Individuals and organizations interested in pursuing research and monitoring studies in the sanctuary should contact the sanctuary's research coordinator, Dr. David Wiley, with information about your goals prior to launching a project. Research activities may require a permit from the sanctuary or one of our resource trustee agencies.

A fish hides in marine growth

For Researchers

Scientists interested in developing research and monitoring projects about resources within the sanctuary boundaries should be aware of NOAA regulations. Any activity that affects sanctuary resources requires a permit, and use of our vessels must be approved in advance.

a lobster hides as fish swim above


The excitement of ocean research comes to life with expeditions into the sanctuary. These programs include real-time or recorded explorations of cultural and natural resources.

a whale breaches as researchers watch from a raft

Research and Monitoring

Projects focus on research that will provide answers for better resource management and often involve multi-disciplinary teams with many partners. Research ranges from marine mammal behaviors, acoustics, sand lance and seabird distribution and abundance, oceanography, geology, biodiversity, climate change, and socio-economics.

fish swim around a reef

Library of Research Papers

Sanctuary staff have authored or co-authored numerous publications on topics related to resources in Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary. Here is a list of all their publications. Where possible, we provide links to free, publicly accessible articles.

a dolphin jumps above the surface of the water

Citizen Science

NOAA encourages public participation in science. The sanctuary's volunteer programs offer several opportunities to assist, including the Stellwagen Sanctuary Seabird Stewards (S4) and Whale Observers. Other options for citizen science include Carib Tails and iNaturalist/City Nature Challenge, a biodiversity effort.