March 7-8, 2002
Education and Real-Time Data Workshop: Where should the two meet?

Day One

Day Two

Summary of Workshop

Workshop Participants
Jaime J. Alonzo (MESA and UCSC)
Rita Bell (Education Director, Monterey Bay Aquarium)
Annette deCharon (Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences)
Andres Durstenfeld (Biology Chair, Monterey Peninsula College)
John Graybeal (MBARI, Information Applications Group Leader)
Margaret Harmon (Senior Scientist, ScienceMedia Inc.)
Chris Hasegawa (California State University, Monterey Bay)
Kent Headley (MBARI—Software Engineer)
Alfred Hochstaedter (Monterey Peninsula College)
Liesl Hotaling (LEO/Stevens Institute of Technology/CIESE)
Mike Kelley (MBARI, Ocean Observatory Supervisor)
Randy Kochevar (MBA—Science Communications Manager)
Judy Lemus (Marine Advisor, Sea Grant Program)
Gene Massion(MBARI—Mechanical Engineering Group Leader)
George I. Matsumoto (MBARI, Education and Research Specialist)
Sarah Mitchell(NOAA/NOS)
Liese Murphree(CSUMB—Chemistry )
Tom Murphee (Naval Postgraduate School, CSUMB)
Kevin Raskoff (MBARI, Monterey Peninsula College)
Tom Rebold (Monterey Peninsula College)
J.R. Sosky (MBA—Education Interpreter)
Mark Stoermer (Director, Center for Environmental Visualization)
Deidre Sullivan (Curriculum and Industry Manager and Co-PI: MATE/MPC))
Kim Swan (MBA—Youth Programs Asst manager)
Tim Zimmerman (Project WISE)
Cannot Attend this Workshop but remain interested
Steve Clark (Monterey Academy of Oceanographic Science)
Vicki Clark (President, National Marine Educators Association)
Kelly Kiefer (North Salinas High School)
Liz Love (Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary)
Janice McDonnell(Inst. of Marine and Coastal Sciences)
Mark Moline (Cal Poly SLO)
John Ryan (MBARI—Scientist)
Jim Slotta (Project WISE director)


I'm pleased to be able to invite you to join a small and dedicated group here at MBARI on March 7 and 8. The workshop will be all day Thursday and half day Friday. The primary objective of the workshop will be to find out what teachers would like/need in the classrooms with regard to real time data. The focus will be on community college and advanced high school at this(although we will likely discuss other grades as well). The context is that MBARI (and many other research institutions) are involved in a multimillion dollar project to instrument the ocean floor with benthic observatories linked with fiber optics (Project NEPTUNE that John Delaney talked about at NMEA is one program, others include PLUTO, MARS, and VENUS). I have secured a little bit of funding from MBARI to work on the educational aspect of these observatories and my hope is to put together a one or more test activities (online or some other media) (using real time data coming in from our surface moorings) as a model for interactivity and content. I can then use this to put together a more formal proposal to MBARI or NSF to fund some educational outreach linked to the real time data that will be coming in from the benthic observatories. The time frame is short with MBARI proposals due in August. I would love to have your input and expertise if you can come and brainstorm with us for these 1.5 days. We will have some presentations on Thursday followed by working in smaller groups. I will be providing some additional data over the next few weeks, but wanted to make sure that you would be available to participate. Please let me know if you can or can't join us.


MBARI is a full partner with University of Washington, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and Canada's Institute for Pacific Ocean Science and Technology (IPOST) in the planning, engineering, and implementation of NEPTUNE ( Each partner is accepting responsibility for leading the effort in different areas of the system design and execution. For its part, MBARI will be hosting the MARS test bed in Monterey. MBARI is also contributing to NEPTUNE through the ISI project, AUV mapping, AUV docking, and ROV cable laying. We will be using our unique relationship with the Monterey Bay Aquarium to test out some ideas for public outreach and education. As part of this outreach effort, the need to educate teachers, students, and the public about scientific methodology is paramount. EARTH will lay the groundwork for this educational effort and integrate this effort into the MARS/NEPTUNE/VENUS/PLUTO system. The focus of this proposal will be on using some existing real-time data streams as a unique prototype for educational outreach infrastructure design and testing. One potential focus would be to work on a world wide web interface that would be interactive, engaging, and linked to national standards.

To initiate this prototype, a planning workshop will be held in early March to further examine the educational potential of real time data streams. The earth, ocean, and planetary sciences are on the threshold of major changes driven by rapidly emerging ideas and powerful enabling technologies. Historically, oceanographers have gone to sea in ships to collect data for short periods of time. Missing from this traditional approach has been crucial information on the fourth dimension of natural processes: time. Now, by combining advances in many different technological fields, we have the ability to enter, sense, and interact with the total ocean-earth environment for long periods of time. EARTH can be a key component in capitalizing on these new real-time, in situ approaches that will create a suite of new operational paradigms in the earth, ocean, and planetary sciencesthat of being continuously and interactively within a selected, dynamic environment. Opportunities exist to couple this scientific-technical revolution with entirely new approaches to educating learners of all ages.

Statement of the problem

NEPTUNE, MARS, VENUS, and PLUTO (see below for review of each component) are nearshore observatories either under development or proposed for development. EARTH represents the outreach component which could then be elaborated upon for incorporation into these other systems. This network of undersea laboratories (coupled via fiber-optic/power cable system) provides for interactive technology and offers the potential for some incredible educational opportunities for learners of all ages to explore and investigate the dynamic processes of earth and marine science. The capabilities of these observatories, accessible over the Internet, may include access to a wide variety of sensor packages and robotic vehicles. By capitalizing on real-time communication with an entire earth-ocean system, EARTH could be used to develop fundamentally new approaches to scientific inquiry and human creativity.

An Education and Outreach Workshop held in November, 2000 (sponsored by NEPTUNE/NSF) involved ~65 people from different disciplines and specialties. The results from this workshop are on-line with several key ideas emerging as potential focal points for outreach (i.e. things to think about):

  • Real-time data: This is fundamental to the observatory concept. It is important to empower the students and allow them to fully participate in the scientific investigative process, to learn that it is okay to fail, as scientists often do in their search for answers to their questions, and to learn from those failures and develop alternative solutions. Students in classrooms will work with teachers and scientists to develop and execute their own experiments.
  • Mentoring: Mentoring should occur vertically and laterally at all levels.
  • Immersion learning environment: Imagine naturally evolving 3-D virtual environments fed by high bandwidth real-time data streams.
  • Integrated approach to science, art, and the humanities education: The challenge is to convey the essence of our enthusiasm without the mind-numbing complexity intrinsic to real science.

Common themes emerging from the various working groups ( include:

  • Providing time on instruments for student projects
  • Kids would submit proposals for time on sensors and remote robots
  • Students, public could run the ROV
  • Different kinds of projects for different grade levels
  • Web site needs more kid-friendly graphics appropriate for all grade levels
  • How do you make real-time data work with kids?
  • Need to make class experience interactive
  • Students need the chance to fail. They need to understand the process of science.
  • Students need to understand the limitations and restrictions of what we can pull out from NEPTUNE
  • Children need to be able to participate and drive the curriculum
  • Solid connections between state standards and NEPTUNE
  • Teaching for facts versus Teaching for understanding
  • Use NEPTUNE to teach fundamental concepts
  • Apply technology into classroom projects, i.e. building ROVs
  • Get the curriculum and content into textbooks

Objective of the workshop

  • To fully identify real potential uses of real time data in the classroom, outline the presentation format for this data, and determine a deadline for the first prototype delivery. This will include a definition of real time for the educator.

Workshop Schedule

Wednesday March 6th: Workshop participants arrive into Monterey

Thursday March 7th

0830:           Breakfast served at MBARI
0900-0930:  Welcome, introductions, and charge to participants (George Matsumoto)
0930-1000:  Project NEPTUNE (Mark Stoermer)
1000-1030:  MBARI Moorings—Instruments and Data (Mike Kelley)
1030-1045:  Break
1045-1115:  Data from Observatories and NEPTUNE (John Graybeal)
1115-1215:  Break into smaller groups for discussion
1215-1315:  Lunch served at MBARI
1315-1345:  Summary from first breakout session
1345-1415:  ScienceMedia, Inc presentation (Margaret Harmon)
1415-1445:  Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences presentation (Annette deCharon)
1445-1500:  Break
1500-1530:  Project LEO (Liese Hotaling) Project WISE (Tim Zimmerman)
1530-1615:  Break into smaller groups for discussion
1615-1645:  Summary from second breakout session
1645-1700:  Wrap up and charge to participants for Friday
1700-1900:  Dinner and discussions at MBARI

Friday March 8th

0830:           Breakfast served at MBARI
0900-1200:  Format and content to be determined Thursday
1200-1230:  Workshop summary and plan for the future
1230:           Lunch to be served at MBARI

If you are interested in spending the afternoon at MBA, please let George know so that we can arrange tickets for you.

  • MBARI      Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute
  • MBA          Monterey Bay Aquarium
  • MATE        Marine Advanced Technology and Education Center
  • ROV          Remotely Operated Vehicle
  • AUV          Autonomous Underwater Vehicle
  • NMEA        National Marine Educators Association
  • NOAA        National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration
  • NOS          National Ocean Service
  • LEO           Long term Ecological Observatory
  • SeaWiFS    Sea-viewing Wide Field-of-View Scanner
  • NSF           National Science Foundation
  • CSUMB     California State University, Monterey Bay
  • CIESE       Center for Improved Engineering/Science Education
  • MARS       Monterey Accelerated Research System.

Proof of concept observatory system (US funding)

  1. Full NEPTUNE technology implementation (power, networking, communication protocol, timing, nodes)
  2. Deep water emphasis
  3. Shore station functions
  4. Incorporate VENUS information management and science experience
  5. Test new sensors
  6. Develop ROV science deployment and cable laying techniques
  7. Initiate precursor community experiments

NEPTUNE:   North-East Pacific Time Series Undersea Networked Experiments

NEPTUNE North—Partial plate coverage (Canadian funding)
  1. First phase of NEPTUNE array
  2. All wet technology tested at MARS
  3. ROV operational procedures tested at VENUS and MARS
  4. Full NEPTUNE shore station implementation
  5. Science experiments (including new sensors) tested at MARS
  6. Information management as tested at VENUS and MARS
  7. Link PLUTO experiments
  8. Initiate pilot community experiments
NEPTUNE South Complete full Juan de Fuca plate coverage (US funding)
  1. Extend NEPTUNE North loop to full plate coverage
  2. Implement second shore station
  3. Incorporate prior technology developments and new sensors
  4. Achieve full specified reliability
  5. Initiate full community experiments

PLUTO:   Pre-observatory Long-range Undersea Tectonohydrobiologic Observations

Precursor for non-cabled experiments (funded by Keck Foundation)
  1. Initiate coordinated seismology/geohydrology/fluid chemistry/microbiology experiments
  2. Develop and test new sensors
  3. Initiate low-bandwidth communication with experiments

VENUS:  Victoria Experimental Network Under the Sea

Proof of concept science experiments (Canadian funding)
  1. Simplified system design
  2. Shallow water emphasis
  3. Development of information management sub-system
  4. Develop procedures for science planning and deployment of science experiments, including interfacing of existing sensors
  5. Develop ROV science deployment techniques
  6. Initiate precursor community science experiments

Full-hemisphere views of the Earth from GOES (Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites).
GOES satellites are built by NASA and operated by NOAA.

EARTH logo designed by Jennifer Trask, 2003