Ocean Discovery League Newsletter | November 2022

Hot off the presses! Maka Niu: A low-cost, modular imaging and sensor platform to increase observation capabilities of the deep ocean was published just yesterday in Frontiers in Marine Science. This paper, led by Dr. Dan Novy and Lui Kawasumi, describes the hardware and software engineering behind Maka Niu. In addition to the details in this paper, you can find design files for most components on our GitHub site.

In October, the Interagency Working Group on Ocean Exploration and Characterization published the Strategic Priorities for Ocean Exploration and Characterization of the United States Exclusive Economic Zone. According to the White House Office of Science & Technology Policy, the Working Group is "identifying priorities to advance ocean exploration and characterization that will benefit our understanding and management of ocean ecosystems and bolster the American economy, resilience, and equity."

Challenges to ocean exploration and characterization identified in the report include the high cost of expeditions and data collection, data storage, processing, accessibility, security, engagement, collaboration, and partnership with underserved communities. It is great to see these issues at the core of Ocean Discovery League's mission, many of which I highlighted during my testimony to Congress in 2019, surface as top priorities for future U.S. initiatives.

Finally, we're excited to announce that January 23, 2023, will be the first annual International Deep Sea Day! Mark your calendars and stay tuned for events and opportunities.

Dr. Katy Croff Bell
Founder & President
Ocean Discovery League

Mark Your Calendars! 
International Deep Sea Day, January 23, 2023

On January 23, in 1960, Jacques Piccard and US Navy Lieutenant Don Walsh reached a record depth of approximately 10,911 meters (35,797 ft) in the research bathyscaphe Trieste in the Challenger Deep of the Mariana Trench near Guam in the Pacific. Their dive fueled public interest in the deep ocean and opened the door to possibilities never before available. On this day, worldwide, we will now celebrate the wonder of and need for deep-sea research and exploration. Learn More

Latest News

Maka Niu: A Low-Cost Modular Imaging and Sensor Platform
In this paper, we detail and provide open source access to the mechanical, electrical, and digital control design for the Maka Niu system, including the internal 3D-printed dry chassis; the battery management and sealed inductive charging system; and the Raspberry Pi camera and control subsystems. 

Benthic Species Patterns In and Around the Cape Canyon
ODL collaborator, Zoleka Filander, just published her work, "Benthic species patterns in and around the Cape Canyon: A large submarine canyon off the western passive margin of South Africa." 
Read Full Article

Latest Industry News
The ODL website now has an Industry News section where you can see the latest articles on deep-sea science, sensors & systems innovation, artificial intelligence use in ocean exploration, and capacity building. Visit Site

Maldives Maka Niu Surprise!
This video was captured at 900m by Sheena Talma using one of Ocean Discovery League's low-cost Maka Niu cameras on a Maldives Marine Research Institute, Nekton, and South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity mission. Watch Video


For Public Comment: Draft 5th National Climate Assessment
The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) announce the release of the draft Fifth National Climate Assessment (NCA5) for public comment. Public review of the draft assessment is an essential step in the development of the assessment. Comments can help strengthen the science, provide important feedback, and ensure the authors are clearly communicating the report’s findings. To review the draft report and submit comments, reviewers will need to register with the USGCRP Review and Comment system at
Deadline: January 27, 2023

Ocean Solutions Experiment Fund Projects
We are proud to partner with Experiment on the Ocean Solutions Fund. This fund provides a fundraising platform for local ocean projects worldwide. These projects will not happen without your support! Please consider contributing to these projects and apply for your own project funds now at the Ocean Solutions website.
Deadline: Ongoing

Ocean Vision AI Portal Product Manager
The Product Manager serves as a key team member within the project and will be responsible for requirements gathering and prioritization of features of the Ocean Vision AI platform. The Product Manager will collaborate with key team members and stakeholders to support and help create a compelling product strategy and roadmap and help drive product features from concept to launch. Apply Here
Deadline: Ongoing

5th Fortaleza Austral Spring School: Marine Ecosystems Under Pressure
November 21-22, 2022
The 5th Fortaleza Austral Spring School is a free international training course, organized in response to the need for a better understanding of the impact of pollution in marine ecosystems and coastal communities. The course will present a comprehensive overview of the problem and provide best practices and harmonized methodologies for developing research to quantify and assess the level of pollution as a response to incidents and disasters. The event is organized by the Postgraduate Program in Tropical Marine Sciences (PPGCMT) together with The Institute of Marine Sciences – Federal University of Ceará (LABOMAR-UFC), Brazil and the Atlantic International Research Centre (AIR Centre). In addition, the event has the collaboration of other postgraduate programs. More information here.


E/V Nautilus Internship Programs
Ocean Exploration Trust (OET) is seeking students and educators to participate in deep ocean expeditions as part of the 2023 E/V Nautilus expedition season within the Pacific Ocean! Founded by Dr. Robert Ballard, OET is a nonprofit organization committed to bringing international scientific exploration of parts of the ocean never seen before to the world via live telepresence and providing experiential opportunities for students, young professionals, and educators. 

The Science & Engineering Internship Program offers paid at-sea internships for community college, undergraduate, or graduate students, and recent graduates in ocean science, ROV (remotely operated vehicle) engineering, and video engineering. Interns sail aboard ocean exploration expeditions on E/V Nautilus for 3-5 weeks in key expedition roles, learning beside experts in the field.

The Science Communication Fellowship provides classroom, informal, and community educators roles as expedition storytellers bringing the excitement of ocean exploration to students and public audiences around the world. Participants sail aboard E/V Nautilus for 3-5 weeks, collaborate as a cohort year-round, and participate in an expense-paid science communication training workshop in March 2023.
Deadline: December 31, 2022

MBARI Summer Internship Program
MBARI’s Summer Internship Program provides an opportunity for talented college students (undergraduate and graduate) and educators to work directly with MBARI  scientists, engineers, and communicators. MBARI’s state-of-the-art facilities and equipment, including research vessels, remotely operated vehicles (ROVs), and autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs), offer educators and students unique opportunities to collaborate on advanced research and development projects. The program immerses interns in collaborative teams as they learn innovative research and engineering techniques and improve communication skills. Each intern will have an MBARI mentor who will supervise a specific project for a 10-week duration. Interns also serve as peer mentors to each other. The 2023 program dates are June 5–August 11, 2023.
Deadline: 8am PST on February 7th, 2023

Our World-Underwater Scholarship Society Internships
For more than 30 years, the Our World-Underwater Scholarship Society® (OWUSS) has offered a variety of experience-based internships. Their goal is to foster the development of future leaders of the marine environment. Apply Here
Deadline: January 15, 2023
Photo Credits: Ocean Image Bank: Ron Watkins
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