Undergraduates key to the planet’s future
Over the past few days, my team and I have been attending the Ocean Sciences Meeting in Salt Lake City, Utah. About 4,000 people are here representing pretty much every discipline in this field. Sessions span physical oceanography to outreach and education. As might be expected, there are also many organizations present. One of which is the Ocean Observatory Initiative sponsored by the US National Science Foundation.
The OOI program consists of Global Scale Nodes; Regional Scale Nodes; Coastal Scale Nodes; Cyberinfrastructure and Engagement and Public Engagement components. In many respects it is quite similar to the components of Ocean Networks Canada. In fact, the Regional Scale Nodes were originally conceived and named as Neptune from which NEPTUNE Canada arose, but that’s another story.
I was particularly interested in the development of the education and public engagement component of the OOI and sought out Scott Glenn, professor of oceanography at Rutgers University to learn more about it. He and his team won the bid from NSF to develop the tools and processes to support the use of the real-time data by educators. I managed to catch up with him today and, although he was very tired from all the meetings and sessions in which he was involved, he still happily consented to brief interview in front of the poster that some of his team were presenting at the conference.
His key message: those scientists who teach undergraduates have a responsibility to pass along a desire to pursue further studies in oceanography and to share one’s passion and knowledge with others.
If you are such a scientist/teacher, we’d be happy to assist you in developing tools and processes for using the real-time data from VENUS and NEPTUNE Canada ocean observing networks in your labs and lectures. Just contact me at