Hello, my name is Garrett and I was the photogrammetry lead on the March Keys trip with Mote Marine Lab.

SCUBAnauts International’s boat docked at Mote Marine Lab early in the morning.

I am from the Crystal River Chapter and am still a Naut-in-training. I have been in SCUBAnauts for a little over a year now. The March Keys trip offered a fantastic experience for me as I am hoping to go into the field of Marine Science so it gave me a great hands on experience into some of the career paths that I could go into, such as coral restoration or plotting of land.

While on this trip, I also got to learn how to do photogrammetry work, which is taking a series of photos to string together a high definition, 3D map of a given area or a certain landmark such as a coral head. But before we could do the photogrammetry work to map out a given area, we first had to set it up. We essentially used tape measures to map out the area so we knew where to photograph, and then we set up some pipes with tape on them so that the camera can pick up the exact scale so that distances can be mapped correctly when creating the high definition image.

Nauts prepare for a photogrammetry and fish survey dive during the March 2023 Keys Trip.

After that was done, I was placed in a small buddy team where I was given a camera and had to go back and forth over the given area in order to get as many photos as possible so that the overall map comes out as clear as possible with no holes. While I was doing this, my buddy was guiding me, ensuring that I stayed at a consistent height from the reef, rising if the reef rises, and dropping back down. My buddy also ensured that I didn’t stray too far from the given path as I was focused on the camera trying to get as clear and consistent of a photo as possible, doing my best to take one every second.

Overall, the trip gave me a great hands-on learning experience that will certainly aid me in my career path in the future, it also gave me the chance to meet new people and make new friends.


— Garrett H., Naut-in-Training, Crystal River Chapter