NOAA, Schmidt Ocean Institute team to explore, map the ocean
NOAA announced that it will formalize and expand its longstanding partnership with Schmidt Ocean Institute (SOI) to explore, characterize and map the deep ocean and boost public understanding of the global ocean.
Schmidt Ocean Institute was established as a philanthropically funded nonprofit in 2009 by Eric and Wendy Schmidt to advance oceanographic research through the development of innovative technologies, open sharing of information and broad communication about ocean health.
Since 2013, SOI’s research vessel Falkor has supported more than 40 U.S. federal scientists on collaborative research expeditions around the globe and partnered with NOAA’s Office of Exploration and Research on expeditions to expand mapping and data collection for U.S. marine protected areas. This work included exploration and data collection in the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument, Marianas Trench Marine National Monument, Pacific Remote Islands National Monument and the Phoenix Islands Protected Area. These projects have resulted in jointly created maps and outreach activities, including public ship tours, education campaigns and live broadcasts from the seafloor.
The collaboration could support the recent Presidential Memorandum on Ocean Mapping in the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone and Shoreline and Near Shore of Alaska and the goals announced at the November 2019 White House Summit on Partnerships in Ocean Science and Technology.
The partnership could also support global ocean initiatives, including the Nippon Foundation GEBCO Seabed 2030 Project to map the entire seabed by 2030 and the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development.