Science of Collaboratories logo - link
An alliance to advance the understanding of collaboratories
Science of Collaboratories

Return to the list of Collaboratory Projects


Name of Collaboratory :


Census of Marine Life on Seamounts (CenSeam)


URL :  

Collaboratory Status :

Completed   Start Date : 2005 End Date : 2010 Info Last Updated : Fri, Dec 2 2011 6:00am PST

Primary Collaboratory Function :

  Community Data Systems  

Secondary Collaboratory Functions :

  Distributed Research Center  

Domain(s) :

  EARTH, ATMOSPHERIC, AND OCEAN SCIENCES >Oceanography >Oceanography, EARTH, ATMOSPHERIC, AND OCEAN SCIENCES >Oceanography >Marine Sciences  

Brief Description of the Collaboratory :


The Census of Marine Life field programme on seamounts (CenSeam) commenced in 2005 and ran to 2010; ending with the close of the first Census of Marine Life.

The mission of CenSeam was to determine the role of seamounts in the biogeography, biodiversity, productivity, and evolution of marine organisms, and to evaluate the effects of human exploitation on seamounts.

Through bringing together the global seamount community we aimed to synthesize and analyze existing data to help identify priority research themes, co-ordinate and expand existing and planned research and help foster scientific expeditions to under-studied regions.

The CenSeam central office has served as a point of contact for seamount researchers, educators and stakeholders. CenSeam has worked with (and provided data and advice to) international environmental, fisheries, and seabed resource agencies on a range of seamount issues. We have also disseminated images and video to a range of education and media outlets.

Part of the Census of Marine Life collaboratory and the MarBOL collaboratory.


Access to Instruments :


Access to Information Resources :

  They have an archive of high-resolution images and video files which are available for educators and the media by request.  

Access to People as Resources :

  They had several workshops for the working groups throughout the life of the project.  

Funding Agency or Sponsor :

Alfred P. Sloan Foundation

Notes on Funding Agencies/Sponsors:


Notes on Participants/Organizations:
New Zealand’s National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) hosted the CenSeam Secretariat, responsible for overseeing the project. Malcolm Clark (Principal Investigator; NIWA) led the secretariat, which also included Ashley Rowden (Principal Investigator; NIWA), Karen Stocks (Principal Investigator; University of California: San Diego) and Mireille Consalvey (Project Coordinator; NIWA). CenSeam was guided by a Steering Committee of 13 members from 11 countries bringing together expertise on seamount ecology, taxonomy, genetics, geology, and oceanography.

Under the banner of CenSeam two smaller working groups were also established to help drive the CenSeam research effort. A Standardization Working Group (SWG, co-facilitated by Malcolm Clark and Mireille Consalvey) and Data Analysis Working Group (DAWG, facilitated by Ashley Rowden) have convened a number of workshops to tackle specific research questions and challenges e.g. standardizing survey design, sampling and analysis techniques. Each group had a core membership of drivers, and to use a vehicular analogy colleagues were invited to jump on and off depending on the research activity and their area of interest.

Mini-grants were also available throughout the life of the programme to fund activities that furthered any of CenSeam’s key programmatic goals.

The wider CenSeam community encompassed several hundred researchers, students, stakeholders and conservationists.


Communications Technology Used :


Technical Capabilities :

  Key Articles :    

Project-reported performance data :

  CenSeam helped connect, focus, and collate the efforts of many international researchers and facilitated a variety of seamount research initiatives, encompassing direct sampling, data mining and subsequent data analysis.  
  Home | About SOC | Workshops | Resources | News & Events  

University of California, Irvine Logo

University of California, Irvine

School of Information Logo

School of Information University of Michigan