Student Application: Please Join Us On the VISIONS 2022 Seagoing Expedition

Water streams off ROPOS as it is being recovered onto the deck of the R/V Thompson. Photo Credit: M. Elend, University of Washington.

We are looking for students interested in participating in the UW Sea-Going Research and Discovery course (OCEAN 411). This at-sea experiential learning program will provide you the opportunity to sail on a global-class research ship using a state-of the-art underwater robotic vehicle (ROV). The expedition will take place August to mid-September 2022 aboard the 274-foot R/V Thomas G. Thompson and will utilize the deep diving robotic vehicle ROPOS. We will be working at depths of up to 9500 ft beneath the ocean’s surface and at >300 miles offshore in some of the most extreme environments on Earth.

An active black smoker on the hydrothermal chimney “Mushroom” is surrounded by a dense colony of beautiful tube worms. Credit: UW/NSF-OOI/CSSF

The expedition worksites include methane seeps off the Oregon margin; Axial Seamount (the largest and most active submarine volcano off our coast); active hydrothermal vents hosting novel animal and microbial communities; and at highly productive coastal environments off Newport, OR.

Working in the control van of ROPOS alongside the pilots, engineers, and scientists, you will “see” places rarely observed and animal communities that thrive in perpetual darkness. The expedition will include five 8-10 day legs leaving from and returning to Newport, OR. You may participate on one or more legs.

UW VISIONS’21 undergraduates prepare the CTD rosette for another water cast during the RCA expedition. Credit: R. Scott, University of Washington, V21.

During the cruise you will conduct your own research and/or outreach projects using data and stunning imagery collected with these advanced technologies. During Fall Quarter 2022, you will have the opportunity to finish your individual and/or team projects and present your results in a symposium at the end of the quarter. The course will emphasize the importance of science communication during your time at sea. Longer term projects are available as well, which may turn into publications in national journals and allow you to give presentations at national meetings.

As a member of this oceanographic expedition and class, you will be taking part in maintenance of the US’s high-power and high-bandwidth underwater ocean observatory that is directly connected to the Internet – the Regional Cabled Array – funded by the National Science Foundation as part of the Ocean Observatories Initiative. Here, over 150 instruments are streaming data and imagery live to shore 24/7/365 that are available for you to explore and to make your own discoveries. You will be participating in a truly groundbreaking effort that continues to transform ocean sciences and exploration.

Please Click Here to Download the VISIONS22_Student_Application_MAY

There are no costs to participate in this program, and no expectations of prior sea-going experience or knowledge about the ocean. All transportation to and from the ship is provided by the program. The goal is to share with you the excitement of sea-going research and the importance of the ocean.

Please submit the application  via email by May 15, 2022 to Dr. Deb Kelley (; 206-685-9556) or drop off at Room 261, Ocean Teaching Building.