Connecting Students with Antarctic Researchers Using New High Definition Two-Way Telepresence Video Technology

5 April 2019

For the first time ever One Ocean Expeditions (OOE) has implemented a satellite-based video conferencing technology through Connected North, a ground-breaking program with Ecosystem Leader TakingITGlobal that delivers virtual education alongside OOE’s long term partner Ocean Wise. A ‘Cisco’ unit has successfully completed several broadcasts on board the RCGS Resolute during the Marine Mammals of Antarctica voyage, utilized by a team international marine mammal scientists including Dr. Ari Friedlaender, Associate Researcher at UC Santa Cruz and Research Director for the California Ocean Alliance.

By partnering with Connected North’s Virtual Outreach Programs and schools across the country, One Ocean Expeditions is giving students a unique experience to learn about ocean science without having to leave their classrooms. The opportunity to explore with people who are actively involved in ocean conservation and research facilitates a deeper relationship with the natural world, expanding on OOE’s goal to create ambassadors for the remote and sensitive regions they visit.

“Connected North is proud to partner with One Ocean Expeditions to increase the accessibility of field education and science for Indigenous students in distant populations,” said Michael Furdyk, Director of Innovation at TakingITGlobal, “We are appreciative of OOE’s support and commitment to provide students with access to content that is engaging and innovative, increasing feelings of empowerment in school and in life.”

The initial broadcasts on Friday, March 29, allowed Dr. Friedlaender and his team to share their in-depth knowledge and research that aims to improve the understanding of whales with a focus on the underwater behavior of marine mammals and the use of non-invasive suction up video tags and drones that help research the feeding and social behavior of the whales.

“We are proud to be able to share our core initiatives of education, science, ocean literacy and community outreach with students, our partners, guests, and viewers from around the world.” said Catherine Lawton, General Manager of One Ocean Expeditions.

The inaugural transmissions from RCGS Resolute with California Ocean Alliance and Ocean Wise included participants from Vancouver Aquarium, Connected North, a series of schools across North America in connection with ‘Exploring By the Seat of Your Pants’ and Canadian Geographic Education, as well as a selection of dedicated social media followers of OOE.

“When organizations like ours collaborate, we can we facilitate quality educational experiences,” said James Bartram, Vice President of Education & Youth at Ocean Wise. “Any time we can share the awe and wonder of these remote and special places with a broader audience, with a nominal carbon footprint, we are happy to do so.”

Additional broadcasts are planned onboard the inaugural Chilean Fjords voyage with fellows of The Royal Canadian Geographical Society (RCGS) who will be connecting with the RCGS Ottawa base at 50 Sussex.

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