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Media Relations

This section provides a repository of information for journalists and others who wish to quickly find high level information about the Ocean Observatories Initiative. Please contact the media office if you do not find what you need.

Media Inquiries:

Leslie Smith
OOI Science Communicator
P: 1-202-787-1613


Images, Logos, & Maps

Image Policy

The OOI is a federally (NSF) funded project, as such, all images on our website taken by individuals within the OOI program are considered to be in the public domain, i.e. free for use. The only exception to this are images on that OOI website that were provided by a specific vendor. There are very few of these images on the website and the vendor name will be included in those captions. If you are not sure, feel free to ask! Additionally, if you cannot find the photo you are looking for, please contact the media office and we will help find the image for you. If you do use an image from the OOI website, we just ask that you include either the credit associated with the image on the website or the standard credit: “Image credit: National Science Foundation’s Ocean Observatories Initiative”


The following logos are provided in various file formats for use by journalists and members of the public who wish to reproduce the Ocean Observatories Initiative logo. No special permission is required from the Ocean Observatories Initiative to reproduce these images.

OOI Station Map

Similar to other images, the map of OOI arrays is in the public domain and free for use. The map periodically updated; the most up to date version can be downloaded here (2.2 MB). We ask that when using the map, you please include the following image credit: Image Credit: OOI Cabled Array & the Center for Environmental Visualization, University of Washington


Frequently Asked Question

What is the OOI?

The National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded OOI, is a networked observatory of science-driven sensor systems that measure the physical, chemical, geological and biological variables of the ocean, seafloor, and near ocean atmosphere. The OOI consists of seven arrays located across the North and South Atlantic and Pacific, including one cabled, two coastal, and four global arrays. The OOI infrastructure is made up of 83 platforms, carrying over 830 instruments, providing over 100,000 data products. Greater knowledge of the ocean’s interrelated systems is vital for increased understanding of their effects on biodiversity, ocean and coastal ecosystems, ecosystem health and climate change. The OOI puts ocean observing data into the hands of a vast user community of oceanographers, scientists and researchers, educators and the public. 

How is the OOI Managed? 

The OOI is an NSF-funded award to the Consortium of Ocean Leadership (COL), which has overseen the construction and initial operations of the OOI through meaningful partnerships with Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Oregon State University, University of Washington, and Rutgers University. These institutions function as Implementing Organizations (IOs). The IOs, subcontractors to COL, are responsible for construction and development of the different components of the program. WHOI is responsible for the four global arrays and the Coastal Pioneer Array. OSU is responsible for the Coastal Endurance Array. UW is responsible for all cabled assets including those on the Coastal Endurance Array as well as the Cabled Array. Rutgers University is responsible for the Cyberinfrastructure component, including the education and public engagement software.  The OOI Data Management team is co-located with the Cyberinfrastructure group at Rutgers University.

How has the OOI been funded so far?

The NSF is the sole funding agency for the OOI.  The five-year construction phase began in September 2009, with nearly $106 million of first-year funds coming from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.  The total construction project budget for OOI is currently at $386.42 million.  The FY16 operations and maintenance budget is $55 million.

How will the OOI advance knowledge of the oceans?

The OOI will deliver data and data products for a 25-year-plus time period within an expandable architecture that can meet emerging technical advances in ocean science.  The OOI will address critical science-driven questions and lead to a better understanding and management of our oceans.  Leveraging of the OOI infrastructure and capabilities will strengthen science.

Who has access to OOI Data?

OOI data are made available free of charge over the internet to anyone who creates a login. This includes a vast user communities of oceanographers, scientists, educators and the public.

Current Status:

The OOI has officially completed construction and has transitioned into its operation and maintenance phase.

The OOI Program Office and IOs together worked tirelessly throughout the 7-year construction process to bring the OOI designs created by the oceanographic community into reality, and were able to deliver over 95% of all planned infrastructure.

95% of OOI Cyberinfrastructure (CI) planned baseline capability for science and research community users was delivered at the end of construction and is operational. 85% of OOI CI planned baseline capability for OOI operators, folks who monitor and control the system from shore, was also delivered at that time and is operational. Work continues to enhance the functionality of the CI as well as ease of use of the User Interface.
Data from deployed OOI assets are accessible online through the OOI Data Portal. Some of the data are streamed back to shore via fiber-optic cables or satellites, while the remaining data becomes accessible upon instrument retrieval during maintenance cruises. Every 6-months (Coastal Arrays) or 12-months (Global and Cabled Arrays), OOI infrastructure are “turned.” Turning involves retrieving the deployed infrastructure and replacing it with freshly cleaned and calibrated infrastructure. The retrieved infrastructure is then taken back to the lab where data are downloaded, instruments are re-calibrated, and the equipment is cleaned.

To date (June 2016), the OOI community is composed of close to 500 people registered to the OOI Data Portal from 180 different organizations around the world. In May 2016 alone, 900 GB of OOI data were downloaded with an average of 25 downloads per day.

To create a login for the OOI Data Portal, go to
To sign up for the OOI Newsletter, go to
To submit a question, go to