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Research and Discoveries: The Revolution of Science through Scuba
Michael A. Lang, Roberta L. Marinelli, Susan J. Roberts, and Phillip R. Taylor, editors
vi + 258 pages, 111 figures
2013 (Date of Issue: 21 October 2013)
Number 39, Smithsonian Contributions to the Marine Sciences
DOI: 10.5479/si.1943667X.39
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Abstract
The Smithsonian Institution, the National Science Foundation, and the Ocean Studies Board of the National Research Council convened the “Research and Discoveries: The Revolution of Science through Scuba” symposium on 24–25 May 2010 in Washington, D.C., to celebrate the advances and scientific contributions of research using self-contained underwater breathing apparatus (scuba). This volume presents 19 papers by 60 scholars of research findings, with particular focus on the scientific contributions accomplished using scuba. It is the first major effort to highlight and validate the use of scuba in science by evaluating the output of scientific research in high-impact journal publications. Thirteen papers report research findings and discoveries from around the world in environments such as coral reefs, oceanic blue water, under-ice polar habitats, and temperate kelp forests, providing perspectives on ecological scales and function, physiology, symbiosis and chemistry, biodiversity and behavior, and structured populations. The final six papers are illustrative of underwater research that was not only greatly facilitated by scuba, but could perhaps not have been accomplished without it. Topics range from biological studies on the coral holobiont to ecological roles of major algal groups on reefs and the functional role of small and cryptic metazoans. The research facilitated by scuba and reported in these papers focuses on the scientific results, not necessarily on the research methodologies using scuba to obtain those data and observations, and includes several case studies. Where appropriate, laboratory studies complementary to underwater field observations are referenced. The symposium showed the strong integration and validation of scientific diving within the overall science domain since the introduction of scuba to the science community in 1951. Overarching symposium themes celebrated past, present, and future scientific diving contributions, and evaluated the accomplishments and impact of underwater research on the overall understanding of nature and its processes. Enduring materials from the symposium, including abstracts, speaker biographies, and webcast videos of presentations, have been posted at www.si.edu/sds.

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