Data Challenge

Every year SECOORA hosts a Data Challenge to turn different coastal and ocean datasets from secoora.org into tools or products that tackles real-world questions and curiosities.

SECOORA hosts these Data Challenges yearly to:

  • Inspire a broad audience to engage with SECOORA
  • Use technologies, tools, videos and creativity to visualize, analyze and use Southeast coastal and ocean data
  • Encourage the use of data resources available from SECOORA
  • Encourage students and young professionals to develop competitive proposals

2020 Data Challenge

SECOORA is asking students and early career professionals to explain the importance of high frequency radar (HFR) and create tools that use archived SECOORA HFR data. There are two $3500 prizes.  Proposals are due May 15, 2020 (extended).

Click here to read more.


2019 Data Challenge Winners

The 2019 Data Challenge focused on using data from the Web Camera Applications Testbed (WebCAT). The one year project deployed seven coastal cameras in the southeastern U.S. Contestants use the one year if archived video data to create a data visualization, mobile application, product, tool or some other creative submission that answers a real-world question or solves a problem.  The two projects chosen clearly communicated benefits to specific user groups, expanding prospective use of web camera data for environmental monitoring.


Category 1 – Undergraduate

Using Webcams to Capture Timing and Duration of Dune Erosion Events

Deanna Edwing and Kelsea Edwing,
University of North Carolina Wilmington

“Our team is very honored to have been selected to receive the 2019 data challenge award. Working with SECOORA and their WebCAT cameras will provide us with the resources, support, and opportunity to create and share our dune erosion algorithm with potential end-users. This algorithm will provide a valuable method for quickly detecting the timing and duration of dune erosion events and providing additional validation data for coastal erosion models developed by the USGS, NOAA, and others. We are extremely grateful for this opportunity and are excited to work with SECOORA on this project.”

Category 2 – Other

A Tool to Remotely Calibrate Coastal Web Cameras

Matthew Conlin,
University of Florida

“I am ecstatic that my project has been chosen as a winner of the SECOORA Data Challenge, and I look forward to creating a tool which will be useful for local and federal stakeholders as well as academic coastal researchers.”


2017 Data Challenge Winners

The 2017 Data Challenge focused on using any dataset from SECOORA’s Data Portal. There were many innovative submissions, making it a tough competition. The projects chosen integrate social science data with physical data, increase use of pH data on the SECORA portal and develops an exciting new way to utilize satellite oceanographic data. Click here to read more about their projects.

Undergraduate Category

SPLASSH into OA (Ocean Acidification) with SECOORA’s pH Data

John Mwaniki, Kennesaw State University

“I am humbled and honored to have been selected as the recipient of the data challenge award. Winning the data challenge provides me an opportunity to apply skills gained in my courses to create a web application that provides users the ability to visualize and analyze pH data. The tool built upon the SPLASSH(Student Programs Like Aquatic Science Sampling Headquarters) platform will engage users by offering a simple way to search, store, and analyze data available from SECOORA. I am grateful for  this opportunity and I look forward to implementing the project.”

Graduate Category

The Economics and Spatial Flexibility of Fisheries and Recreational Water Operations in Biscayne Bay, Florida

Samantha Dowdell, University of Miami

“Winning the 2017 SECOORA Graduate Data Challenge is an incredible honor, as well as an immense opportunity. The resources and support SECOORA provides will enable me to share my research on the economics and spatial flexibility of Biscayne Bay fisheries and recreational operations via a publicly accessible online data portal. This tool will hopefully prove valuable to regional stakeholders and policymakers alike. I am thrilled to begin working on this collaborative project. Thank you, SECOORA!”

Other Category

Development of a 5-Year Daily, Cloud-Free Sea Surface Temperature (SST) and Chlorophyll-a Reconstruction Dataset Using the Data Interpolating Empirical Orthogonal Functions (DINEOF) Method 

Joseph B. Zambon, Ph.D.

“I’m thrilled having won the challenge and look forward to working with SECOORA to deliver an exciting new way to utilize satellite oceanographic data!”