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Supporting Ocean Exploration and Data Collection

Courtesy of NOAA

We are proud to support the Office of Ocean Exploration and Research (OER) in its efforts to catalog and provide access to data and information from NOAA’s only vessel dedicated to ocean exploration—the Okeanos Explorer. Our combined data management efforts deliver rapid and easy data access, facilitate efficient and effective long-term data preservation, and inspire further exploration and research.

From July 7 to August 2, 2017, NCEI scientist Matt Dornback will be on board the Okeanos working in the ship’s wet lab and entering information into the Sampling Operations Database Application, which NCEI developed and deployed. Scientists are conducting an ocean exploration expedition collect critical baseline information about unknown and poorly known deepwater areas near Johnston Atoll. ROV dives are planned to survey seamounts and deep-sea coral and sponge habitats and will include high-resolution visual surveys and limited sampling. The 2017 Laulima O Ka Moana: Exploring Deep Monument Waters Around Johnston Atoll expedition is part of a three-year effort to collect deepwater baseline information to support science and management decisions in and around U.S. marine protected areas in the central and western Pacific.

The Okeanos Explorer Atlas

As the ship’s team explores the world’s ocean, we provide online access to information about its current expeditions through the Okeanos Explorer Atlas. With this Atlas, you can get a near-real-time picture of the ship’s operational activities as it progresses through each of its missions. You can also access observations, including the meteorological and oceanographic measurements the ship collects.

The OER Digital Atlas

After the ship completes each of its missions, we assist in preserving and providing long-term access to the data the team collected through the OER Digital Atlas. This Atlas contains data and information from over 260 OER missions, including the more than 65 missions the Okeanos Explorer executed over the past six years.

Through the Atlas’s interactive map, you can learn more about OER’s past expeditions and access a variety of environmental data, images, video, educational materials, reports, and scientific publications. And, you can explore the expeditions with themes or by using search tools.

The OER Video Portal

In the last six years, the Okeanos Explorer has collected almost 120 terabytes of video and video products. Viewers have been thrilled to follow along with the voyages of the Okeanos to catch glimpses of curious marine animals, historic shipwrecks, and amazing geological formations. As a result, demand for access to these video data is high. So, we created the OER Video Portal, a self-service tool for finding, previewing, and gaining access to these video data. The OER Video Portal makes searching thousands of hours of high-definition video easy.

Together, the Okeanos Explorer Atlas, the OER Digital Atlas, and the OER Video Portal allow you to explore the ocean alongside NOAA’s scientists and transform your understanding of the global ocean.

About the Okeanos Explorer

To understand, manage, and protect the ocean and its resources, NOAA supports exploration of our largely unknown ocean. As part of that undertaking, the Okeanos Explorer has traveled the globe since 2008, investigating the geology, marine life, and underwater environments in various parts of the ocean.

Unlike many other ocean expeditions NOAA supports, most of the scientists participating in Okeanos Explorer missions remain on shore. Via telepresence, scientists receive live images from the seafloor and other scientific data, allowing them to add their expertise to missions no matter where the ship is exploring. The ship’s technology also lets you take part in the excitement of ocean exploration and discoveries with live video.

August 11, 2016
Updated Date:
July 20, 2017

Updated to include information about the most recent Okeanos expedition and NCEI's scientific involvement.