Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Sharing the Excitement of Ocean Exploration: A Tweet Chat

NOAA’s dedicated ship of exploration, the Okeanos Explorer, is equipped with the equipment, systems, and personnel to share the excitement of discovery and ocean science with students, teachers, scientists, and the general public on shore in real time.

The Okeanos Explorer is equipped to serve three primary missions: (1) deep water mapping (2) science class remotely operated vehicle (ROV) operations and (3) real-time broadband satellite transmission of data. A satellite system on the ship enables shore-based access to data and information in real-time, including video feeds from the ROV at depth. This novel form of ‘access’ enables unlimited participation in expeditions from shore, increasing the pace, scope, and efficiency of ocean exploration and discovery.

With the application of these cutting-edge technologies, scientists can remain on shore while exploring the uncharted depths of the ocean, and as about 95 percent of the world’s ocean remains unexplored, they have a lot of work to do! Just imagine Neil Armstrong never leaving his desk in Houston yet still exploring the moon for the first time.

Join Catalina Martinez and LTJG Brian Kennedy on May 1 for a Tweet Chat to ask your questions about this novel way of conducting ocean exploration.

How to Participate

What: Use Twitter to chat with NOAA Office of Exploration and Research members Catalina Martinez and LTJG Brian Kennedy
When: Wednesday, May 1, 2013, at 1:00 p.m. ET
How: Tweet your questions to @oceanexplorer using hashtag #OE2020

About Our Guests

LTJG Brian Kennedy

Brian is an Expedition Coordinator with NOAA’s Office of Ocean Exploration and Research. He is responsible for coordinating all aspects of cruises aboard the NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer. Brian has participated in more than 20 oceanographic research cruises in the last five years in varied roles such as deck officer, sonar technician, and ROV navigator. He has explored the waters of three continents and seven countries in his time with the Okeanos Explorer. After graduating from the College of Charleston with a degree in Marine Biology, Brian earned his commission in the NOAA Corps and has been a professional explorer for the last three years.

Catalina Martinez

Catalina joined NOAA’s Office of Ocean Exploration and Research (OER) as a Dean John A. Knauss Sea Grant Fellow in 2002 after completing graduate school at the University of Rhode Island’s (URI) Graduate School of Oceanography (GSO). After her Fellowship year, Catalina was hired by NOAA OER and spent several years in the Silver Spring office working on ship operations and logistics, as well as education and outreach initiatives associated with expeditions to explore little known and unknown ocean areas. In 2004, Catalina moved back to Rhode Island to implement a very exciting collaboration between NOAA OER, URI GSO, and the Sea Research Foundation's Institute for Exploration, and has been a Regional Manager for the program ever since. Catalina has sailed extensively on various research vessels as Expedition Coordinator for NOAA OER and currently spends most of her time managing the joint efforts associated with the collaboration at URI, and as regional liaison for the program. Catalina also works on a variety of efforts focused on increasing opportunities for underrepresented and underserved individuals in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields.

About NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer

NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer, “America’s Ship for Ocean Exploration,” is the only federally funded U.S. ship assigned to systematically explore our largely unknown ocean for the purpose of discovery and the advancement of knowledge. Telepresence, using real-time broadband satellite communications, connects the ship and its discoveries live with audiences ashore.

Since the ship was commissioned on August 13, 2008, the Okeanos Explorer has traveled the globe, exploring the Indonesian Coral Triangle Region; benthic environments in the Galápagos; the geology, marine life, and hydrothermal systems of the Mid-Cayman Rise within the Caribbean Sea; and deep-sea habitats and marine life in the northern Gulf of Mexico. Mapping activities along the West and Mid-Atlantic Coasts have furthered our knowledge of these previously unexplored areas, setting the stage for future in-depth exploration activities.

This year, the Okeanos is being equipped with a new ROV and will exploring the deepwater canyons along the U.S. mid-Atlantic coast. We'll be streaming LIVE VIDEO from the ship throughout the field season, so tune in to the Tweet Chat to learn how you can follow all of the ship's explorations.

Source: NOAA

Image courtesy of NOAA Ocean Explorer via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)