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NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer: Telepresence in the Service of Science, Education and Outreach

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2 Author(s)
Martinez, C. ; NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration, Narragansett, RI ; Keener-Chavis, P.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA's) Ocean Exploration (OE) Program dedicates 10% of its annual budget to education and public outreach. As exciting expeditions are the core of the OE program, education and outreach efforts are typically focused around these missions. Since the program's inception five years ago, education and outreach activities have been implemented mainly through NOAA's award-winning Web site (oceanexplorer.noaa.gov) and through a variety of direct and indirect efforts. Through these various initiatives, as well as others more specifically tailored to individual needs, OE works with traditional and non-traditional educational institutions to provide exciting programs and products to enhance ocean literacy across the U.S. The OE program is now poised to initiate a major ongoing satellite-based education and public outreach program from its new dedicated research vessel, the Okeanos Explorer that will become operational in 2008. Through telepresence technology designed by the Institute for Exploration (IFE) in Mystic, CT, expeditions can be managed 'virtually' by scientists working from Science Command Centers on land, and live education broadcasts can be produced in real-time through collaborations with groups such as IFE, the JASON Foundation for Education, and Immersion Presents. Three pilot programs were successfully completed in the past three years demonstrating the potential for this new technology to allow for unlimited access to data, including video, from expeditions in real-time, sharing the excitement of discovery through multiple virtual pathways at once

Published in:

OCEANS 2006

Date of Conference:

18-21 Sept. 2006