Program Update – September 2013

Members of the Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI) team participated in some key outreach events in September, sharing updates about the program recent deployments and test activities as well as plans for future work with the scientific community, educators and the general public.

The OOI participated as part of a larger Consortium for Ocean Leadership presence at the OCEANS 2013 MTS/IEEE conference in San Diego, CA on Sept. 23-26. With its theme, “An Ocean in Common,” the meeting focused on the traditional core topics such as ocean observing, remote sensing, and offshore technology, as well as more unique topics of Government/Industry/Academia Synergy, Marine Security and Defense, and San Diego Maritime History. OOI scientists gave talks at the conference highlighting emerging technologies developed as part of the OOI program.  From cabled seafloor arrays and deep profiler moorings to XBOX games and educational software, the OOI team shared the latest news on new innovations.

Later in the month, members of the OOI team had the opportunity to talk about the program and show off examples of equipment including an undersea glider to hundreds of school children and their families last month during a Science & Engineering Career Fair in Northern Virginia.

Over two days hundreds of visitors stopped by the OOI exhibit booth at a special career event sponsored by Rep. Frank Wolf (VA) and the National Science Foundation held at the Dulles Town Center in Virginia on Sept. 27-28. During the event, more than 100 scientists and engineers doing work across a spectrum of NSF programs conducted interactive demonstrations of the work they do with middle and high school students, their families and teachers.

The OOI’s “Connecting You to the Ocean” exhibit gave students the opportunity to learn how to collect data in real time from some of the oceans most unexplored and challenging depths. Visitors to the exhibit got to see one of the Rutgers undersea gliders up close. Not only where they able to touch the glider, but they also were able to view live data from gliders currently in the ocean. The team set up a special experiment so the students could get their hands wet and learn about buoyancy and how the glider actually submerges and returns to the surface when on a mission.   

The OOI EPE team, led by Rutgers, is building a suite of software interfaces and web-based tools that will allow educators to bring the ocean into learning environments. Collectively, these tools will provide easy access for the development and use of educationally appropriate scientific data visualizations.  These tools will facilitate broader access to OOI data for undergraduate educators and free choice learners by translating OOI science themes into educational materials. 

The OOI Team participates in a number of public science & education events each year. Please visit the Events Section of the OOI Website to see past events and continue to visit our OOI Website for information on upcoming happenings. Click here for more information on the OOI Education and Public Engagement.  Please continue to visit the OOI Website for updates and other program news and events.