Todd Bryan, chad burt, grace goldberg, dan yocum, 2016.

Todd Bryan, chad burt, grace goldberg, dan yocum, 2016.


Members of our lab have degrees in biology, marine science, environmental science and management, human-computer interaction, computer science and psychology. We have come to address the challenges of developing and implementing software for marine science, management and planning from different angles. 

Will McClintock established the lab in 2004 and began gathering a team of developers and GIS analysts to support marine conservation planning. Since then, the lab has developed partnerships with government agencies, NGOs and scientists all over the world, focusing on comprehensive marine spatial planning, fisheries management and enforcement. 


From 2005-2010, the McClintock lab led the development and implementation of MarineMap, an award-winning web-based application used by stakeholders to design marine protected areas in the California Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative ( This collaborative effort, funded by the Resources Legacy Fund (RLF) involved lead developers at UCSB, and subcontracted developers at Farallon Geographics, The Nature Conservancy and Ecotrust.

MarineMap was developed continuously and released 3 times during the course of the MLPA Initiative, responding to the evolving needs of stakeholders, planners and scientists. The success of MarineMap has been written about extensively but this quote articulates one of the primary reasons for our success:

From the beginning, the MarineMap technology team (which included members with software as well as marine science backgrounds) was given the freedom to build a tool suited for the MLPAI Initiative and provided with sufficient resources to meet their mandate to create a geospatial DST. During the process, the team was highly integrated (“embedded”) into the planning process. Interviewees viewed the technology professionals as approachable, neutral, and helpful. Stakeholders also commented on the team’s responsiveness; many users were not able to recall tool challenges because the challenges had been resolved as they arose. Interviewees attributed the success of the tool in great part to the personality of the development team and to their embedded position. - Amanda Cravens, Ph.D., Stanford University

The free and open-source code for MarineMap ( combined a number of technologies including PostGIS, GeoDjango, the Google Earth API, Python, and, in early interations, OpenLayers.


With a $500,000 gift from Jack Dangermond, the founder and President of Esri, and matching funds from the New Zealand Department of Conservation, the McClintock Lab launched SeaSketch ( in 2012. SeaSketch is a web-based GIS platform designed for marine spatial planners and ocean resource managers who need to engage partner agencies and stakeholders in decisions about ocean resources. In SeaSketch, planners can set up an online collaborative workspace where stakeholders in a planning process can sketch plan elements (e.g. marine protected areas, aquaculture sites, offshore energy facilities), understand the potential consequences of them, and work with other users to refine plans in a collaborative manner.

SeaSketch is also used to conduct surveys and gather geospatial information about the distribution of resources and human activities in and around the ocean. Using a simple interface, SeaSketch project administrators may configure and launch public or private online surveys, asking stakeholders to identify where they fish, take their boat, saw a whale, etc. In this way, SeaSketch may be used to quickly gather data and facilitate marine spatial planning.

Currently, SeaSketch hosts approximately 20 mature projects, 80 student projects and 200 demonstration projects ( The McClintock lab has developed customized SeaSketch projects for planning, and supported implementation in British Columbia (Marine Planning Partnership of the North Pacific Coast), New Zealand (Department of Conservation), Barbuda (Wait Institute), the United Kingdom (Joint Nature Conservation Committee), Australia (New South Wales Department of Primary Industries), Michigan (Michigan Energy Options), the Cook Islands (Cook Islands Government), several locations in the United States (NOAA, BOEM, Northeast Regional Ocean Council), the Mediterranean Sea (UNEP-MAP), the Galapagos Islands (Galapagos Marine Park Authority), and global scale projects.

SeaSketch is software as a service (SaaS) built as a single page web application for modern browsers utilizing HTML 5, Backbone.js, Node.js, MongoDB, web sockets (, the Esri Javascript API, and ArcGIS Server.


eCatch is a combination web-based and mobile application initially developed by The Nature Conservancy (TNC) that provides a simple way for fishermen to collect, map and share their fishing information. It evolved from TNCs work in Morro Bay, California. In that project developers quickly realized that one of the most difficult aspects of fisheries management is the collection of good data, particularly location data, in a manner that would allow for in-season adaptive management.

The McClintock lab redeveloped the mobile (iPhone) application on behalf of TNC in an effort to increase the usability, functionality, stability and repurposability of e-Catch for future use by TNC. Version 2.0 of eCatch was launched in April, 2015, and will soon be available for download at the Apple App Store.