Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute
7700 Sandholdt Road
Moss Landing, CA 95039
Phone: (831) 775-2006
Fax: (831) 775-1620
My Role at MBARI
As a Research Technician in the Video Lab at MBARI, my primary responsibility is to watch the video from MBARI's Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs) and make observations about the organisms, behaviors, equipment, and geological feature that I see. While annotating video here at MBARI, I've learn how to identify numerous deep-sea organisms, specializing in midwater organisms. I work closely with the Midwater ecology group and the Bioluminescence Lab to expand my knowledge of the fish, jellies, cephalopods, and other groups in the midwater.
To annotate the video, video lab staff use software developed by MBARI engineers called Video Annotation and Reference System (VARS). VARS is an interface and database system that provides tools for describing, cataloging, retrieving, and viewing the visual, descriptive, and quantitative data associated with MBARI's deep-sea video archives. We have currently annotated over 15,000 hours of video and have populated the database with over 2.5 million observations! The public can search VARS data by using the Public Query.
Some other tasks that I perform in the Video Lab are video editing using Final Cut Pro, data quality control, participation in research cruises, and public outreach and education by talking to visitors to MBARI and to the public at the Monterey Bay Aquarium's Mysteries of the Deep program.
- B.S., Environmental Science, University of Delaware, 1997
- M.S., Marine Science, Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, 2001
Publications and Presentations
von Thun, S., 2001, Oceanographic influences on larval recruitment of benthic invertebrates in Monterey Bay, Moss Landing Marine Laboratories Master's Thesis.
Kogan, I., C.K. Paull, L.A. Kuhnz, E.J. Burton, S. Von Thun, H.G. Greene, J.P. Barry. 2006. ATOC/Pioneer Seamount cable after 8 years on the seafloor: Observations, environmental impact. Continental Shelf Research, 26(6): 771-787. PDF
von Thun, S., L.J. Lundsten, N.J. Stout, B. Schlining, J.L. Connor. A unique system for analyzing and describing seamount communities. Presentation at the European Marine Biology Symposium, Vienna, Austria, 2005.
Von Thun, S., J. L. Connor, J. Graybeal, N. J. Stout & L. J. Lundsten. Access to MBARI'S deep-sea video annotation
data: 14 years of observation. Poster presentation at the 10th Deep-Sea Biology Symposium,
Coos Bay, Oregon, 2003.
Education and Outreach
Mysteries of the Deep at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, 2006 to the present.
Expand Your Horizons, Encouraging young women to study math and science. Workshop presenter, Mysteries of the deep/ Build your own ROV. 2007 and 2008
Young Women in the Science Camp, Monterey Bay Aquarium. Mentor on field trips, 2008.
Watsonville Area Teens Conserving Habitats (WATCH), Monterey Bay Aquarium. Mentor, 2008.
I have been lucky enough to participate in many resaerch cruises with MBARI Scientists on both the R/V Pt. Lobos and the R/V Western Flyer. Most frequently, I venture out into the midwaters of Monterey Bay with the Robison lab and Haddock lab. I have also participated in cruises with the Paull and Vrijenhoek labs. I've had the opportunity to participate in research cruises outside the Monterey Bay area such as the Gulf of California Expedition in 2003, and an expedition to Astoria Canyon off the coast of Oregon in 2006.
Here are some pictures taken at sea on the Western Flyer:
The control room on the Western Flyer.
Recovering a trawl.
What did we get?!
Look at an organism under the dissecting scope.
Photos by Todd Walsh