Title: ‘Deep-Sea Exploration-CEMarin’
Code: CRN30504, CBIO4529 Credits: 4
Academic calendar: 2018-1 (March through May)
Place: On-line hosted at https://sicuaplus.uniandes.edu.co/webapps/login/
Juan Armando Sánchez, Ph.D., Professor and course coordinator
Departamento de Ciencias Biológicas, Universidad de los Andes Email: email@example.com
“You can only inspire when you give people a new way of looking at the world in which they live.” Robert Ballard, pioneer deep-sea explorer
Course Description. The deep-sea is the largest biome in the planet. Despite the paucity of opportunities to study the deep-sea, Deep-Sea Exploration provides students to experience it live through Tele-presence. In this way, thanks to the use of stationary satellites on exploration vessels and internet, large oceanographic expeditions transmit their remotely operated vehicles (ROV) imagery and can be followed live throughout their exploration. These multitasking expeditions offer students real-time observations on new biological, geological, archaeological, and oceanographic findings. During the class, we will interact with expedition scientists on board and even get to participate actively and chat with explorers. We will engage actively during April-May 2018 in the NOAA expedition to the Gulf of Mexico on board of the NOAA Okeanos Explorer. Deep-Sea Exploration is a graduate virtual class characterized by offering the possibility that students approach the subject as an explorer, a researcher and an entrepreneur. The course provides the student three authentic professional activities to experience the three different profiles. Thus, during the explorer profile, the student will experience ocean exploration in real time, as mentioned above. As a researcher, the student will write a research proposal on any deep-sea topic and choose an external advisor (within other CEMarin Institution) with emphasis in improving their scientific writing. As an entrepreneur, totally out of their comfort zone, the student will identify new business and innovation opportunities in relation to the use and management of deep-sea resources; this is a group activity. Deep-sea Exploration is the opportunity to start a network of scientists in Colombian and abroad to study the last frontier.
To generate new opportunities for innovation and sustainable development for humanity, we must take advantage of the less explored resources. The deep-sea is the last greatest frontier on this planet1. Yet, the budgets for space exploration are thousands of times greater than those that are invested in exploring the Ocean. About 500 humans have left Earth’s orbit2 while only three people have visited the deepest place in the Ocean. Although we are increasingly delayed in the task of exploring the ocean, it is worrisome that the renewable marine food resources, which for millennia were exploited in an artisanal way, are coming to a collapse due to unsustainable extraction techniques. Likewise, the phenomenon of climate change, product of the constant and massive accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, has been noted more severely in the oceans, generating ocean acidification. Additionally, the sources of pollution are increasing, where the drain of human development is unfortunately the Ocean3. Facing the current crisis of non-renewable resources, investment in exploration projects has come with all its technology to the deep-sea. However, scientific exploration in the deep-sea is well behind in terms of biodiversity, ecology and geology. Deep-Sea Exploration is a virtual class to engage CEMarin researchers and students in the opportunities for discovery and innovation that await in the deep-sea.
Deep-sea Exploration is a graduate-level educational effort that highlights the importance of the deep-sea for human development presenting the state of the art in science and technology for deep-sea exploration. Colombia is a megadiverse country with access to two Oceans, where deep-water exploration is the less developed discipline in the country. Deep-sea Exploration is the opportunity to start a network of scientists in Colombian and abroad to study the last frontier.
To offer graduate students an intensive virtual learning environment to study deep-sea exploration with emphasis on research, innovation and exploration. As transversal goals, we want to nurture self-learning, which is essential in an ever-advancing scientific field, and promote networking and collaboration among CEMarin students, faculty and associates. Competence-oriented objective/activities are:
– To write a research proposal on a major deep-sea research question
– To depict and outline an innovation or business proposal inspired in the deep-sea
– To engage in a real deep-sea exploration using telepresence
All the class will be held in a virtual environment. On-line meetings (hangouts) will take place five times along the course (see schedule). During three hangouts, we will listen to a short presentation by three recognized deep-sea explorers following by rounds of questions from faculty and students.
Peter Etnoyer Ph.D., NOAA National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science, Center for Coastal Monitoring and Assessment, Charleston, SC , USA
Nicole Rambaut Ph.D., Vice President of Exploration and Science Operations
Ocean Exploration Trust, Narragansett, Rohde Island, USA
Santiago Herrera Ph.D., Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Pensylvannia, USA
Course methodology and contents
Deep-sea exploration has three modules that in brief offer the student real-life tasks of a researcher, explorer and entrepreneur. The class and each module start with on-line introductory material supported by technology information media and applications, which bear active learning4 or simple near-ludic assignments. Following, each module present a more demanding and creative assignment, which contain most of the class grading load. Each student will choose an advisor, hopefully from a different institution than his/her own, whom will follow and orient the student along the class. The introductory material will be graded according to rubric matrices and the in-depth assignment will be co-graded between the advisor and the course coordinator.
Despite today’s technological achievements, there were more ambitious deep-sea expeditions during the XIX century5,6 than now. We will start the class with a collective activity to reconstruct the timeline of deep-sea expeditions and lay out their geographic path on the globe (MyHistro). In parallel, we will get to know the case study of the deep-water horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. This case study highlights the great promise of the deep-sea mining in contrast with the fragile environment built by millenarian creatures7.
– Deep-sea research
Introductory activity: The whole class will share information using an application (Zotero) for literature search and management8, which will be expected to be used in the different writing assignments. Following, the class will read a book on Stylish Academic Writing9, which has simple exercises to improve, in parallel, the style and impact of the major assignment of the module, a grant proposal on deep-sea research.
Grant Proposal. Successful grant proposal writing is a major long-lasting requirement in the professional career of any scientist. In Colombia, there is a great need to develop deep-sea exploration in its two oceans. The students, guided by an advisor, will write a proposal to do deep-sea exploration using the format from the last call of the Schmidt Ocean Institution (Google). Even though this is purely an academic exercise, why not thinking on applying for next year’s call? Colombian seas overlap with the focal areas of the call and it is not entirely senseless to come up with a potentially fundable proposal. The grading of the proposal will adhere as closely as possible to the call guidelines and evaluation criteria (see below).
RESEARCH PROPOSAL – Deep-Sea Exploration with the Schmidt Ocean Institute
GUIDELINES & EVALUATION CRITERIA
Expressions of interest shall be written in English and include one cover page and no more than 2 pages of body text typed in single-spaced 12 point font, including any figures, tables, references, and any other supplementary materials.
Include full project title at the top of page, in bold
Include the names and affiliations of all Principal Investigators and Co-Principal Investigators
List the key fields of research and/or technology development pertinent to the proposed study
Describe the targeted geographical region(s) and indicate how flexible the research is with respect to the target geographical regions
Specify the amount of ship time and major equipment requested (e.g. 3 weeks on R/V Falkor, 4500m ROV, AUV, ship-board bio-molecular sequencing capability, high performance computing system, GPU (Graphic Processing Unit) array, broadband satellite connectivity, etc.). Details on ship science systems can be found here.
Contents (2 pages)
What are the goals of the project and its intended scientific, technological, and operational impacts?
How will this work contribute to the strategic interests of Schmidt Ocean Institute?
What will be the tentative cruise plan, including route and duration? Should your project have flexibility with regards to the geographical regions where it can be carried out, please describe how flexible it is in this respect.
What R/V Falkor research facilities and instruments will be used?
What additional equipment will be used (or would be desirable) and where will it be obtained (if not already owned by host institution)?
Are there any parts of the project that have already been funded?
Schmidt Ocean Institute does not offer support for the land-based scientific activities or for the scientist’s salaries. How will these costs be funded?
Provide the names and e-mail addresses of 4-5 suggested non-conflicted reviewers
General Evaluation Criteria
In alignment with the vision, mission, strategic focus areas and the coral reef initiative of Schmidt Ocean Institute, our non-conflicted peer referees will be using the following general criteria to evaluate the applications for collaborative research and technology development on R/V Falkor:
Opportunities to demonstrate innovation in marine scientific operations and practices
Questions for Consideration: How efficient are the proposed data collection methods? How well are the proposed research plans (for scientific observations, experimentation, data and sample collections at sea) informed by the analysis and interpretation of new observations and data collected during the cruise? How well are the proposed data collection platforms and methods matched to the proposed observations and research objectives?
Opportunities for the advancement of ocean research technologies, practices, and methods
Questions for Consideration: Do the project objectives include R&D, prototyping, or testing of new oceanographic technologies, practices, or methods? How significant are the implications of the proposed technology / methodology R&D for ocean sciences? How clearly is the proposed R&D approach articulated? How well does the proposed R&D approach address the key pertinent project challenges?
Evidence of significant intrinsic intellectual merit and impact potential
Questions for Consideration: How important is the proposed research for ocean sciences? How significant are the implications of the proposed research for the society? What is the quality of the proposed research plan? How comprehensively does the proposed research plan address the stated project objectives?
Quality of the data sharing plan
Questions for Consideration: How rapidly will the collected data be QA/QC’d, integrated, post-processed and shared with the public? What fraction of the data will be processed and made available to the public over the Internet during the cruise? How well is the data sharing plan adhering to the accepted community data management standards? How well are the proposed data repositories matched to the collected data types? Are there any data for which the mechanisms of sharing with the public are not well defined?
Quality of the proposed outreach plan
Questions for Consideration: How effectively will the data collected during the cruise be interpreted, visualized, and communicated to the broad audiences? What new method of data and knowledge interpretation are proposed as part of the communications and outreach program? What opportunities will be offered for the engagement of citizen scientists? How interactive is the proposed outreach plan?
– Deep-sea entrepreneurship
Introductory activity. Meet the pioneers and entrepreneurs: Silvia Earle, Robert Ballard and James Cameron. From uncertain beginnings, these three deep-sea explorers marked a new era of deep-sea exploration, whom inspire new generations. ¿Did you know that Silvia Earle founded eight subsea technology companies?
Innovation and business proposal. Scientists rarely consider making their own business. Paradoxically, scientists are the first to encounter the findings worth millions if applied. The oceans are the source of all the necessary resources to sustain humanity (food, energy, raw materials, aesthetics, culture, etc). This represents an unnoticed opportunity by most scientists. This is a group exercise (2-3 students and their advisors) using a common Business model canvas13. This can be both fun and rewarding, which explore the innate observational and creative capabilities of scientists. The exercise can be done in parallel with the research proposal to fulfill one the requirements of the Schmidt Ocean Institute call: ‘Opportunities for the advancement of ocean research technologies, practices, and methods’. The business idea could be then to design and/or develop new hardware or software technologies for sampling and processing information from deep-sea exploration.
– Deep-sea Exploration
Introductory activity. Hydrothermal vents and cold seeps are the places with the highest biodiversity in the deep-sea characterized by invertebrates, and numerous associated organisms, that live in a unique symbiosis with chemolithoautotrophic bacteria (capable of producing energetic compounds from the decomposition of methane and sulfur, in absence of light!). In contrast, these environments are probably the largest reservoir of heavy metals on Earth. These are the most remarkable ecosystems in the ocean, which are worth some reading10,11.
The Explorer´s blog. Using space technology, man has managed to explore the great depths of the sea in a manned and remote way; thus, it has even become possible to actively follow real-time expeditions from the deep ocean12. The student will follow a real deep-sea expedition, via streaming, and will create a daily blog of discovery activities and ongoing projects, providing information on the techniques used. At the end, he/she will make an analysis of the technological challenges encountered during the expedition in the framework of the documented research projects. It is expected that the student follow the best stylish academic writing practices as outlined above. The class will interact and follow the NOAA Okeanos Explorer from Mississippi to Key West. The class participation has been arranged in advance with the principal investigators/explorers.
Tentative Schedule and Evaluation
Module Activity Relative percentage of grade 5-mar 12-mar 19-mar 26-mar 2-abr 9-abr 16-abr 23-abr 30-abr 7-may 14-may 21-may
Introduction Deep-sea expeditions: Timeline and MyHistro 5%
Deep-sea research Zotero and Stylish Academic Writing assignments 20%
Grant Proposal 25%
Innovation and business proposal Videos and quizzes 5%
Business canvas 10%
Deep-sea exploration Hydrothermal vents reading assignments and quizzes 5%
Explorers blog 25%
Hangouts/invited speakers Attendance 5% 5-mar 19-mar 9-abr 23-abr 7-may
Individual virtual work
Group assignment, long term
Final assignments due date