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A Dynamic Observatory of Biodiversity for the California Coast


The Dynamic Observatory of Biodiversity (DOB) for the California coast integrates and models information from crowd-sourced citizen science data together with long-term monitoring surveys and oceanographic model outputs to produce synthetic indicators of biodiversity and biodiversity change on the California coast. At its core, the DOB takes advantage of the vast amounts of information on the occurrence of many organisms across the whole coast and throughout the year that can be extracted from crowd-sourced observations gathered through the large-scale citizen science initiatives Snapshot Cal Coast and iNaturalist.org. Observation biases in crowd-sourced citizen science data are addressed using a series of steps including data filtering, joint statistical inference across space, time, and taxa, and integration with more systematic yet scarcer long-term monitoring data. Regularly updated as new information becomes available, the DOB provides insights into the pulse of biodiversity on the California coast.