ROV Deep Discoverer explores a talus slope on Verdi Seamount. (Image courtesy of the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, Deep-Sea Symphony: Exploring the Musicians Seamounts)

Many consider the deep sea the final frontier on Earth. While more than 95 percent of the living space on Earth is in the deep sea, only a small sliver has been seen by humans.

Discovery Hall Programs at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab, in partnership with NOAA, offers classroom teachers and informal educators the tools to expand their student's understanding of the ocean through the workshop 'Exploring the Deep Ocean with NOAA.'

Our understanding of the deep ocean grows with the ‘eyes and ears’ of NOAA’s Okeanos Explorer, christened in 2008 as America’s ship of exploration. The Okeanos Explorer is equipped with an amazing variety of exploration tools including water quality sensors, high resolution sonar mapping capabilities, multiple ROVs (remotely operated vehicles) and telepresence, the ability to have scientists and observers onshore communicate in real time with individuals aboard directing the explorations.  

This past September the Okeanos Explorer gave us a look at the Musicians Seamounts, a largely unexplored area located northwest of the Hawaiian Islands. The Deep-Sea Symphony expedition was the first dedicated exploration of this area using the tools of the Okeanos Explorer. Check out the discoveries made on this expedition by clicking here.  In 2018, the Okeanos Explorer will be focusing on explorations in the Gulf of Mexico.

The ‘Exploring the Deep Ocean with NOAA’ educator workshop introduces participants to the resources of NOAA’s exploration program using a combination of hands-on activities, an introduction to NOAA’s How and Why Do We Explore curricula and NOAA’s exploration website and digital resources.  A quick glance at their website will indicate the breadth of high quality resources available for use.

NOAA Educator Workshop Kit from Dauphin Island Sea Lab on Vimeo.

The November 17 workshop at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab will offer attendees two ‘this time only’ opportunities  - a live chat with NOAA individuals aboard the Okeanos Explorer and a ‘take home’ classroom kit.  Education Program Manager Susan Haynes and NOAA Physical Scientist Derek Sowers, who is in charge of mapping, will be aboard the ship and chat with workshop participants and answer questions via video link. Knowing that teachers often have small or non-existent supply budgets, the ‘take home’ kit classroom teachers will receive is filled with supplies needed to conduct many of the hands-on activities explored during the workshop back with their students. 

If you are an educator, make plans to join us on Friday, November 17. Give us a call (251-861-2141, ext. 7515), send an email to or go to Educator Workshops to register or learn more.