Using sound and laser technology, researchers have begun to reveal the secrets of the ocean floor from the Sonoma Coast to Monterey Bay. By creating complex 3-D maps, they’re hoping to learn more about waves and achieve ambitious conservation goals.

Producer’s Notes — Sea 3-D: Charting the Ocean Floor 14 March,2016Joan Johnson

  • Brian

    As an underwater archaeologist, I was fascinated by this segment and the potential applicability of the high-resolution imagery created by this technique to the location of shipwrecks and other submerged cultural resources. I was wondering if you could provide contact information for the Principal Investigators conducting this research.


  • Shannon Breland

    Great overview of multibeam sonar! Thanks for sharing such a great story about the environmental benefits of oceanographic work.

  • Joan Johnson

    Hello Brian,

    Funny you should mention shipwrecks. Just days before I went out to film this story, Rikk received a phone call from a fisherman who believes he’s found a very old shipwreck near where we were filming in Half Moon Bay. We were going to go out to the site and use the sonar head to confirm the wreck, but the weather didn’t hold up. So yes, this technology can be applied to underwater archaeology – which I find fascinating, by the way.

    To learn more about it, I’d suggest you visit the CSUMB Seafloor Mapping Lab website at

    Thanks for your comment!

  • greg

    very awesome story. i too have been fascinated by shipwrecks in the area, but of radiological proportions; see:

    these stories need to intertwine in a future piece.


Joan Johnson

Joan Johnson is an TV Associate Producer for QUEST. Joan got her start making science television back in 1998 when she joined the team at Sea Studios in Monterey, working as a researcher and production coordinator on National Geographic Television projects for 4 years. Following that she pursued a career in features and network television down in Los Angeles, working on seven full length feature films, three television shows and several pilots. Joan graduated in 1993 from U.C. Santa Cruz with honors in Biology, and spent several years working as a marine biologist, naturalist and SCUBA guide. Originally from San Francisco, Joan is thrilled to be home and working on QUEST, fulfilling a long-term goal of combining her interests in science and entertainment.

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