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The Creation of 'SharkBight.com' an Education and Outreach Website to Support a Newly Formed Research Consortium Regarding Elasmobranchs in the Southern California Bight

Abstract

The Southern California Bight Elasmobranch Consortium (SCBEC) is a newly formed organization that will share research and create education and outreach events regarding elasmobranchs (sharks and rays) and their conservation in the Southern California Bight. A website has been designed to assist the consortium in its main education and outreach goals. To design an environmental web site that is successful, several aspects must be taken into account: search engine rating, ways to attract users and ways to keep users to expose them pertinent conservation information. The website, SharkBight.com, utilizes a combination of interactive educational tools such as the first online taxonomic species database for elasmobranchs in the southern California area to draw in the layperson. It is also linked to current educational programs run by the SCBEC and the Birch Aquarium at Scripps, hosting relevant information and creating a reliable user base of people that have to visit the website.

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