Accelerating Ocean Exploration


Marica McNutt, Editor-in-chief at Science, wrote an editorial summarizing the Ocean Exploration 2020 meeting in Long Beach last month. I was particularly interested in this passage:

Words such as “crowd sourcing,” “crowd funded,” and “citizen scientist” are nowhere to be found in the President's Ocean Exploration Panel report of 2000, but at the Long Beach meeting, intense excitement revolved around growing public engagement in many aspects of ocean exploration through mechanisms that did not exist 13 years ago. However, there is not yet a body of experience on how to take advantage of this new paradigm on the scale of a problem as large as ocean exploration. For example, what tasks are most suitable for citizen scientists, and how can they be trained efficiently? Can the quality control of their work be automated? Can crowd-sourced tasks be scheduled to avoid duplication and gaps?

It's great to see the acknowledgement of the growing potential of the maker movement to provide useful tools and research for exploration and ocean science. Hopefully this trend continues.


It was good to see first hand the impact the OpenROV project had at this conference; to open up thinking to non-traditional approaches to science, ocean engineering, funding and collaboration. The OpenROV community should be proud of what we have accomplished so far and what we will be able to do going forward. I look forward to working with the science community, learning from them and hopefully helping to extend their work thru the efforts of this international opensource community of citizen makers.