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 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. Over 100 students have participated in this discovery program.
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 and through the development of engagement projects. The VISIONS’21 cruise continues this tradition of taking students to sea.
OOI also provides opportunities for external scientists and guest participants to take part in our annual research expeditions in order to conduct their own research at OOI sites, create art, or document cruise events in writing. They also assist in the day-to-day activities of the cruise, observe the seafloor and midwater environments we visit, and learn about the technology we use to conduct long-term deep-sea research.