Pop-up satellite tags (PSATs) are utilized to study aquatic animals by recording and transmitting time-stamped data measurements (e.g., light levels, pressure, temperature, acceleration, etc.) via the ARGOS satellite system. This technology has been used over various spatio-temporal scales in freshwater and marine habitats to answer a multitude of questions on a diverse and expanding array of species. Researchers continually adapt to resolve challenges unique to the operational constraints of a particular study. This symposium provided a platform for researchers to share PSAT experiences focusing on encountered challenges and applied solutions. Common themes included new technologies, maximizing tag retention and recovery, data interpretation, the importance of appropriate scale to support analyses, behavioral inferences, improving detection and identification of predation events, understanding migration and movement patterns, and accuracy of geolocation methods. Challenges unique to each project were also discussed, which illustrated some of the more situational issues faced when using this technology. Overall, a greater understanding of the breadth of challenges associated with PSATs was fostered through the collective experience of participating researchers and discussions with the audience. Although these studies are often species-specific, the lessons learned are applicable across taxa and will benefit future studies. Read the abstracts here.
—Mark Renkawitz and Tim Sheehan, National Marine Fisheries Service