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Citizen Science Kits

Our first initiative - the pilot program. With the support of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, we sent out OpenROV 2.7 kits to over 60 groups who were working on the front lines of environmental education, exploration, and citizen science.

Using a combination of new, low-cost scientific equipment, sensors, as well as an online platform for collaboration, our goal was to enable and elevate an emerging class of amateur explorers. We had some success, and also learned quite a few lessons. One of the most exciting aspects of the pilot program has been finding some extraordinary local champions — citizen scientists whose work is wholly worth supporting. Take Laura James for example. After receiving an OpenROV for her work on Sea Star Wasting Syndrome, she has since started a half dozen more expeditions, including two more conservation projects and one involving the help of a local high school. That’s exactly the type of “accidental ecologist” that we are aiming to empower.

We also learned about the power of engagement. It’s the best way to bridge the gap between scientists and the public. By engaging citizens in the process of conservation and discovery, they trust the results. It also gives power to disenfranchised groups and communities. Check out the Fishing Aggregation Sites in Mexico expedition for a good example here.

You can see all the expeditions below.

Initiative Sponsors

Open Explorer Initiatives are made possible by a variety of partners, both foundations and companies. If your organization would like to get involved, please email us at openexplorer@natgeo.com

The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, established in 2000, seeks to advance environmental conservation, scientific research, and improve the quality of life in the San Francisco Bay Area. For more information, please visit http://www.moore.org/ or follow @MooreScientific

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The R2H2O Expeditions will include visits to numerous natural springs and underground cavern systems within the Floridan Aquifer geographical area and the Flint River Basin located in Southwest Georgia. The Floridan Aquifer is the largest, deepest, and oldest aquifer in the southeastern United States, and is one of the world's most productive aquifers. The Flint River Basin is located in the state of Georgia and encompasses the area from the Piedmont region of North Georgia to the Chattahoochee River in Southwest Georgia, and is one of only 42 rivers in the contiguous U.S. that flows unimpeded for over 200 miles.The mission of the Expeditions is to use underwater cinematography and photography to document the Expeditions sites, collect water samples for the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) Volunteer Water Monitoring Program for Region 4, engage the public through educational outreach, and promote environmental stewardship and conservation. The R2H2O Team will visit the following major sites within the Floridan Aquifer System and Flint River Basin: Flint River Basin Sites: Lake Blackshear Blue Spring Radium Springs Spring Creek Wilson Blue Spring Floridan Aquifer System Sites: Florida Caverns Jackson Blue Springs Vortex Springs Wakulla Spring Suwanee Springs Ichetucknee Springs Ginnie Springs Manatee Springs

Many believe that all of America has been explored, but nothing could be further from the truth. There are still many hidden landscape waiting to yield up their secrets and locations lost to history ready to be rediscovers. Over the past 30 years Fellow explorers and I have been able to dig up many historical and natural treasures buried in our forests in the northeast. In the past year we uncovered a long lost counterfeiters den and revealed a cave never seen by man before. We spend many hours reviewing maps, journals and historical literature to continue to add to our growing list of places to bring out of hiding. Currently we publish some of our findings in journals and even fewer on blogs. Beginning this year we'd like to make more of our work public. We hope to educate and entertain the curious adventurers and armchair explorers, Most of all we want to excite and inspire peoples inner explorers and show them the value of protecting our historical and natural resources. neexplorers.org

Diving to the beds of two of the world's highest lakes, we'll uncover their secrets and raise awareness about their importance for wetlands and wildlife.

The Oakridge Robotics Class has been building autonomous and remote controlled vehicles that are build from scratch with 3D printers (they have made from a gofundme.com donations from around the country) and recycled materials from our school district. Along the way students have learned so many valuable skills, not only about electronics and building, but how to problem solve. OpenROV has graciously offered to help Oakridge Robotics secure a grant to get an OpenROV kit for the students to build. With the hundreds of lakes around our community still left to be explored I can only dream of the things they could possibly find with this underwater ROV, but even more importantly, the experience and journey they will take to make this a reality!

Up and down the Pacific Coast, starfish are dying by the tens of thousands and no one knows why. Special correspondent Katie Campbell reports from Seattle on how researchers and citizen scientists are investigating the spread of the mysterious and distressing syndrome. http://bit.ly/1oIKZ1G Citizen Scientists in Seattle are exploring the benefits of doing video transect surveys with the help of OpenROV. By doing this, we believe that citizen scientists can be even more useful in helping the scientists studying the syndrome. Currently the data reported is either via scuba divers or beach walkers. We envision an army of ROV's in the hands of curious citizen scientists no longer limited by the barriers of entry to scuba diving, no longer limited by the dividing line between land and sea. Now the citizen scientist can follow their interest beyond the intertidal range and collect relevant data beneath the surface.

Lake Merritt is not actually a lake. It is a tidal channel, where bay and east bay creeks mix, a brackish body of water. It was made a lake in 1869 when the mayor created a dam -- and over the years westerners move in and developed around it, the channel hemmed in by streets and buildings, paving over mud flats, and removing the willows and oaks that once surrounded it. In 2013, 140 years after the original dam was built, the lake has been reborn, with the channel reopened to the tides and plans to open it even further removing obstacles further down the channel. Those obstacles don't stop the tide and water though, and the bay slipped back into the water bringing more fish, and bat rays, and sea hares. Some months of the year you might see a flotilla of cormorants out hunting with brown pelican air support. An otter even swam about the lake one day (apparently only to move further upstream). There are a few places you can see what is going on under the water -- cormorants, grebes, scaups, and other ducks diving, bat rays, striped bass, bait fish. Gulls commonly bring up mussels to eat, grebes can be seen snacking on pipe fish. I would like to see what else might be going on there, or getting a different look at what can be seen from the surface. This might also turn up another ugly side of a lake surrounded and downstream from a city -- all the trash that we unleash, but hopefully that too can inform how we carry forward with the lake.

seeboden, 3 Apr 2016 5:36

What and who is Project Manaia I am Manuel - a Marine Biologist, Diving Instructor, skipper, Photographer and Environmentalist. I've spent the last couple of years sailing around the world for an environmental organisation witnessing destruction, pollution, overfishing and other disasters at high seas. I do believe that actions speak louder than words, but I also believe that facts are harder to argue with. Therefore I founded a non profit called "Project Manaia" to give researchers a platform to conduct their projects with guidance on a shoestring budget. The big difference to huge research vessels is not only that we can offer our service on a much smaller budget but also that we remain flexible and can react on new topics on short notice! What We Need & What You Get What we need to get started is the funding to buy and redesign a boat, big enough to accommodate a crew of 8 (The minimum size for small documentary teams) and seaworthy enough to operate around the world The boat will be entirely self sustained, with electric propulsion, solar panels, inverters and all the gear needed to do research as well as offshore passages We will try to get as much of the gear second hand and upgrade as we go, of course always with the safety aspect in mind! But the main thought is to keep the footprint of the boat and of the people on it as small as possible. We want to give independent researchers and college graduates eager to work on environmental issues the perfect platform to do their work People who help us with the funding will be the first ones to join us on our voyages! Depending on your perk you can join us for a week or a day. Every little donation will get our honest gratitude, others can get Manaia gimmicks, as shirts, hats, buttons and so on If we can't reach the full goal we will have to step back a bit and start smaller. The boat will go ahead, but won't be outfitted to the perfect standard right away which will for the time being limit operation to coastal waters with improvements for the future in mind! The Impact The reasons why we want to get all this started are simple Research provides facts and the beautiful thing about facts is, they are hard to argue with. It is one thing to tell someone to stop doing something, but if you have done your homework and know the risks and consequences you can explain what we are heading into and let people make up their own mind about it! A sailboat is the most sustainable way to move around the world, particularly if you are eager to head to remote places, like the pacific islands or the garbage gyre in the middle of the ocean. So sailing really is the only option! Risks & Challenges Of course Projects like this never have a smooth path ahead of them, so the first big challenges will come along pretty fast Finding the perfect hull for us will be the first big step. In the 15 meter range, Aluminum or steel, a pilothouse for shelter in colder regions and of course big enough to accommodate everyone and have a small room for a laboratory on board Outfitting the boat will be straight forward, given the funds are sufficient it will be done within a year. Extra hands and helpers are of course always welcome to join in and help us first hand! We are already in search of hulls and have two great candidates in our minds, one of them in northern Germany and one currently sitting in Italy. Both need a bunch of work done to them, but that was always the plan! Other Ways You Can Help No money but eager to help? - No problem! The best ways everyone can help are easy: Spread the word about our project, share it on Facebook, get folks around you excited about the idea. Share the project right off the indiegogo website and spread the word on twitter, FB and all the other social networks! Come and work with us! There is always work to be done on a boat and extra hands are always needed! If you have time and a way to get to us feel free to swing by and help out for a few hours or days - whatever suits you! If you have gear, that can be useful for a boat, we appreciate those donations as much as any other as well! Got a spare radio, blocks, fenders, tools, ... everything is needed at this stage! Thank you very much for reading through all of this and thanks to all our supporters!

The gulf between the leading edge of discovery and the listing corrugated iron shacks of the global poor is vast, yet they are connected by the most essential of human traits: exploration and a thirst for the unknown. This project will bridge that gulf, bringing the forefront of exploration to one of the world’s most economically disadvantaged communities and providing a vibrant reminder of the possibilities of human endeavor in the process. In the summer of 2015, our five-person team will travel to the City of God favela in Rio de Janeiro and work with local teachers to provide a week of hands-on lessons centered around habitability, environmental and ecological science, and our place in the universe. We aim to instill a sense of environmental stewardship in the continued exploration of our planet’s resources (e.g., the Brazilian rainforest and ocean ecosystems) as well as worlds beyond. With this goal in mind, we will take the class on field trips to the nearby rainforest – a rare opportunity for the students, despite their proximity to this natural wonder – and the Brazilian coast, where we will explore the underwater realm with an OpenROV submersible. This experience will teach the tools of scientific exploration, data collection, and careful observation. We will catalog the number of species the students observe underwater at multiple locations, demonstrating links between pollution, urban sprawl, and biodiversity. Armed with this contextual knowledge and their own curiosity, students will spend the final two days developing an experimental objective for NASA’s HiRISE camera, which will be enacted by mission control at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA. During its 8-year mission, HiRISE has produced some of the most beautiful and scientifically valuable data ever collected from the Red Planet. Yet only a tiny fraction of the planet has been imaged, and there’s a lot left to discover. By directing the camera to an unseen region of Mars, the favela students will make a real contribution to space exploration. We will return to the school once the image has been acquired to show the students what they will have accomplished in exposing a corner of the universe never before seen by human eyes. Cutting edge exploration and the wildly exciting questions it engages should not be the exclusive provenance of the developed world, and this project will make oceanographic discovery and interplanetary exploration a truly human-wide pursuit. More importantly, the program will inspire children on a lifelong journey of discovery that will benefit their home communities in unpredictable and immeasurable ways. With this in mind, we will supply the classroom with relevant math and science textbooks, offering eager learners appropriate resources. We will also share powerful web-based tools with local teachers, so they can continue discussions on the themes of scientific exploration with other students for years to come. In consultation with economic development experts, we will track students’ long-term progress to establish the program’s efficacy. Ultimately, the most important indicator of a student’s future academic success is her desire to learn, and we believe we can instill a life-changing thirst for knowledge in a fiscally efficient manner by helping students participate in the far reaches of humanity’s explorations.

Ultimately, the project’s goal is to defy the statement “out of sight, out of mind” for mesophotic ecosystems to bring these unique and overlooked habitats to the front line where science and society collide. Mesophotic ecosystems are habitats found beyond recreational diving limits (30m) but shallower than 150m. Buffered from direct and indirect anthropogenic disturbances by depth, these systems are thought to act as an important reservoir of recruits for coral and fish populations in shallow-water systems. In spite of this proposed role, our current understanding of mesophotic systems fall short of the scientific breakthroughs made for their neighboring deep and shallow-water counterparts. We currently lack baseline information about the occurrence, ecology, and potential for these mesophotic environments to influence patterns of shallow-water reef persistence through larval, genetic, and population connectivity. I wish to directly address this knowledge gap by identifying ecological patterns across a depth gradient and at a wider geographic scale to determine the role that mesophotic ecosystems play in mitigating the stress that shallower habitats face today. All my life I have relentlessly worked to help people harvest the same appreciation that I have for the ocean, so that they too may understand the invaluable services that it offers to society. So an important aspect of my science is also communicating it to a wider audience. The nature of the video data collected with OpenROV during my research activities will act as a highy effective educational tool for engaging with a non-scientific audience. With this I will showcase the organisms that exist at these dark and foreboding depths to reveal their life giving vitality via short educational videos and documentary, freely available online. The outcomes of these scientific goals are ambitious, but nonetheless of great biological significance as we embark on a race to alleviate the widespread degradation of shallow-water systems. My drive and passion, combined with the capabilities of OpenROV, make up the key ingredients needed to pioneer the exploration and research of these habitats. Together we can fuel a crucial reform of the current societal outlook on mesophotic ecosystems with a view to changing our erstwhile notion to “out of sight, but no longer out of mind.”

The coast of Quintana Roo has been developing rapidly for tourism over the past 45 years. In that time, the impact of humans is taking its toll. Fortunately, natural resources and sustainability are gaining attention and value. Leaders are taking steps to live in harmony and create healthier balance in our dynamic, interconnected world. Just like floating pollution has no real boundaries, communities can flow together from various disciplines and sectors to counteract the ominous deterioration through creativity, cultivation, and management. Our expedition arises from the desire to revive and protect the endangered Mesoamerican Barrier Reef. Living Sea Sculpture, led by Colleen Flanigan, combines art with science, as seen in the video. While working towards installing Zoe, the coral refuge sculpture, she has spent much of the last year collaborating with amazing non-profits and scientists in the region who are responsible for conservation and progressive action. Living Sea Sculpture will use the ROV to explore locations that would benefit from coral and beach restoration with Biorock sculptures (artificial reefs), and also capture footage for a sculpture and stop-motion project she is working on with local kids about regenerating coral ecosystems. M.C. Marisol Rueda Flores, Mexico’s Coordinator for the Healthy Reefs for Healthy People Initiative will use the ROV to help them document the shape, habitat, and species found in each of their sites to complement other information they are collecting. They will share how they work and the relevance their data has on the health of the reef and the economy. All their sites are between 2-20m of depth, and are located in 5 sub-regions : Northern Q. Roo (Cancún, Puerto Morelos, Playa del Carmen), Cozumel Island, Central Q. Roo (Sian Ka’an), Southern Q. Roo (Mahahual and Xcalak) and Banco Chinchorro. They use the AGRRA methodology to survey the reef, taking 4 indicators to create a Reef Health Index (RHI). These indicators are coral cover, macroalgae cover, herbivorous fish biomass (parrotfishes and surgeonfishes), and commercial fish biomass (groupers and snappers). The ROV will offer new eyes and views as they start monitoring for their biennial Report Card on the Health of the Mesoamerican Reef to come out in 2017. The Healthy Reefs Initiative works in the whole Mesoamerican Reef with more than 65 partners among these countries : Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, and Mexico. It is an international collaborative initiative that gathers once a year to promote, plan, and organize the data into Report Cards or Eco-Audits. And what will Saving our Sharks, led by Luis Lombardo Cifuentes, find at 90m with the Open ROV? Hopefully the invasive, sometimes evasive, lion fish to help reduce their negative impact on juvenile fish stocks while providing plentiful fish to feed people. The main problem with this species is that is has no predators and it feeds voraciously from smaller fish. Of course there is the fact that they release around 2,000 eggs every 2 days. This fish has already been eradicated from the common diving sites, but the big ones are still out there and there is strong evidence that they are in the deeper areas. With the ROV, they can monitor those populations in order to efficiently hunt them and get a unique peak into those depths, something not a lot of people have seen. This would be really helpful with their environmental education program. Additionally, this vehicle can monitor big animals during touristic operations. They don't want it to become a bull shark snack, but whale sharks, mantas, and sailfish would be incredible subjects. Please join us as we start our adventure this summer! These missions greatly appreciate support and your input to rev up our capacity to heal and study the second largest barrier reef in the world. It is part of a gradual process to introduce new means of economic sustainability to a region that depends on the organisms, shore protection, and beauty of coral reefs to survive. healthyreefs.org/cmssavingoursharks.orglivingseasculpture.com

We are a Mexican NGO, Comunidad y Biodiversidad (COBI – www.cobi.org.mx) who work to promote the sustainable use of marine resources. We work directly with artisanal fishing communities to create no-take zones so that the fishery in that area can recover, bringing benefits to the fishers in the future. We also work closely to improve the fishers´ livelihoods, looking to increase their incomes through improving their business practices and encouraging good sustainable fishing practices that can then be certified by agencies such as the Marine Stewardship Council, so that fishers can get a better price for their catch. Working with fishers in the Sian Ka´an Biosphere Reserve, Mexico, we were recently successful in establishing several no take zones, two of which include fish spawning aggregation sites -sites of key biological importance as these are the sites that fish such as groupers and snappers come to to breed. They are very easily overfished. We are currently monitoring the sites but the depth of the spawning aggregations (>35 meters) means that we can only dive for short periods and the diving is potentially risky. We hope to use an Open ROV to geolocate and document the spawning site to track its recover now that it is closed to fishing.

We are a small Elementary School with big dreams! We are passionate about discovering the area around us and developing strong questions to build a better understanding. The grade 5 class has explored major themes like our local nearby lake, creek, gardens and even chickens. This year the students will be diving into an ocean theme where they will develop and explore questions to learn about sea life, salinity, and much more. We are walking distance from an incredible underwater shelf full of anemones, cucumbers, seaweeds, and more. We are also walking distance from a lake which will provide great comparisons between salt water environments and freshwater environments. As a teacher it is my job to give students incredible opportunities to get excited about their learning. My objective with an ROV is to allow kids to go beyond the shoreline, get excited about the ocean, and help them develop their inquiry questions which will integrate into all the different subject areas. As the teams explore their inquiry they will use the ROV to help answer their questions and share their learning with other people in the school and the community. Check back to see where the exploration takes us!

Welcome to my 1st expedition, I'm very excited to see what I find. I am a 15 year old high school student who is fascinated with underwater adventure. I would like to discover what is beneath the waters of this very blue lake that I have been visiting for the past 12 years on our annual family vacations. I've been told that no one has ever been to the bottom because it is just too deep. my hope is by having the OpenROV, I might just see how deep this lake really is. I want to see if there are any treasures or caves that might be hidden below, and what kind of creatures live in this lake. I will report back on all my findings with photos and video.

We aim to explore our nearby Montsweag Brook as an ongoing effort to understand our estuary's flora and fauna. We are developing a water quality monitoring program at our campus' waterfront in an effort to inform local aquaculture and adding the element of underwater exploration will only enhance these efforts.

Sunset Spark provides free engineering and science classes for immigrant families in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. As part of this, we're starting a new explorer program to document and discover interesting areas in our neighborhood. For our first outing, we'll be exploring the Bush Terminal Waterfront Park, a hidden gem of the neighborhood that run along the Hudson River. Exploring will be done by a team of middle school girls from the neighborhood. They'll build the OpenROV, learn to pilot it, then begin the aforementioned expedition. They're going to share all the video, photos, and experience not just with Open Explorer, but also the entire neighborhood through a public presentation and gallery.

The intent is to extend the OpenROV equipment with Esri ArcGIS data and mapping software, and add VR tech from Oculus. Once our equipment is complete we will test it by taking it to San Diego to observe the 366 ft. long Canadian warship Yukon which was cleaned and sunk by the City of San Diego San Diego Oceans Foundation to serve as an artificial reef. Next our goal is to present at the Esri Ocean GIS forum this November. About Science Ninjas: Science Ninjas was started in 2014 by Isaiah (age 8) in his grandmother’s garage. He wanted to attend the local summer science programs but because his mother was on disability it was financially impossible to participate. But this roadblock did not deter him from his love of learning. That July, Isaiah gathered seven other science loving kids from age 6 to 13 and rallied friends and family to raise funds for their summer fun. They received donations of cash and goods equaling approximately $5000. With their earnings they were able to purchase three robots and build a lab with lab coats, microscopes, and supplies to start their program. Isaiah’s mother purchased curriculum and taught her 8 year old son who in turn taught the material to his friends. At the end of the summer the Science Ninjas presented their projects to their donors. Isaiah and the Science Ninja’s goals are to teach science and other STEM topics to more friends to raise awareness and passion for oceans and sea life. Future goals include taking their curiosity to Alaska and participating in Steve Spangler’s Science in Alaska cruise, and attending the next International Science Fair in Washington DC.

13 May 2016 21:25

Boy Scouts of America Troop 22 has been around giving our scouts the chance to experience amazing things for over 90 years. With the help of OpenROV, we hope to share our incredible oceans and waterways and their secrets with scouts for years to come.

22 May 2016 19:47

One People One Reef is about working with outer island communities to bring traditions and modern science together in a revolutionary approach to sustainable ocean management. Micronesian Outer islanders from the remote atolls of the Yap outer islands in the western Pacific have sustainably managed their oceans for centuries, even millennia. Their culture, traditions and livelihoods are intimately linked to the reefs that surround their islands. However, their future is threatened by rapid environmental and cultural change. In 2010, they recognized a decline in fish populations, and the need to address that. The people realized that their health, their communities, and their reefs were experiencing rapid change. They asked for help to learn more about how to manage a sustainable food supply from their oceans in the face of these changes, a critical issue for their present and future wellbeing. We are a team of scientists who came together to respond to the outer islanders call for assistance. Our response was a revolutionary approach that lets communities lead through traditional management backed by modern science. Our Approach We are a team of community members and scientists working together in an attempt to understand the nature of fish and reef declines (including changes in fishing practices), historical context, and the role that traditions – and the loss of them – may play. We understand that the critical link between traditional knowledge and environmental sustainability is the key to effective ocean management. We conduct extensive ecological surveys of the reefs to better understand the effects that fishing and other anthropogenic impacts are having, and we share what we find with the communities. We discuss specific findings, such as the link between parrotfish declines, night spearfishing, and algal overgrowth on reefs and how traditional management could address this. We are encouraging a reconnection to traditional ways without ignoring modern influences like motor boats (rather than abandoning them which is not practical) as a method to address problems in resource abundance and reef health. We are implementing a unique approach to advance adaptive management and conservation in Micronesian outer islands. The program is managed and directed by the community. Community members are trained to continue collecting data, and the science team remains as an advisory body and helps to analyze data and provide guidance.

Seahurst Park Shoreline Restoration The Puget Sound shoreline is vital to life for many plants and creatures. Salmon and other species depend on marine nearshore habitat for food and shelter. The success of salmon is a good indication of our ecosystem’s health, which effects everyone in our community and generations to come. Seahurst Park on Puget Sound in Burien has had a seawall since the 1970s. Beach elevations have dropped three to four feet due to wave action and a disconnect between the beach and sediment sources. These changes have been detrimental to habitat quality for salmon and the organisms they depend on the marine nearshore habitat. In addition, the stone bulkhead was failing, spilling stones onto the beach. The SRFB grant funded a feasibility study of bulkhead removal and bulkhead alternatives the early 2000s. The feasibility study confirmed the value of bulkhead removal and beach restoration.

Oak Bay High has a variety of specialty classes including Robotics and Marine Biology. Our Marine biology students engage in various research projects every year. Our Robotics students would like to provide them with a robotic tool to allow greater exploration and possibilities in their research projects. Marine biology students will set out specifications for the robot (eg: streaming video capabilities, lighting, temperature sensing and logging, ability to retrieve samples, payload storage). Robotics students will then research viable options for engineering a robot which meets the target specifications, order parts required, build and test the robot. Roboticists will then train and assist Biologists in operating the ROV in order to complete their scientific research. This year, the marine biology students will be exploring the differences in species richness between tidal and subtidal communities.

23 Aug 2014 21:55

K.L.A.S.S. - "Kids Learning About the Sea through Submersibles" This project is an opportunity to introduce young people to applied science, engineering, history, and exploration at a young age as it relates to undersea environments. I stumbled across the OpenROV/OpenExplorer projects after searching for a new Beaglebone Black project and thought this would be perfect for me; as my background is in computer networking, linux systems, photography/imaging, and my passion is the sea. My kids have inherited my love for the sea and all the mysteries it holds. Watching through their eyes, it becomes clear to me that young people don't always see the link between the science they learn in school and how it can be applied in the real world for real tasks. I see submersible exploration as a chance to help kids make the connection between the academics they are taught in school and the real world. They will also be energized performing real science when we investigate the ongoing recovery of SuperStorm Sandy. All research is expected to be done in New Jersey. Topics covered will include understanding the biodiversity we see here in New Jersey, as well as examining how our undersea environment is recovering from Superstorm Sandy. Below is a synopsis of our plan. -Undersea Robotics - What is an ROV and how do we use it for some science. -Freshwater sealife in their home environment. (Fish, Snails, Plants, etc) -Saltwater sealife in their home environment. (Fish, JellyFish, Plants, etc) -History/Archaeology exploring old manmade objects under water (old structures/old ships/barges) (This may get expanded further) -Pollution underwater (garbage, lack of sea life, etc.) -Research and Examine how the undersea environment is recovering from SuperStorm Sandy I am identifying the project in August of 2014 and hoping to build an OpenROV through the upcoming winter season, with sea trials beginning in May of 2015. We need your help to make this happen! The OpenROV project is giving away a few ROV's to the projects with the top number or followers. So all you need to do to help us is register here at www.openexplorer.com and follow our project! Thanks and check back soon for updates. -Tony

The Steep N’ Deep Project (SN’D) by Vanguard Diving & Exploration is a citizen science initiative focused on climate change adaptation and educative exploration. We are a multinational team of concerned citizens mounting several scientific diving expeditions to the world’s highest waters across the Andes and Himalaya, to help quantify the risk of glacial lake outburst flooding (GLOF). Continued warming trends are forming thousands of glacial lakes around the globe, with immense quantities of meltwater confined by dams of loose rock and ice. GLOF occurs when these moraine dams fail - causing a tsunami of meltwater and debris that can destroy downstream communities, crops and critical infrastructure. We are developing and testing safe practices for diving at extreme altitudes so we can study these glacial lake systems from the inside out, and help researchers predict which natural dams are most likely to rupture. We are currently planning a series of pioneering expeditions over the next 4 years to dive and explore the world’s highest lake atop Licancabur Volcano (LV) on the Chile/Bolivia border, the glacial lakes of Peru’s Cordillera Blanca, and finally Nepal’s Lake 464 near the base of Mt. Everest. The LV site is a cultural centerpiece of Inca tradition, and affords a unique opportunity to explore various forms of ancient life while testing high-altitude rebreather diving protocols 19,500 feet above normal sea level diving conditions. Dive missions will document abundant “extremophile” life in the lake that provides clues for ongoing astrobiology research of how life could have evolved on ancient Mars. The SN’D team is being mentored by explorers from NASA/SETI Institute and the National Geographic Society who are among only a handful of people who’ve ever investigated this unusual lake in the past. Field testing of high-altitude expeditionary scientific diving procedures (custom tables, lightweight rebreather systems, field compressors, etc.) operational procedures (power generation, IT infrastructure, logistics, etc.) and emergency procedures (wilderness medicine, mountain rescue, survival skills, man-portable recompression chamber, etc.) at Licancabur Volcano will prepare the SN’D team to safely investigate glacial lakes in the Himalaya. The skills, procedures, tactics, and team development gained from the LV expedition will create the key operating principles for formal underwater scientific investigations of high-altitude glacial lakes at risk of outburst flooding. After completion of the LV expedition, the SN’D team will apply their Isolation Diving operating model to performing detailed inspections of the natural glacial dams that are barely holding back the often 300+ foot deep lakes formed by melting snow and ice in the high mountains. These inspection surveys will be designed and tested in the glacial lakes of Peru, before the team sets out to apply them in Nepal’s most unstable glacial system: Lake 464. The SN’D team will spend several weeks in the remote Himalayan wilderness as they haul their entire diving operation through famously rugged mountains to inspect the mysterious lake near the base of Mount Everest. Along the way they will be filming, conducting science, testing equipment and getting to know the families and communities that could be destroyed when Lake 464 finally ruptures and drains its contents down the mountain. We plan to help give them the tools and skills necessary to protect themselves from the unpredictable nature of their environment. Glacial lake outburst flooding is a stark example of the sort of challenges humanity must adapt to in these times of rapid change in the natural world. There is much public confusion about the realities and implications of climate change. The perception is that it is a problem that is too big to fix. The Steep N’ Deep Project is intended to be a beacon of hope - that something can be done. That even common people can make important contributions to environmental stewardship and the protection of our own habitat. We choose to dedicate our lives and talents to the challenge of climate change adaptation for the same reasons John F. Kennedy chose to put a man on the moon. We do these things “not because they are easy, but because they are hard. Because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win” The Steep N’ Deep Project unites a passionate team of climbers, divers, scientists, filmmakers and other exceptional people hell-bent on improving the health of our global ecosystem and popularizing environmental stewardship. We all have an obligation to do the best we can to preserve the habitability of our planet. This is our way of rising to the occasion and leading by example.

Since, 2009, our Lego Yuh Mind Robotics Club competes each year in the FIRST LEGO League robotics competition. This year, the theme is "Trash Trek" and for our research project the students will look at the how we create or handle trash. The community of "Royal Palm" is situated on the banks a gully (canal) that empties untreated, unfiltered, raw sewage and solid waste directly into the Kingston Harbour. Our expedition is to use the OPENROV to study the waters of the Kingston Harbour that surround Royal Palm to see what the impact of the excessive build up plastic bottles and other soild waste has had on the underwater environment.

4 Nov 2014 4:34

The Clean Water Act turned 42 this year. When it first took effect, stormwater pollution was not the top priority. What’s known as “point source pollution” — dumping of toxic pollutants from a particular, often industrial site — was the first focus. But in the decades since, stormwater pollution, also known as “non-point source pollution,” has taken the lead when it comes to carrying the most contaminants to U.S. waterways. About 40 percent of U.S. rivers, lakes, and estuaries are not clean enough for fishing or swimming because of pollution from runoff. And it’s not so surprising, considering the burst in urban development in recent decades. In Washington state alone, the number of people living in the counties that border Puget Sound has more than doubled since 1960. Throughout the United States so much land has been paved that the total amount of impervious surfaces would cover an area about the size of Ohio. Every time water washes over hard surfaces, it picks up pollutants. Even an area the size of the average homeowner’s roof contributes about 35,000 gallons of runoff each year in the Northwest. And that runoff ends up in the nearest waterway — not the nearest water treatment facility. “Approximately 50 percent of the region believes that stormwater is treated, is captured and conveyed to a treatment plant of some type. When in fact, this doesn’t take place. Nearly all of this water goes off totally untreated,” says Giles Pettifor, who is part of the municipal stormwater permit team for King County’s Department of Natural Resources and Parks. Utilizing my OpenROV "Curiosity" Hull #1265 I hope to continue to build awareness for the storm drain outfalls and CSO's that discharge into Puget Sound.

Kauai 2016, 25 May 2016 20:24

The goal is to teach kids how to play with technology to not only learn to code, but to make art. The mixing of engineering and art creates true special events. Being interactive keeps the kids attention and further helps them to retain the lessons learned.

The goal of our documentary is two-fold: First, to use the OpenROV Robot to gather scientific data, water samples, and footage of both the Chicago River (The North Branch is 100 yards behind our school, and extremely polluted) and Lake Michigan. In AP Environmental Science, some of us have learned that we can predict with high accuracy the state of the ecosystem based on concentrations of certain substances, and activity of some organisms. Furthermore, we plan on reaching out to the Filtration Plant, and other organizations who work with the River here in Chicago. Then, using this data – and the bad shape our bodies of water are in – we will include the social aspect, interviewing fishermen, swimmers, tourists, and everyone in-between about the importance of the lake, river, and Chicago’s water in general, to them. We hope to increase awareness of the environmental importance of these bodies of water, so that we can enjoy their beauty and recreation for years to come. We plan on including detailed analysis and commentary on the following topics: • History of the Chicago River/Lake Michigan • Scientific experiments and analyses o Water Samples for concentration of certain substances and chemicals o Bacteria Collection and Study o Film to study behavior/presence of certain animals or invasive species (i.e. Asian Carp) o Film to reveal how polluted water really is. • Interviews with Researchers and Professionals in the Chicago Park District • Interview with Filtration Plant • Interviews with Chicago citizens of all ages who enjoy using the lakefront and river • Presentation of data concerning pollution and awareness

LANDMARK INVENTEAM :Eelgrass ( Zostera marina ) loss Mitigation BACKGROUND and RESEARCH Eelgrass, Zostera marina, is an marine aquatic plant found in marine estuary and shallow ocean environments around the globe. Eelgrass plays an essential role in the marine ecosystem, as it is not only important in the nutrient cycle, but also plays a part in providing food and shelter for fish and marine invertebrates. Eelgrass is essential to the health of the marine habitat as well as the commercial interests of our local and global economy. To quote Juliet Simpson from MIT Sea Grant : “ Eelgrass is a critical (sic) for the overall quality of costal habitats all along the eastern coast of the US.” Not only does eelgrass play a part in the nursery for many fish and shellfish, it is a key player in reducing wave energy and beach erosion. Finally, eelgrass meadows are important in the sequestration of CO2. A single acre of eelgrass meadow can sequester a large amount of carbon. “it’s estimated that one acre of eelgrass sequesters over 7,000 pounds of carbon per year, “( Suzanne Olyarnik) In the 1930's a blight devastated the eelgrass meadows of North America and the rest of the world. This wasting disease and manmade pollutants account for a loss of over 30% of the world's eelgrass meadows. “Seagrass beds have declined by 29% since the 19th century, with an upsurge in decline in recent decades. Rates of loss for coastal wetlands are estimated at 1–2% per year.”(E. Pidgeon) Competitive Technologies Eelgrass mitigation projects are currently time consuming, labor intensive and expensive. Furthermore, current techniques are at best only partially successful. The mechanical planting methods utilized by University of Rhode Island, by some, have been deemed a failure at this point. On a per acre basis, Horizontal Rhizome Method HRM costs $85,470 and TERFSTM costs $42,735. All costs are expressed in 1998 dollars (US).(Jackson Estuarine Laboratory, University of New Hampshire) Currently there are 3 techniques used to recolonize eelgrass beds. 1. Natural Recolonization 2. Transplanting ( 2 methods hand planting or tied to mesh ) In Narragansett Bay, Save The Bay is restoring eelgrass using the Transplanting Eelgrass Remotely with Frames (TERF) method, in which clusters of plants are temporarily tied with degradable crepe paper to a weighted frame of wire mesh.  3. Seeding ( 2 methods ) broadcast seeding seeding via biotape While University of Rhode Island has had some success with boat pulled sled deposits of seeds having been able to seed up to 400 square meters of ocean bottom, testing and monitoring of the efficacy of this system are still being carried out. With our system, a seaside homeowner, municipality or interested party can replant and protect the ocean bottom while simultaneously reducing water turbidity – a major problem in the growth of eelgrass. We are hopeful that our system – upon testing in both controlled tank environments and in open ocean testing, that the successful growth rate of new plant will exceed 80%. Furthermore, we hope to increase the area planted to meet or exceed the University of Rhode Island benchmark of 200 square meters per hour at a significantly reduced cost. When complete, the goal is to have a system that costs less than A quick patent search yields no significantly similar systems like the one we propose. Our proposed system incorporates a biodegradable “mesh” that maintains an optimal spacing for young plants to be easily deployed and established in target areas. A simple concept, our proposed solution addresses a number of issues: The system will reduce water turbidity caused by particulate matter suspended in the water. Particulate matter often is caused by silt runoff from erosion. Our system uses a method that reduces the carrying capacity of the water by slowing down the bottom currents in a method that simulates what mature eelgrass would do. This dropping of the bedload will actually enhance the second phase of our solution by further covering and providing a soil matrix for the young plants. Not only does the first phase work to help “bury” the seeds/ plants, it improves water quality and ambient sunlight crucial to the growth of eelgrass. Further research has indicated that current technologies, as mentioned earlier , typically revolve around seed broadcasting and /or plant transplantation. Research has revealed that while these systems work, a third possibility is available. It has been observed that broken eelgrass rhizome will often fall to the bottom and then grow to generate a new plant. We will be focusing on finding the optimal size of rhizome parts to aid in the growth of new meadows. The team recognizes that our method of Rhizome “seeding” may not be optimal, so we will seek to balance the system with the inclusion of some percentage of Zostera seed. We feel that this may yield a higher success (in plant growth ) rate. Landmark School Description and Team Landmark School was founded in 1971 with the goal of educating students whose reading, writing, spelling, and mathematical skills did not match their thinking and problem-solving capacities. Most called these children dyslexic or learning-disabled. The InvenTeam is an expression of our student's strengths in problem-solving and creative thinking. The Landmark InvenTeam is coeducational. The team currently consists of 11 boys and 1 girl. We are actively and vigorously recruiting more young women. All 4 classes are represented. Landmark School was granted a Lemelson-MIT InvenTeam grant 4 years ago and is familiar with the required commitment and demands of this program / opportunity. The team currently includes one individual, Callum Robbins, who was on that original team, as he participated as an 8th grader. The InvenTeam has been a viable after school activity since before the first grant. The time between has been used well. This fall, the team began testing their team built tethered R.O.V. submarine. This system will feature prominently in the data collection and observation of the eelgrass mitigation project. Our experience in the past has also taught us the value of collaboration. As such, Landmark InvenTeam has sought out others. Key Resources Currently, the four most important are: Bion Pike, Harbormaster, Manchester by the Sea. Mr. Pike has agreed to identify areas within Manchester Harbor in which we can carry out planting and testing of our system. This cooperation is important in that the system cannot be fully evaluated in our testing tank. Emily Flaherty at Salem Sound Coastwatch. This relationship will play a central role in our data collection as we will be teaming with SSC to work within the Ocean Drifter program. Tay Evans ,who oversees Eelgrass management, restoration, monitoring and research program for the Division of Marine Fisheries in Massachusetts. Will be aiding the team with permitting as well as other support. Wesley Dukes, DMF and the lead Field Biologist Salem Harbor restoration project . Randall Hughes, Professor, Marine Science Northeastern University Hughes Lab Nahant MA. General Sequence of Activities With this in mind, the team plans on completing initial design of the “Biodegradable mesh” with general prototype modeling to be carried out in early fall 2015. Part of the process will include recovering storm tossed plants along area beaches in order to recover usable rhizomes. Tank testing will take place in early to mid September, while a section of full scale prototype of the substrate system as well as the mechanical deployment system will be constructed. In this phase the first prototype will be tested for ease of deployment. It is anticipated that some re-design will need to take place as lessons are learned from real life deployment testing. Following any redesign, The team intends to replant a section of identified harbor bottom in Manchester By The Sea ( as designated by Manchester Harbormaster ) Data collection will commence prior to this deployment to gain an understanding of baseline water quality, salinity, etc. While we are acting locally on this challenge, positive results could have a positive global impact. Not only is the North Shore of Massachusetts dealing with the loss of Eelgrass meadows, but nearly all nations with a border on oceans.

One of the most important advances in our understanding of animal behavior has been the recognition in recent years that this phenomenon is not infinitely plastic as individuals of many animal species show consistent individual differences in behavior that are likely to be of great ecological, evolutionary, and conservation significance. Such differences in behavior between individuals that are consistent across time or contexts are termed ‘personalities’, and are of major adaptive significance in channeling the limited range of behavioural responses that an individual will show and thus their interactions with forces of natural selection. Animal personalities have now been demonstrated in a wide diversity of taxa, from primates to ants, and are likely ubiquitous across the animal kingdom (Dall et al. 2004, Gosling 2001, Sih et al. 2004 a,b). In many cases, personalities generate trade-offs across contexts (e.g. feeding under different predation pressure) and situations (e.g. feeding vs. reproduction), and provide significant benefits under certain circumstances, while being suboptimal under other selective pressures (Bergmüller 2010; Sih et al. 2004 a,b). For example, a consistently bolder individual may acquire more resources compared to a shyer conspecific in a predator-free environment, but will be more vulnerable to predators when they are present. Due to the limit in behavioural plasticity imposed by personalities, their occurrence and effects on fitness are of great significance for conservation, because the personalities of individual animals will affect their vulnerability to natural and anthropogenic threats, reproductive success, migratory tendency, and ability to respond to global climate change (Dall et al. 2004). Although there has been an increase in research into how consistent inter-individual differences in behaviour have evolved and have been maintained over time, we still have a limited understanding of the effects of animal personalities on the survival and fitness of species in natural ecological settings (Reale et al. 2007). The difficulty of reliably identifying individual animals and obtaining accurate, controlled behavioural measures from them in the field, has greatly constrained our ability to answer complex ecological questions, such as the role that personality has in interspecific interactions within contexts such predator-prey cycles (DiRienzo et al. 2013). As food webs and predator-prey interactions play a central role in maintaining the ecological networks found in healthy ecosystems (Toscano and Griffen 2014), more recent theoretical models have begun to consider how they may be affected by the personality traits of the interacting species. Moreover, the few empirical studies that have been done have focused on the predator and prey species separately, critically limiting our understanding of the nature and outcome of interspecific interactions and of the ultimate performance of the species involved (Di Rienzo et al. 2013). White sharks and cape fur seals are an excellent study system for investigating the interaction of predator-prey personalities. Sites such as Seal Island, located 800 m from the shores of Mossel Bay, SA, represent prime foraging sites for white shark predators as they host breeding colonies of seal prey, hence heavily influencing the spatial ecology of the sharks (Ryklief et al. 2014). Seals can be observed when interacting with other conspecifics, and when leaving the island on their journey to feeding grounds. Most individuals use a specific cone of area of the surrounding ocean that extends from the southern most tip of the island (Ryklief et al. 2014). As a result, data on the exposure to predation risk can be obtained by recording, for example, time of day when the seals leave or return to the island from feeding grounds, or the size of the group at departure (e.g. Laroche et al. 2008), and seals can also be presented with controlled stimuli on the island. As white sharks are known to show seasonal residency at pinniped haul-out sites and pupping areas (Laroche et al. 2008; Towner et al. 2015), information on their predatory behaviour can be easily acquired around Seal Island and they can also readily be presented with controlled stimuli to characterize personality traits. Most of the predatory events occur within that cone of area used by the seals to reach their feeding grounds (Ryklief et al. 2014). Moreover, many of the individuals of both species can be sighted multiple times within the same season and even between different seasons, hence allowing collection of the replicated behavioural measurements necessary to characterize personalities.

I have spent large chunks of 35 years living in the deserts of the Southwest studying desert tortoises. These long and immersive experiences have provided me a unique view of the world of this ancient reptile. Time and again they have surprised me, forcing me to drop my assumptions and have displayed amazing subtlety and astounding toughness. My job has essentially been to document the decline of the tortoise as it slides toward extinction. As such I have spent much time examining the threats the species faces as it collides with modern human civilization. The proliferation of common ravens, opportunistic birds that are avid predators of tortoises and who take full advantage of resources supplied by humans, stands out as a major threat that is manageable. I decided a few years ago to shift from passively witnessing the decline of the desert tortoise to developing ways to intervene and stop the slide. A range of new tools has become available that promise us unprecedented ways to observe tortoises and their predators and, beyond that, ways to actively prevent the excessive predation that is imperiling the species. These new tools include internet controlled vehicles and cameras, lasers and tracking devices for full time monitoring. Using the desert tortoise as a starting point my goal is to involve large numbers of people, via the internet, to help create an entirely new form of participatory environmentalism. This is a truly exciting time in conservation and I am thrilled to be part of it.

15 Aug 2014 3:01

Underwater towns and mines are very cool, as are the isolated ecosystems found in alpine lakes. Colorado has both in abundance, and in many cases it's simply impossible to get a boat or even scuba gear to the location. The capabilities of the OpenROV will need to be expanded to meet these extreme conditions. Why? Because we won't be able to run the OpenROV from a boat, and we can't risk damaging or tangling the tether on the rocks that dominate the shores of these lakes and reservoirs. Fortunately, we're just the team to do this, through the combination of deep experience and educational engagement. EDGE Research Lab, a team of engineers and scientists focused on extreme research, and South Jeffco Robotics, a team of talented highschool robotics fanatics (some of whom are seen below at one of our engineering field exercises), have been partners for three years, and in that time have tackled the research, design, engineering, and integration necessary to make new systems survive harsh conditions. Two new mechatronic systems and one new sensor system later - entirely designed and integrated by the 40 students on the team, we might add - and we're ready to tackle the next challenge: a remote-controlled surface vessel to provide OpenROV with an unmanned deployment platform, perfect for the kinds of work that we want to do. Along the way to the really remote places, we'll be honing our skills and testing our systems at some of the well-known (and not-so-well-known) towns that have been submerged by reservoirs in Colorado, like Dillon (Dillon Reservoir), Pikes Peak City (Chatfield Reservoir), and Sopris (Trinidad Lake). We'll also be pursuing partnerships with organizations in the area that will amplify the work that we're doing even more. We have the contacts, but are waiting until we have things finalized to make them public. Finally, everything that we do on this project - the successes, failures, and any new systems or plans or instructions or lessons will be made entirely open source, immediately. It's a great way to encourage the discipline of documentation in the budding engineers and scientists on the team, and an important way to give back. So stay tuned!

I am heading back to Davis for an 18 month stint as the Electronics Engineer and purchased an OpenROV kit to build and explore while down south. The Aurora Australis is scheduled to depart on the 22nd of October and is expected to take around three weeks to make her way to Davis. Once there I plan to build and test the ROV before hopefully deploying it at a number of locations around the Davis area.

Oakland High Students and supporting members taking on the wild blue unknown to engineer, learn and EXPLORE!

Mapping Supra-glacial lakes along the Khumbu Glacier, Nepal The OpenROV will be used for data collection in supraglacial lakes during two field campaigns on the Khumbu Glacier, the highest in the world. Khumbu glacier features extensive debris cover on its surface and is currently downwasting and stagnating, prompting the development of lakes on its surface. These further contribute to glacial melt as well as acting as storage reservoirs for water that would otherwise be discharged from the glacier as meltwater. Understanding water supply variability is especially important for monitoring the response of glaciers to climactic variation, but the remote location of field sites in the Himalayas means data are often limited both spatially and temporally. We will use the OpenROV to measure temperature and depth in these supra-glacial lakes. This will help improve existing empirical equations, which use lake area to estimate water depth and volume in data poor regions, thus ground-truthing measurements made from satellite images. Collecting distributed temperature measurements across a number of lakes will improve our understanding of how important these lakes are for enhancing melt and influencing glacial morphology.

13 Aug 2014 19:30

We have all had moments of wonder while watching Wicked Tuna, and can only imagine the enormity of the schools of Bluefin Tuna below. Spending time out on a fishing boat only provokes further wonder, surrounded by seals, whales, seabirds, lobsters, and schools of fish. This expedition involves our immediate family, partnered with our PEI family who are fishermen. The idea behind this expedition came about while out on their boat, watching Gannets dive after our Mackerel. We figured it would be incredible to get our SCUBA gear on and bait them to dive while shooting with a camera. Ever seen a Gannet? Want to!? And then we were awestruck by this video, and couldn't stop watching: m.youtube.com/watch?v=PPcn0Ila5vw Watch that footage and it's not a far leap to then understand what we would do with an OpenROV! Let's find Tuna! We are assured this is very possible, and are eager to experience the deep for ourselves. We have been exploring options to build devices via Instructables, however the OpenROV solves all the hassle. The tuna season happens in PEI in late August and we aim to be there in 2015 and see what we can capture. The opportunities are endless to check out areas we can't see from above, such as the clam beds between the sandhills, the lobsters on the sea floor around traps, and just how big are the hermit crabs out deeper than we can walk!? While developing the expedition, I intend to educate my students and public school board about the importance of participation in modern opportunities for citizen science and exploration. This expedition offers a unique way to model this for my students, and stir up excitement in students from different areas of Canada. It is my hope to inspire others in public education to embrace the need for hands on exploration in the classroom, with a collaborative 21st Century approach to learning. People are eager to hear more, and I am eager to share. Our contributions to the team are: Melissa - a teacher, with a commitment to bringing the Maker Movement into public education. I feel passionate that children need to be exposed to modern tools for the purpose of creating their understanding. Charles - an industrial robot technician by day, and answerer of endless kitchen table questions by night. He will address all things related to tools and design concepts. We always rely on him to take our ideas and make them happen. The kids - Karissa (12) will be our lead researcher and can effectively research solutions and questions along the way. Marah (10) is not afraid to get her hands dirty and will be essential in a fishing expedition for that reason. She runs an Etsy shop selling LED infused art kits, and is a Maker at heart. Blaise (7) is curious and passionate about "Arch-i-toof-us", the Giant Squid, and will some day discover their secrets. He is excited to start his career early. Pearle (3) has wanted to be a Mermaid her whole life. Well seriously, she is 3. As her mom, I want to make sure she is exposed to this form of inquiry and exploration as a Normal part of her development and educational growth outside of school. Pearle is always game for anything and will wear the biggest smile and cheers when we succeed. Cory, and the PEI family - They have the boat and the know how to find the fish and play with this concept. To them, life on the water is a normal part of their day. Apart from answering endless texts, they have an approach that anything and everything is doable, and we are eager to test that out! With expertise in robots, Tuna fishing, education, and a gaggle of kids eager to be inspired (and in turn inspire others!), we are more than excited to start planning our PEI TUNA EXPEDITION, and all the other wonderful explorations we will take on in the summer of 2015! @MelissaLaforge @CharlieMaker2 @QisforKarissa @MarahMakes @BlaisingTrails @MermaidPearle

Montreal River, ON, 12 Aug 2014 16:47

We just got back from a trip up north to scout out locations for further exploration. We scouted 3 potential mine sites along the north shore of Lake Superior, and found one extremely interesting location in Silver Islet, ON. We will be assembling a list of locations over the coming months and using this winter to research everything needed to get started once the snow melts in 2015!

3 Dec 2014 20:08

HELLO! We are producing a travel documentary that introduces a wide audience to the urgency of climate change in an entertaining manner that captures the essence of what's at stake. Our mission is to not only show what makes this area so unique, but also raise awareness around the plight of the Maldivian people, and start a broader conversation about how together – as a global community – we can take action on the generational issue of our time. SO, let's meet the team: Josh Burstein has traveled extensively to tell the narrative of those impacted by climate change, with past work featured on national television and online outlets such as Upworthy and The New York Times. In what could be considered "creative crisis management," Josh also brings the movement-building experience of President Obama's digital campaign efforts and the social media savvy of helping manage Charlie Sheen. James Mastracco is an award-winning editor and producer with surprisingly few hobbies. His career in television started 14 years ago in the editorial department on HBO's The Wire. His credits include feature films and TV shows from Dimension Films, 20th Century Fox, ABC and NBC. James thinks documenting the climate change crisis and illuminating the greatest challenge mankind faces sounds like a mildly worthwhile endeavor. Ben Youngerman is an independent filmmaker with 10 years of experience telling stories and connecting to people around the world. Ben is passionate about putting his talents towards cause-based initiatives and is excited to make a positive impact on the front lines of climate change. Ben is the owner of Panhandle Productions based in San Francisco. Ken Fisher is the founder and creative director of Truth Be Told Creative an organization with a mission to make the world a better place through social impact and nonprofit storytelling. Ken has traveled the globe as a cinematic ethnographer creating award winning documentary films that have been featured on PBS, Upworthy and in festivals around the world. He's also the co-founder of StoryCode SF where he focuses his creative energy on interactive storytelling and engineering cause based movements. Maya Katherine is a story teller, writer and explorer of life. Her unique experiences have been shared with NPR, The Huffington Post. Forbes, ThePassion.co, Elephant Journal and The United Nations Association. She is the Director/Producer of her first documentary HasaFilm which was shot in Bangladesh. Maya is a strong advocate and convener for social change, with specialties in PR, marketing and communications. Sundeep Ahuja is a technology entrepreneur, advisor & investor who began his social impact career helping launch Kiva.org. Since then he's been involved with over a dozen other mission driven companies including Indiegogo, Change.org, and Counsyl. In 2010, Sundeep founded blissmo to introduce shoppers to organic, less toxic, eco-friendly products. Earlier this year, he published a fast-paced fiction novel called HALINE about a "post climate change" future that's currently rated 4.7 stars on Amazon. Support our efforts to journey to the Maldives and get a Last Glimpse of modern Atlantis.

Nearly 280 feet in length, this steel hull sailing ship (not to be named yet) was built in 1890 in Scotland, originally rigged as a four-masted bark. On October 29, 1929, just out of drydock, she turned turtle (flipped over) and sunk straight to the bottom of the Oakland Estuary. Deemed a navigation hazard, periodic attempts were made to salvage her to no avail. In December of 1932, holes in the steel hull were plugged above the water line, the superstructure was cut down and air was pumped into her steel cargo tanks. She was refloated and then towed out into the deeper waters of the Bay where she was then sunk. A multibeam sonar survey has identified a possible shipwreck target similar to the size of this ship which we will attempt to positively identify for the State of California and NOAA. Hopefully this will also lead to subsequent ROV expeditions to survey the full site. Strong tidal currents are a serious factor in mission planning, More to follow...

23 Jan 2015 20:03

Marine Science Institute’s mission is to promote respect and stewardship through experiential learning. What better way to experience the marine world than to dive in! During the summer, our Marine Science Camp will focus on using technology to explore. Our campers will practice the scientific method—from forming questions to discovering answers about their local ecosystems. With the support of OpenROV and its sponsors this summer will only be the beginning of the adventure as we inspire Bay Area students to look closer at the nature that surrounds us. The San Francisco Bay isn’t just for driving over on a bridge anymore. Come explore with us!

6 Nov 2014 23:20

Help is on the way for Hicklin Lake – the small lake with big water quality problems in King County’s Lakewood Park. In addition to the ongoing work of finding and eliminating illegal and inadvertent sewer connections that discharge pollutants into the stormwater system that flows into the lake, this year King County will experiment with technology that uses floating “islands” of vegetation to capture excess nutrients in the water that lead to Hicklin Lake’s water quality problems. Thanks in part to a $50,000 grant from the Washington Department of Ecology Algae Control Program, King County will install four floating islands in Hicklin Lake this summer and measure their effectiveness. Each floating island is 250 square feet in size and built of a durable polycarbonate, anchored in place. The islands are perforated with dozens of holes that are planted with a variety of native wetland species. The plants’ roots will reach into lake as they grow, where they will take up excess nutrients. A bio-film of microscopic organisms that forms along the bottom of the floating islands and the plant roots will also take up nutrients from the water. King County staff will take monthly water quality samples from locations throughout the lake to test the islands’ effectiveness at absorbing pollutants for three summers. The project is expected to start this spring and will be completed by June 2015 at a total cost of more than $86,000. Hicklin Lake water quality has been a concern for years, with elevated levels of fecal coliform bacteria and phosphorus, as well as a history of harmful algae blooms that have posed potential health threats to people, pets and wildlife. The lake has been treated twice with alum to reduce phosphorus levels – first in 2005 and again in 2011. It is hoped that the floating islands will prove to be effective and will help to reduce the need for alum application or types of in-lake nutrient controls.

Many of the mines in North Wales have flooded levels, inclines, shafts and stopes. An open ROV would open up our world to what we would be able to see. We have caught glimpses of equipment in flooded sections using high powered torches but these can only cut through so much and leaves us wishing to see if more lays further beyond. I will be uploading various photos of mines over the coming weeks and updating everyone on what we have been getting up to, a group of us usually meets up every Thursday night for an evening of mine exploring so expect updates from us at various points! The photo included in this post is taken in Cwmorthin slate quarry. Slate extraction started in 1810, underground quarrying started around 1861 and continued to 1970, where much smaller scale quarrying took place until the 90s when the quarry finally shut. It remains a fantastic example of Victorian industrialism

The Goal is to generate interest in Underwater Exploration and Associated Technology. As such, all aspects of this Expedition should be planned and conducted with Educational Outreach in mind." The Expedition Goal will be achieved by conducting necessary activities which highlight the Design, Construction and Operation of an OpenROV and necessary associated equipment. Educational Outreach opportunities shall be offered throughout the entire Expedition process. Some of the objectives of this expedition involve exploring the Design, Development, Construction and Operation of an Open Source Underwater Remote Operated Vehicle (ROV) as well as investigating a variety of possible uses for this particular technology. The Expedition will use methods that are consistent with “Open Source” exploration and development. The expedition begins with acquisition of the Open ROV unit. All phases of the Expedition will be documented and presented to the public in the form of a combination of media (video, Photo, blog, etc…) and updates will be posted on the website www.seawolfdivingusa.com as well as on the www.openexplorer.com website and various social networks. Design & Development phase – Consists of planning the Expedition (identification of resources, missions, goals, etc…) and Acquisition of Hardware. Concept design of possible accessories and tools, design of additional programming necessary to accomplish mission goals. Solicitation of associates in a manner which is consistent with “Open Source” philosophy. Planning of individual missions to investigate the variety of possible uses for this technology. Construction phase – Consists of acquiring and building the actual OpenROV unit and all associated hardware and software necessary in order to meet individual mission objectives and accomplish overall Expedition goal. This phase will be conducted as a collaborative effort by all associates. Operational phase – Consists of conducting various in-water missions using (and evaluating) the OpenROV and other associated technology as well as any accessories (tools) developed during the earlier phases of the Expedition. Examples of missions being considered may include (but are not limited to) Dive site exploration and survey, Pond and Lake survey, Diver Observation (safety), Boat Hull survey, Small object retrieval, water & sediment sample retrieval, Underwater Habitat Support functions, Large Municipal Water Storage Tank internal inspection, Large Aquarium internal inspection, swimming pool inspection, etc… The list of individual missions will evolve based on input from Associates , site availability, resource availability, etc… All individual missions, hardware, software, etc… may change as required or indicated by the process of continuing evaluation. Conclusion of Expedition - The Expedition currently has no end date. As the project progresses it is likely that some end or conclusion of Expedition activities will be determined. At the termination of the Expedition all video, images, blogs, data, etc... will remain as Open Source and as such will be available for public use. All hardware will be returned to its respective contributor/owner or retained by Ronald Peters (Seawolf Diving USA) as determined by Expedition management and contributors of said equipment, for continued use in follow-on expeditions or for appropriate disposal. Definitions Open source - as a development model promotes a universal access via free license to a product's design or blueprint, and universal redistribution of that design or blueprint, including subsequent improvements to it by anyone. Associates – individuals and organizations who participate and freely contribute (ideas, knowledge, labor, materials, etc…) in the Design, Development Construction or Operation during the Expedition. Note: All ideas, technology (software & hardware), techniques, etc… that are developed and employed as a result of the events of the Expedition will remain available to everyone (per the Open Source policy) and, as such may not be claimed as personal or intellectual property of any individual or entity. All contributions (material & equipment, ideas, advice, knowledge, labor, etc…) to the Expedition shall be used solely in the execution of the Expedition process and for accomplishment of Expedition goals. In summary – In an effort to “engage the public” and offer a potential free Educational resource to everyone, this Expedition is designed to be open and available to everyone. All interested individuals are welcome to contribute (labor, materials, technology, expertise, knowledge, suggestions, advice, etc…). It is the intent that “all phases of the Expedition” will be made available to everyone. All videos, photos, blogs, images, etc… may (and should) be freely shared, especially for the purposes of education, advancement of knowledge, promotion of development and employment of Underwater Exploration and associated Technology.

Using an Open ROV this expedition will start in Alameda CA, and make stops in five different locations throughout the San Francisco Bay collecting water samples and Macro and Micro plastics. And assuming everything goes well i would like to repeat my experiments in Half Moon bay, Monterey bay, and Bodega bay. These samples will be analyzed In order to determine the amounts of photo degraded plastics and other pollutants present in the water. This expedition will also document bio diversity in different regions using the ROV camera.

Puget Sound is alive. Every drop. The pollution that runs into Puget Sound is flowing into the base of the food chain. If you like sea critters, forage fish, salmon, orcas, sea birds, etc... then you like plankton! Plankton captures the energy from the sun and makes it bio-available to every thing up the food web.

11 Sep 2014 21:46

Founded in 1893, Baylor is an independent, coeducational, day and boarding school for 1,050 students in grade 6-12. Located in Chattanooga, Tenn., our boarding students represent 19 countries and 21 states. Situated on the bank of the Tennessee River, Baylor has access to a truly remarkable water ecosystem. In collaboration with the Tennessee River Gorge Trust, Baylor School students are becoming stewards of Williams Island – a 400-acre wilderness within easy rowing distance. The island is already the site for archaeology and ornithology projects as well as recreational pursuits such as camping and fishing. Baylor School also hosts an aquatic summer camp in partnership with the Tennessee Aquarium, funded by the National Science Foundation. With this project, Baylor looks forward to bringing more of our student learning to the water. We are planning to do an extensive aerial and underwater analysis of Baylor Lake. The lake, located within the boundaries of campus, is affected by rainwater runoff as well as the dam that creates Chickamauga Reservoir. Using remotely controlled devices, we will monitor and compare the lake before, during, and after periods of rain. This documentation will be used by future Baylor students to establish long term records and comparisons of the lake and its conditions.

In 1905, heavy rainfall caused the Colorado River to form a dike which was built to provide water for the farms and the formerly dry Salton Sink, creating an artificial lake. The town of Salton and a Southern Pacific railroad siding were completely submerged. This is one of the most mysterious places in California. The Salton Sea is below sea level, and is believed to once be a settlement that was washed out by a river. Half this ghost town is now under the water. Railroad tracks lead into the water... The fall of the Salton Sea was due to the salinity from local farming. The salinity levels became so high that fish as well as birds drinking the water, died, creating a beach of bones. There is a rotten horrible smell over this place, and it is not a place you'd like to take a dip in. Who knows what is hiding down there.. -And who doesn't want to find out! Follow us in this this exciting quest below the surface of the mysterious Salton Sea.

Sydney Harbour is world famous for its natural beauty and for hosting one of the world's major cities. At the same time, it is one of the most urbanised estuarine environments in the world. It has long been home to the Cadigal people who lived and died on this land and its waters. In more recent times, it has seen industrial and military heritage give way to civil life around people's homes, public ferries, beaches and parks. There are over 2 million people living on and around the harbour; many with little idea of the incredible biodiversity (over 550 species), amazing underwater geomorphology, habitat diversity and more that exists beneath the surface. Above the surface, Sydney is experiencing a rise in the number of open innovation/DIY communities of hackerspaces, makers, scientists and others. We're realising that there's so much the Sydney community can do if it is empowered to collaborate and put its skills together. This project aims to create Sydney's first marine-based open lab/hackerspace which brings together these diverse groups. We'll engage and empower the public by using, improving, and tinkering with OpenROVs, linking up with biotech and engineering hackerspaces, along with marine scientists. We'll thus enable the public to explore the harbour, perhaps contribute to research, and importantly, to get informed about and engaged with the precious harbour we're living on. *image courtesy of Tourism NSW

The point of the project is to test and add data points to the Oceanspaces project(oceanspaces.org/monitoring/map), that is put on by institutions and free roam marine biologists, to collect data about our west coast oceans. It is also to expand the field of data that has been collected by my team at Huntington Beach High School, allowing me to have my own personal ROV, that can travel with me at all times. My project will entail an addition of multiple sensors, that will be wired into the rov and the tether to bring their data to the surface. The specific sensors will all be connected to a single Arduino, and will be powered separately from the Open ROV itself. The sensor list includes, a Geiger counter, a temperature sensor, a PH sensor, and hopefully many more! I will be conducting these tests in as many places as possible, as I transition to Northern California for college. (note: the project location for the moment is Huntington Beach High School's pool, because it is closely monitored by the school and has allowed us to fine tune the High School's rov.)

Floating patches of plastic debris are found in oceans all over the world. The extent of these patches are mind boggling and scary. There is a growing focus on many aspects of this global problem, and that is a good start. We see new suggestions to how we could gather and prevent this every day. That being said, a lot of debris is still washing ashore contaminating beaches and coastal areas. As of now cleaning and recycling this trash seems like an everlasting job, but if we do not act, what will it look like over time? To quote the incredibly inspiring "Her Deepness" Sylvia Earle: "Hold up a mirror and ask yourself what you are capable of doing, and what you really care about. Then take the initiative - don't wait for someone else to ask you to act." Norway is a vast country with an extensive coast line. If you were to walk the whole coast of Norway with the deep fjords and thousands of islands, it would make for a 16 000 hour walk in decent terrain, and it is not! The or way nature is completely mesmerizing, especially our coast. It is harsh and unforgiving, but it is also one of the more fascinating landscapes in the world (completely objective statement from a Norwegian). Being a surfer and seeing how our beaches get covered in plastic debris and trash after a storm is genuinely agonizing at times and I would love to be able to help out keeping our beautiful coast clean. Surfers are avid users of beaches and coastal areas. They also have their favorite spots which they tend to return to. This means that the surfers often have good insights into how contaminated the beaches tend to get and how quickly this happens. This is why the surfers all over the world has started organizing cleanup-days. A bunch of surfers meet up and gathers debris and trash for recycling. This leaves the beaches looking as beautiful as they should, and rids that area of contaminating debris. Win-Win! As these cleanup-days has been getting some recognition, more and more people are joining in, at least here in Norway. We have seems divers joining in to help out as well. This means that we are able to rid the areas of some of the "invisible" trash as well. As a diver you have a limited amount of time you are able to dive. To get the job done most efficiently one should not spend to much time searching, but more time gathering. When I came across OpenROV, I figured that this would open a lot of possibilities in this regard. If we are able to use an ROV with an extended tether, we could map and plan the dives beforehand to make the search more effective. I am an industrial designer and ex. navy diver. I am a passionate maker and I love to play around with new technologies. Seeing this as an opportunity to combine this with making an impact on the environment, the idea really made sense to me. I believe we could be able to use either geotagging to set up a diving route, or we could actually make a physical add-on to the ROV that would mark trash found when mapping the bottom. I have quite a few ideas, and will present them in further posts, but firstly I would like to enter this as my contribution to win an OpenROV to help rid the Norwegian coastline of more trash. I have attached a video here that really captures some of the beauty in Norwegian nature and documents some of the beach cleanups that have been held on the North-West coast.

Who are we and what do we do? Drones are usually perceived as controversial modern war machines and lately as an alternative to deliver pizzas to packages. Drone technology has beem democratized by the rise of dozen of affordable and versatile multicopters, generating the development of new usages in areas where we first didn't expect them, archaeology being one of them. Aerial archaeolgy is not something new but using a manned aicraft is still, to this day, something very expensive. As serial web entrepreneurs and explorers, we have launched "A.D.A.P", the Aerial & Digital Archaeology & Preservation research group. With our team, We trains archaeologists and preservation specialists to use drones. This way, they can easily map existing sites with photographic and 3D representations, discover new sites and reduce the impact of their excavations on the environment, and efficiently protect world heritage sites with new monitoring capabilities. We are now excited to take on a new challenge with OpenRov. Underwater archeology can certainly benefits from the democratization of ROVs throughout such initiative. We aim at demonstrating the efficiency of OpenRov for complex underwater archaeological tasks and use this project as a vehicle to promote free workshops and trainings designed for preservation specialists. What the project is about? Growing up with Jules Vernes and Jacques Cousteau, our journey is inspired by this recollection of memories made with underwater adventures and exploration. Non-invasive technologies are a game changer. At a time when we thought that most of our planet has been already explored, innovation gives Sciences a new and exciting opportunity. It is as if the era of exploration just started over... There are thousands of historical shipwrecks around the coast of Florida. However, only a few are protected by the Shipwreck Preserves Program. After carefully selecting historical shipwrecks from different eras in non-protected areas, we'll explore the sites, survey the site location and collect data using multiple sensors. As the Florida Keys also host the most amazing coral reef in the world, we'll use this opportunity to realize a study showing the impact of human activities on endangered coral specifies that we believe shoud be protected by the State. From a technology perspective, we also plan to combine the OpenROV with a UAV but we'll developp this topic in another post. How can you help? This project like every other project we are involved with is based on the principles of collaboration and knowledge management. Wether you are an expert in marine biology, underwater archaelogy, or an engineer, someone who is also building and experimenting ROV technology with OpenROV or simply someone who is interested in our project, please share you thoughts with us. Your feedback is extremely valuable for us and we welcome new team members! Spread the word! The OpenROV project is currently giving away 5 ROVs to the projects with the top number or followers. Simply create your profile at www.openexplorer.com and follow our project page. Then share it on Facebook, Twitter and other social networks and invite your friends to follow us. OpenRov has made underwater exploration more affordable but when you need multiple units so you can experiment with them or use 2-3 of them in synch so you can survey a larger area faster, it can become very expensive and we will really welcome a new kit. This new kit will be equipped with Finally, let me emphasize how much the OpenRov project means for us and for what we believe in. This community is clearly revolutionnizing this industry and the impact on Sciences is more than significant. By following this page and by sharing our project with your friends and family, you also contribute to this community. Thanks for your help and please check this page often for updates. Ben

Turneffe Atoll is the largest and most biologically diverse coral atoll in the Western Hemisphere. Located 25 miles east of Belize City and surrounded by deep oceanic waters, Turneffe is approximately 30 miles long and 10 miles wide. The islands, some larger than 5,000 acres, are covered by at least 77 different vegetation types. Mangrove forests are interspersed with brackish lagoons, covering most of the low-lying areas. A reef crest and magnificent shallow coral buttresses is followed by reef rim on the outer reef drop-off. Oceanic Society has been working to study and protect the marine life of Turneffe Atoll for more than a decade, and we have owned and operated our Blackbird Caye Field Station on Turneffe Atoll since 2001. This expedition aims to document the marine biodiversity, and share the information with scientists, citizen scientists, and educators.

Well-known nationwide by a complex of almost thirty lagoons, all connected through a wide net of both artificial-built and natural canals, totaling almost 600 km of navigational waterways. Its fresh waters testified the advent of commercial navigation from XVIII century to 60's, when politicians yet thought the way European's - unfortunately, the progress bring roadways, which made all maritime companies to decline in the following years, but it's other story! Thanks to waterways in those glory years, communities and cities had a great opportunity to trade, fish and travel themselves and with the capital, strengthen the boundaries and territories of the south during Brazilian colonial age. Additionally, insert along this vast net of waters, is the Guaiba River, connecting the cost to the rest of the territory, and the Lagoa dos Patos, the largest lagoon of Brazil and second of Latin America, which connects the capital to Atlantic Ocean. Apart the benefits to local population, due to violent and frequent winds, its waters may hide stories of horror and death, if sailed without caution. It was precisely in the perilous Lagoa da Pinguela, that two of the most intriguing and remarkable tragedy of the Brazilian's fluvial navigation history took place. Dozens of other shipwrecks were lost in Lagoa dos Patos. Searching for clues and evidences, and finding the remains of this forgotten shipwrecks, is the great adventurous journey The Daicelo Adventures Team is about to take. Keeping their memories alive for the generations to come is the reward we await for. The following posts tells the history behind such most important tragedies, and all the details behind the expedition planning, equipments, methods and search grids.

16 Aug 2014 21:49

By doing a lot of research in Poland, I found more questions than answers. First of all the Germans made massive bunker systems here, and I have NOT been able to find any answers to what they were supposed to have been used for. Of course there are stories that it should have been a bunker for Hitler and his staff. An other theory is Nuclear weapon development. Some say new V3 (???) rockets. And yet what we know is that the German kicked everybody out the last days of the war, and came in with truck loads of boxes. What was in those boxes? And where is it all now? I have also found some quite interesting stories that might link to the stories about the different submarines that were supposed to have shipped gold to south America. What might have happened is that it was split in parts, some om the subs, and some in the bunkers...

8 Dec 2014 0:00

"The Peconic Estuary exhibits a rich mosaic of coastal and underwater habitats that support diverse communities and 140 globally and locally rare species. The distinctive ecology of the Peconic Estuary can be attributed to its unique fresh groundwater source and the restriction of water flow out of the estuary by Shelter Island. The Peconic Estuary and its watershed have been identified as one of The Nature Conservancy’s “Last Great Places” in the western hemisphere." -The Nature Conservancy Little Creek Oysters is a modern oyster farm fortunate enough to be located in this unique environment. We feel honored to act as stewards of this resource and work to educate our friends, neighbors and customers. In addition, we have long felt that there is a missing opportunity in our schools. Our students are not aware of the opportunities in marine sciences, engineering, technology that lay at their shoreside. We propose an expedition to explore this unique estuary. We hope that our "Peconic Bay PlayLab" will be a place where people will get hands on with technology, using tinker/Maker approaches to show that mental currency can make things happen. As a semi-rural community with limited economic strength, often we find this has been a mental barrier to inspired thinking. We believe it is time to look at the amazing resources we have. Expedition Goals: -Build an OpenROV vehicle with a mix of students and interested community members. Using this platform- -Document Water quality- nitrogen levels, algal blooms, salinity, temperature, etc -Explore and record the ecosystems developing around the oyster farm cages at several farms in the estuary. -Coordinate with other projects such as eelgrass restoration efforts to document and evaluate without damaging fragile systems. -Build open-source Marine Observation Buoys using off-the shelf parts, deployed by individuals to create a dynamic dashboard of the bay. Think Weather Underground, underwater! The PLayLab will utilize our waterfront oyster farm HQ and Market as a work(play)space. Our dock and protected area will provide an excellent testing ground for our studies. We propose to nourish the mind as well as the body! More From The Nature Conservancy: The Peconic Estuary exhibits a rich mosaic of coastal and underwater habitats that support diverse communities and 140 globally and locally rare species. The distinctive ecology of the Peconic Estuary can be attributed to its unique fresh groundwater source and the restriction of water flow out of the estuary by Shelter Island. The Peconic Estuary and its watershed have been identified as one of The Nature Conservancy’s “Last Great Places” in the western hemisphere. Over 90 separate areas have been designated as significant coastal fish and wildlife habitats by the New York State Department of State. The estuary provides feeding habitat as well as spawning and nursery grounds to a wide variety of aquatic and terrestrial species. Shellfish, such as bay scallops and hard clams, and fish, such as bay anchovies, Atlantic silversides, summer flounders and weakfish, are among the many aquatic species that utilize the Peconic Estuary. Meadows of eelgrass, found along the edges of the eastern end of the estuary establish one of the most important underwater habitats within the Peconic. These meadows provide food and shelter for many marine organisms and are an important component of the nutrient cycle. CHALLENGES AND THREATS On the large scale, the Peconic watershed is an interconnected gradient of terrestrial, freshwater and marine systems that support and enhance biodiversity on Long Island. Over 50% of the uplands and shoreline surrounding the Peconic Estuary are developed or under cultivation. The Nature Conservancy aims to conserve the diversity of plants, fish and wildlife within the Peconic Estuary.

The Terra Firme Foundation is a non profit organization established since 2005 and mainly focused on interdisciplinary research, social, related to the aquatic environment. During this time Terra Firme Foundation archaeologist, has carried out several projects in conjunction with universities and Governmental organizations. Diffusion projects have been very successful especially among children and youth in schools and neighborhoods. The idea for our next project will be based on an "Expedition to the seafloor with OpenRov" to display in live submerged heritage, this will allow us to monitor a number of archaeological sites that have been localized in past projects. I'm sure this issue would generate a unique approach to children, youth and even adults of the island. This form of interaction can be applied in other disciplines of importance in the island such as exploitation of marine resources but also the protection of marine ecosystems. This expedition can become a reference in many conservation issues of archaeological sites in situ, studies marine biology, oceanography, robotics etc. not only in the schools of the island, but it also in other areas with few social opportunities. The potential and marine diversity in the Colombian coast is unique worldwide and very few have the chance to dive into this wonderful world.

13 Aug 2014 21:02

Denmark was occupied during the 2. world war, by the German army. When they left in 1945 lots of their equipment was left in they town of Korsør, when they shipped out back to Germany. Later some of that equipment was dropped in the sea by locals, along with objects from the local underground resistance army. Some on deep water, but some on shallow waters, being caught by fishermens to this day. Goal is to try finding some of this equipment, by searching known locations where they still are found in nets.

The primary focus of the R2H2O Expeditions of 2014 is to explore major natural springs and underground caverns located throughout the Floridan Aquifer system, primarily in South Georgia and North Florida. The public will have the opportunity to follow the Expeditions through updates on the Expeditions' website/blog and social media channels. To promote educational outreach, the Expeditions' team will create learning activities specific to each expedition site that is visited by R2H2O. The secondary focus of the 2014 R2H2O Expeditions includes visits to sites of interest located in the Flint River Basin of South Georgia. And last, but not least, a bonus expedition for R2H2O this season will include a trip to the Florida Keys during the Expeditions Leader's visit to the Classroom Under the Sea crew who will attempt to break the current World Record for longest time spent living continuously underwater with their planned 72-day mission in the Jules Undersea Lodge. The Expeditions Team will collect water samples as part of the Environmental Protection Agency's Volunteer Water Monitoring program for Region 4.

I am a middle school science teacher on the beautiful Big Island of Hawaii, it is the most awesome place to teach science! On the Big Island there are many unique ecosystems and geological features, on the South East area there is one special place known by many as Kapoho Vacation Land and also by another name,Wai ‘Ōpae. It is a large complex of tidepools which support a diverse coral reef community and provides a nursery for juvenile fish. Roughly half this area was designated as a Marine Life Conservation District (MLCD) in 2003. Commercial activity, collecting or fishing is not allowed within the MLCD, however, the nearby coastal area is frequently used for net and pole fishing. On August 7th, 2014 Hurricane Iselle, a category 1 Hurricane hit the South East side of the Big Island and did major damage blowing down trees and power lines like matchsticks for miles around, but the most devastating damage at Kapoho was cause by the massive storm surge before the hurricane hit. The water burst into homes and dragged debris out. In some cases the waves toppled the buildings and washed away the stairs of the houses leaving the people trapped upstairs. Unfortunately the waves also brought back to the ocean toxic chemicals in the form of pesticides, paint and other types of household products. In one instance a car was carried by water into a pool leaking gas and other chemicals into the water. These pools are filled to the brim with many species of corals that are know to be slow growing and very sensitive to being damaged. I teach 6th,7th and 8th grade science and I have had the amazing opportunity to take my students on field trips to these coral reef tidepools to monitor corals by using quadrats and digital photography to collect and analyze data. We would like to be a part of the clean up and recovery of the tidepools but now because of the potential dangers of the condition of the water we need another way to collect photos of the corals. The underwater rover be used to take photos of the corals so that we can compare them to photos taken in the past 3 years. We can also correlate the visual information with water sample data. Please follow our project so we can win this technology for our class to help Kapoho heal!

In 1940 the Tacoma Narrows Bridge collapsed into the Puget Sound, creating a giant pile of rubble that has since become inhabited as a manmade reef. Most of the old bridge lies directly below the new one, but some large sections of the roadway were transported and dropped along the Tacoma waterfront. It is a popular dive site for local SCUBA divers because of the abundance of plant and animal life, but is relatively unknown to most everyone else. The old bridge is an exciting part of Tacoma history, and most everyone assumes all of it is located around the point in the Narrows. The waterfront is an incredibly popular spot, but anything blow the surface is so alien and unaccessible to almost everyone there. I would like to explore this awesome site from the nearby pier by ROV, and offer people an opportunity to watch from monitors or take over control themselves and get a chance to adventure around an area they never even knew was there. It would be a great opportunity to explore with marine biology classes or camps as well, to give kids an eye level look at their subjects in a way that isn't restricted to photos or touch tanks.

Anywhere wet!, 25 Sep 2014 1:29

I've worked with large construction class ROVs for about 6 years, but have always been intrigued by the flexibility of small inspection and hobby size subs. My project idea is to lightly modify a small kit ROV to be mounted in and flown from a bigger ROV. This isn't a new idea, but the goal would be to use this platform of power supplier/host ROV to experiment and modify and test out new idea for home built subs in a way that launching them from the surface just wont provide. It would give way to makers and bold experimenters to test their modifications from deeper depths, in clearer water, with unlimited power supply. The exclusion of batteries then opens up further into playing with different voltages, adding heavier accessories, and even changing thruster configurations or sizes. Things like oil filled electronics housings or electronic manipulators can be experimented with, and from a platform that gives a complete 3rd person overview of the sub being modified and tested. From a working standpoint a smaller "accessory" sub would prove invaluable for exploring tight spaces, inspecting leaks or issues with the larger ROV in areas it can't see with its own cameras, and being able to return the favor to its host and provide broad overview to a work or exploration site.

Xavier Institute of Engineering, Mahim, Mumbai, run by the Jesuits, is located near Mahim Causeway, 200 meter from Arabian Ocean. It has three branches – Computer Engineering, Information Technology and Electronics & Telecommunication Engineering. Among private colleges, it is ranked 4th in Mumbai City and 42nd in India. The students of Xavier Institute of Engineering have done a lot of robotic projects and competitions. Last year they won the first prize in robotics at a competition held at the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur. Now we want to move further and develop our technical skills while benefiting the surrounding community. Close to our college a big sewage line joins the sea. Due to this pollution, fisheries suffer a lot. Sewage not only pollutes the sea water, but also kills sea creatures thereby causing immense damage to the environment. We want to use underwater robots to measure the pollution and see first hand the effects to sea life. We want to make the union government aware of the pollution sewage water causes to the ocean. Day by day filth from the city is increasing in the causeway. Unless we prove scientifically, the Government of India is not going to do anything. We want to do research using underwater robots as the ocean is very close to our Institution. Since water is polluted, fish are also not healthy. But they are caught and sold in the market. People who eat this fish also fall sick and suffer from many deceases.

17 Sep 2014 18:10

We will use an OpenROV to explore around the site of the 2014 Lake Michigan BP oil spill from the Whiting Refinery in northwest Indiana: http://bit.ly/Zq3Fer We will work to outfit the OpenROV with Aduino and BeagleBoard add-ons based on the work of Public Lab, a DIY citizen science community (publiclab.org). These modifications could measure for temperature, conductivity, and depth. Or maybe a webcam with near infrared, if that is a possibility.

We have some boats and are familiar with scuba diving. With the ROV we will go deeper and try to find some rests.

In 2011, the California Academy of Sciences started an initiative to explore Mesophotic Coral Ecosystems (MCEs) as a critical science gap. It was concluded that a small interdisciplinary team would pilot an initiative to explore these critical ecosystems. The team has since completed multiple successful expeditions to mesophotic reefs. These expeditions have combined training, sample collections, live animal collections, photo and video documentation, as well as the prototyping of collection and diving equipment. Multiple new species of fishes and invertebrates have been discovered, plans for public aquaria exhibits focused on MCEs have been formulated, and digital assets are being utilized for scientific reference and public display. In only a few years of studying MCEs, it is apparent that MCEs are facing similar anthropomorphic pressures as shallow coral ecosystems. Threats to MCEs are apparent near coastal development with both garbage and sediment runoff spreading down to the deeper reefs. MCEs appear to be one of the next global frontiers for discovery. Given the relatively small amount of research being conducted on MCEs, collaboration between interdisciplinary scientists with experience working on MCEs may produce important results that inform resource managers and the subsequent conservation of MCEs.

21 Jul 2014 21:55

Every day we hear about or see first hand the many men and women who have returned from military service no where near the condition in which they first departed. These prior service, disabled persons still have the same curiosities, passions, hobbies and aspirations that they did before but their ability has changed. I myself am a prior service veteran and I have my days/months that I cannot dive due to my injuries There are diving assistance programs for disabled people and "wounded" veterans that rely on community programs and support to trim, modify or even custom make diving equipment for those that have missing/augmented limbs, prosthetics or special mobility need while on land. Those special programs that CAN help are wonderful and always at capacity. In the Pacific Northwest we also have the temperature element to contend with both in the water and out, making for another special equipment need/adjustment (8mm exposure suit/dry suit). While there are different things an otherwise average diver has to consider and have on hand a disabled diver in the Pacific Northwest has two fold that and limitations on physical ability. An unfortuately large number of military veterans returning the last couple of years have Tramatic Brain Injuries, Ear Injuries, Head Injuries and many have physical body injuries on top of that. It would be a huge step forward and theraputic to be able to assist these veterans with pursuit of their underwater interests, hobbies and enrichment. When is the last time you saw an underwater scene in on television and people around did not stop to watch mesmerized, relaxed, smiling, invigorated or just a simple "wow" is uttered. These veterans who can no longer be underwater due to pressure or disability would be able to "dive" real time with their friend or in an area they want to see, record it and talk about it! I expect that we will have some unforseen hurdles and may need to improves the "controls" and locations at times BUT what I could not ask for a better group to experience it with than our ever resource U.S. Armed Forces Veterans. Watch for us, talk with us, ask us questions and PLEASE feel free to give feedback and advice.

12 Aug 2014 21:15

I have always been fascinated by sea life, especially sharks. Because of childhood ear infections and ear/nose/throat issues arising from them, I am unable to dive to depths below 25ish feet. My ears simply won't pressurize. I hope to use the OpenROV kit to examine the habitats of these freshwater sharks in Nicaragua. I have spent nearly two months over spring break service trips and summer internships in Nicaragua and have worked with education and animal life during those times. I want to educate the local populations about these sharks because they are such a unique type of animal. I currently work at Eckerd College which has a large Marine Science program. I would love to take a group of marine science students to Nicaragua to collect more data about these sharks as well. The trip could be incorporated into our "Spring Break Service Trips" which allow students to volunteer abroad, much in the way that I was introduced to Nicaragua two years ago.

For the past few months, the Oakland High School ESA program has been building an OpenROV for underwater exploration. One of the first big dives will be at Lake Merritt, which is a location the class knows well, and has collected important environmental data on for many years. We're going to be attempting to stream the dive in realtime via G+.