Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Skarke, Adam

Committee Member

Meng, Quingmin

Committee Member

Cooke, William H.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access


Geospatial Science

Degree Name

Master of Science

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D)


College of Arts and Sciences


Department of Geosciences


The Coastal and Marine Ecological Classification Standard (CMECS) provides a comprehensive framework of common terminology for organizing physical, chemical, biological, and geological information about marine ecosystems. Federally endorsed as a dynamic content standard, all federally funded data must be compliant by 2018; however, applying CMECS to deep sea datasets and underwater video have not been extensively examined. The presented research demonstrates the extent to which CMECS can be applied to deep sea benthic habitats, assesses the feasibility of applying CMECS to remotely operated vehicle (ROV) video data in near-real-time, and establishes best practices for mapping environmental aspects and observed deep sea habitats as viewed by the ROV’s forwardacing camera. All data were collected during 2014 in the Northern Gulf of Mexico by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) ROV Deep Discoverer and ship Okeanos Explorer.