Additional survey methods

Beyond standard Reef Check survey protocols, we have a number of adaptations and additions to expand the types of information collected by survey teams where useful. 

Photo Transects
A georeferenced photo transect may be used as a visual record to provide a permanent record of the coral and substrate on the site. This information was previously collected by videography and stored in our data library.

Video transects can provide opportunities for more detailed analyses of the data by other parties.

Reef habitat mapping

We've worked with the Remote Sensing Research Centre from The University of Queensland to develop an adapted approach for applying the training and skills of Reef Check citizen scientists to ground-truth spatial data for reef habitat maps.

Trained volunteers can be the eyes on the ground to help verify data from remote sensing images and also fill gaps in spatial coverage to help refine and support high-quality mapping outcomes. 


As a complementary data collection tool, we've developed a consistent approach to integrate CoralWatch surveys to document coral bleaching trend data into survey protocols.

The Coral Health Chart is based on concentration of symbiotic algae contained in the coral tissue, providing insights into coral health. 

Eye on the Reef

Some of our volunteers have been trained to use the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority's Eye on the Reef Health Impact Surveys and Rapid Survey protocols.

Information from these surveys goes directly to the Australian Government.