Plankton Portal is a Zooniverse citizen science project that uses the efforts of volunteers to help marine scientists process the flood of plankton imagery data that confronts them.
The first-ever National Data Science Bowl challenged participants to examine more than 100,000 underwater images. The data were available thanks to sophisticated image capture methods pioneered by Hatfield Marine Science Center and their research partners. Now they are faced with volumes of information that will take years to manually analyze—data collected over one day takes one year to manually analyze! The challenge for the data science community was developing an algorithm that would enable researchers to monitor ocean health at a speed and scale never before possible.