Documents & Publications

News & Announcements Calendar & Events  Account/Subscriptions Management Travel Support, Policy, Forms Ocean Observatories InitiativeThe Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI) will construct a networked infrastructure of science-driven sensor systems to measure the physical, chemical, geological and biological variables in the ocean and seafloor. Greater knowledge of these variables is vital for improved detection and forecasting of environmental changes and their effects on biodiversity, coastal ecosystems and climate.
The ocean is the planet’s largest ecosystem. It drives an incredible range of natural phenomena, including our climate, and thus directly impacts human society. New approaches are crucial to bettering our scientific understanding of episodic and long-term changes at work in our oceans. Resolving pressing issues related to climate variability, severe weather, ocean turbulent mixing, changes in ocean ecosystems, plate tectonics and sub-seafloor chemistry and biology depend upon these new approaches. The OOI’s goal is to install transformational technology in ocean observatories where it can serve researchers, policymakers and the public.
Building on last century’s era of ship-based expeditions, recent technological leaps have brought us to the brink of a sweeping transformation in our approach to ocean research – the focus on expeditionary science is shifting to a permanent presence in the ocean. The ocean itself presents major obstacles to oceanographic exploration. We cannot live in it or even visit for long. We cannot see through it, nor probe effectively with satellites. But new tools permanently installed in our oceans can communicate instantly with scientists on land. They require less power and can carry out user commands or complex pre-programmed instructions; the tools can provide long-term, continuous and real-time understanding of critical ocean phenomena.
Advanced ocean research and sensor tools represent a significant improvement over past techniques. Remotely operated and autonomous vehicles go deeper and perform longer than submarines. Underwater samplers do in minutes what used to take hours in a lab. Telecommunications cables link experiments directly to office computers and supply unparalleled power. Farther asea, satellite uplinks shuttle buoy data at increasing rates.
With these advances the OOI will improve the rate and scale of ocean data collection, and its networked observatories will focus on global, regional and coastal science questions. They will also provide platforms to support new kinds of instruments and autonomous vehicles.
OOI is the National Science Foundation’s contribution to the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS). While the science-driven OOI will focus on discoveries enabled by new technologies, IOOS will concentrate on direct applications to everyday societal needs. IOOS data will feed into the Global Ocean Observing System, an international program with similar goals.
After more than 10 years of planning, construction of the observatory network is about to begin. We invite you to join us as we embark on a new era of ocean observing. Disclaimer Privacy Policy Ocean Observing Calendar & Events  Account/Subscriptions Management Travel Support, Policy, FormsOcean Observatories InitiativeThe Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI) will construct a networked infrastructure of science-driven sensor systems to measure the physical, chemical, geological and biological variables in the ocean and seafloor. Greater knowledge of these variables is vital for improved detection and forecasting of environmental changes and their effects on biodiversity, coastal ecosystems and climate.The ocean is the planet’s largest ecosystem. It drives an incredible range of natural phenomena, including our climate, and thus directly impacts human society. New approaches are crucial to bettering our scientific understanding of episodic and long-term changes at work in our oceans. Resolving pressing issues related to climate variability, severe weather, ocean turbulent mixing, changes in ocean ecosystems, plate tectonics and sub-seafloor chemistry and biology depend upon these new approaches. The OOI’s goal is to install transformational technology in ocean observatories where it can serve researchers, policymakers and the public.Building on last century’s era of ship-based expeditions, recent technological leaps have brought us to the brink of a sweeping transformation in our approach to ocean research – the focus on expeditionary science is shifting to a permanent presence in the ocean. The ocean itself presents major obstacles to oceanographic exploration. We cannot live in it or even visit for long. We cannot see through it, nor probe effectively with satellites. But new tools permanently installed in our oceans can communicate instantly with scientists on land. They require less power and can carry out user commands or complex pre-programmed instructions; the tools can provide long-term, continuous and real-time understanding of critical ocean phenomena.Advanced ocean research and sensor tools represent a significant improvement over past techniques. Remotely operated and autonomous vehicles go deeper and perform longer than submarines. Underwater samplers do in minutes what used to take hours in a lab. Telecommunications cables link experiments directly to office computers and supply unparalleled power. Farther asea, satellite uplinks shuttle buoy data at increasing rates.With these advances the OOI will improve the rate and scale of ocean data collection, and its networked observatories will focus on global, regional and coastal science questions. They will also provide platforms to support new kinds of instruments and autonomous vehicles. OOI is the National Science Foundation’s contribution to the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS). While the science-driven OOI will focus on discoveries enabled by new technologies, IOOS will concentrate on direct applications to everyday societal needs. IOOS data will feed into the Global Ocean Observing System, an international program with similar goals.After more than 10 years of planning, construction of the observatory network is about to begin. We invite you to join us as we embark on a new era of ocean observing.