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The most far-reaching effect of ocean observatories may be a significant shift in public attitudes toward the global ocean and scientific research.

...the most far-reaching effect may be a significant shift in public attitudes toward the oceans and the scientific process.

TES OOIRSN article Spring 2010

 "A Fiber-Optic Telescope to the Deep Sea," Spring 2010 article on the OOI RSN in The Earth Scientist magazine.

Real-time data now flowing from over 140 instruments connected to the Regional Cabled Array submarine fiber optic network is providing exceptional opportunities for students across the globe to explore and interact with a wide breadth of instrumentation focused on understanding major oceanographic processes. Imagine interacting with live, high definition video in the class room, watching animals that thrive in some of the most extreme environments on Earth, which utilize toxic gases for energy. Watching underwater volcanic eruptions as they evolve, marked by >8000 earthquakes in one day, a > 7 ft collapse of the top of the volcano, and >30,000 explosions. Or, tracking the language of whales as their communications change with time. These, and many more investigations are open to students of all ages by accessing data on the Ocean Observatories portal.

In addition, to data exploration, for over two decades, the University of Washington has enabled at-sea experiences for undergraduate and graduate students through cruise participation. The UW has continued its commitment to the OOI Regional Cabled Array effort through use of the 274' global class Research Vessel the Thomas G. Thompson and other UNOLS blue water ships. Each year, as many as 45 undergraduate and graduate students work and study alongside UW researchers, engineers, and the ship's crew to learn all aspects of seagoing research, ship operations, and life aboard an oceanographic research vessel.

During the cruises, students develop projects around the use of robotic vehicles, mapping, and linkages among geological, biological, chemical, and physical oceanographic processes. Students share their experiences with the public through daily blogs.