OERCA Field Research
OERCA was developed as a mobile technology platform to allow users the ability to record real time data regardless of the location or environmental conditions. This system is particularly useful for field applications where professionals are conducting research in remote areas. The OERCA mobile platform streamlines and integrates the data collection process and allows for immediate analysis and synthesis of data.
OERCA software was recently field tested during the 2012 Health and Environmental Risk Assessment (HERA) of bottlenose dolphins in the Indian River Lagoon on the East coast of Florida. The system performed flawlessly, was user friendly and exceeded all expectations. The OERCA system was administered via iPads enclosed in waterproof cases; and was subjected to harsh saltwater and environmental conditions. Data was immediately uploaded to a secure server via a 4G LTE mobile hotspot unit.
The OERCA field research module was tailored specifically for the HERA research project, and was used to collect numerous data points including GPS location, respirations, heart rate, procedure times, morphometrics and data collected during clinical examinations of each dolphin. All of this information was easily collected by a single individual, and provided end users with immediate and essential feedback supporting the team of animal care specialists, researchers and veterinarians.
Development plans for the OERCA system already include similar field research applications such as photo identification, video documentation, sea turtle research and stranding/intervention operations involving the rescue, evaluation and treatment of sick and injured marine mammals.
Attached images provided courtesy of Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute/Florida Atlantic University and the Georgia Aquarium under NOAA/NMFS Permit #14352 issued to Gregory D. Bossart, VMD, PhD.