Saint Francis University has recently employed the use of submersible video cameras in its aquariums because of the many educational benefits video could provide for the university and its visitors. The first of these benefits is an underwater view of the1500 gallon salt water aquarium containing several marine vertebrates. We chose to use security cameras that are specialized for underwater use and provide the opportunity to monitor fish behavior, feeding habits, and health. We can check on animal behavior at any point in the day or night, aiding in training of Marine Biology and Aquarium and Zoo Science students. The ability to take note of slight behavioral changes is very important to marine biologists and aquarists, as they indicate changes in health.
SCUBA certified students go inside of our tank to clean it and to give presentations using a full-face mask equipped with a microphone routed outside the tank. Using cameras to allow students to get a closer look at the fish is a great way to teach younger students visiting Saint Francis. Another use for underwater security cameras is to put a live feed on a screen displaying information about the different tank fish and the world’s oceans. This is a way for Saint Francis students and faculty to show short videos of each fish swimming or eating on the screen when that fish’s information is displayed.
Yet another use for underwater, submersible cameras is to use them in conjunction with our SCUBA gear. Our cameras can be used at up to 100 feet of depth which allow us to monitor some shallow dives. More specifically, some shallow water research has been done on blue gill behavior at Saint Francis University. This is aided tremendously through the use of an underwater camera, which provides longer videos rather than just photos. To learn more about underwater photography, give Underwater Photography - a resource guide a read.
Overall, the video cameras are a great addition to our program equipment and enrich the learning of our Marine and Aquarium students here at Saint Francis University.