill Thickness Mapping Sensor
Rapid determination of oil thickness patterns within a spill at sea is vital for efficient planning and management of spill response activities. Presently such determinations are made almost solely by airborne visual surveys which require specially trained observers and are prone to errors due to variations in illumination, water color, and other environmental conditions. Our goal is to eliminate the subjectivity of visual assessment techniques by developing a computerized portable imaging system that could provide detailed maps of oil-on-water thickness distributions in near-real-time.

Aug 2009 - Development of a GIS-based Oil Spill Response System
We are developing this system for the California Dept. of Fish and Game's Office of Oil Spill Prevention and Response. The goal is to allow rapid access to various types of information during an oil spill response by both office and field personnel, as well as aircraft and ships using wireless data links. Maps of the spill's extents obtained with satellite or aerial imagery (see above) can be immediately uploaded into the system and combined with other important data bases (e.g. shoreline Environmental Sensitivity Indices, locations of response equipment, etc.). The ArcIMS-based system is being tested for multi-agency use during several large-case oil spill exercises.

  Coastal Water Quality Monitoring
Ocean Imaging first researched the utility of various types of remote sensing data for coastal pollution detection with NASA funding. This work led to several demonstration projects co-funded by NASA and end-user partners such as the EPA and the Orange County Sanitation District. Since 2002, the developed methodology has been added as a regular component of a mandatory monitoring program for several discharger permits in California. We utilize satellite and visible/thermal aerial imagery to monitor effluent plumes from offshore sewage outfalls and shoreline discharges from rivers and storm drains. This information is used to separate the true effects of the various discharge sources and to assess the beach extents of possible health hazards. One of our goals is to decrease the number and size of beach closures by quickly providing information on which areas truly affected by shoreline contamination and which beaches do not need to be closed. Several on-going research project include studies of the Tijuana River discharge and development of nowcast and forecast modeling capabilities for regional health departments controlling beach closures.


Sample Past Research Activities

  Aug 2009 - Satellite-derived Multivariate Data Base for Evaluating Environmental Influence on AYK Salmon
This federally and state funded research project focused on determining if environmental change in the Bering Sea has played a role in the drastic drop of several species of salmon along the Sea's Alaska shores in the late 90s.

  Development of Rapid Biomass Assessment Technology for Alaska's Kelp Industry
This NASA-funded project aimed to develop remote-sensing based large area kelp biomass mapping capabilities. Annual assessments can then be used to establish kelp harvesting quotas for developing harvesting businesses servicing food additive and agrochemical companies.

pdf Feb 2002 - Remote Sensing of the Northeast Pacific
This project, funded by the National Science Foundation was done in cooperation with researchers from Oregon State University and U. of Maine.

pdf Dec 2001 - Utilization of SAR data for High-Frequency Coastal Zone Monitoring
This NASA-funded project ended in 2002 but the developed technologies led to operational monitoring programs funded by other federal, state and local agencies. The project targeted the development of novel applications of Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data in the coastal zone.