Open Oceans Global ENewsletter

  • by BPC Staff
  • on September 20, 2013
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September 20, 2013      

Wendy Schmidt Funds Ocean Acidification XPrize

Wendy Schmidt 2Philanthropist Wendy Schmidt has teamed with the XPrize Foundation to create the Ocean Health XPrize, a $2 million competition that promises to improve our understanding of how CO2 emissions are affecting ocean acidification. The prize challenges teams from all over the world to create pH sensor technology that will affordably, accurately and efficiently measure ocean chemistry from its shallowest water to its deepest depths. Two $1,000,000 prizes are available to teams that:

•  Navigate the entire competition to produce the most accurate, stable and precise pH sensors.

•  Produce the least expensive, easy-to-use, accurate, stable, and precise pH sensors.

Ms. Schmidt previously funded the $1 million Wendy Schmidt Oil Cleanup X CHALLENGE awarded to a team developing technology that recovers oil on the sea surface at more than 2,500 gallons per minute with an efficiency of more than 70 percent. The first place winner, Team Elastec / American Marine, accomplished a cleanup rate exceeding three times the industry’s previously best cleanup rate. For information on the current prize, go to the Wendy Schmidt Ocean Health Xprize.


XPrize Ocean Guy Paul Bunje Talks Science and Silos

Paul BunjePaul Bunje, the senior director of prize development and ocean health at X Prize, was featured on September 9, 2013, in a smartplanet interview. As the executive in charge of the XPrize Ocean Health Initiative, Bunje believes in one of the key premises of OpenOceans Global’s initiatives, that knowledge isn’t keeping pace with the world’s problems. It’s built into silos.”If you stovepipe society’s great institutions — the generation of knowledge through scientific research or the regulation of societal issues through government actions — you’re leaving so much of the potential value of the world on the table,” Bunje says.”There is so much good knowledge in science and in governments that bringing those two together is critical. It’s absolutely central to being able to identify not just workable solutions, but the pathway for implementing those workable solutions  … You can also help design programs and relationships between those silos of knowledge and solutions. It’s absolutely critical to being able to address any of our societal challenges. It’s something we don’t invest in. If there’s nobody that owns this field, then it’s not going to happen. That means we’re not going to be able to keep pace with the exponential growth in problems.” Bunje’s thoughts are consistent with OpenOceans Globals’ goal of being the place where the investment occurs to bring siloed ocean data together.


San Diego to Host Oceans 2013, September 23-26, 2013

MTS Oceans 2013 LogoThe OCEANS ’13 MTS/IEEE conference will be held in San Diego on September 23-26, 2013. Considered by its sponsors to be the world’s most diverse and prestigious ocean conference and exposition, the event is a major forum for scientists, engineers and those with an interest in the oceans to gather and exchange their knowledge and ideas regarding the future of the world’s oceans. This year’s theme is”An Ocean in Common.” The OCEANS conference is jointly sponsored by the IEEE Oceanic Engineering Society (IEEE/OES) and the Marine Technology Society (MTS).The event includes a two-night international underwater film festival, a weekend golf tourney, a day of tutorials, and a banquet on the USS Midway aircraft carrier in San Diego Bay. The keynote speakers for the plenary session include Dr. Sylvia Earle, National Geographic Society Explorer-in-Residence, Dr. Greg Kusinski, DeepStar Director, Chevron Energy Technology Company, Dr. Pradeep K. Khosla, Chancellor, UCSD, and Craig N. McLean, Deputy Assistant Administrator for NOAA Research.

Ocean Network Deep Water Cams Now on OpenOceans Web Cam List

Ocean Network Canada Deep Water CamOcean Network Canada and Project Neptune have placed six underwater cameras in the darkness of the ocean waters hundreds of meters below the surface off the coast of British Columbia. Equipped with lights that are periodically turned on, these high definition cameras provide stunning video images of marine life in areas where it is sometimes thought there is no life. Be patient and keep checking back. When the lights are on its worth seeing. A schedule of times when the camera llghts are on accompanies the Ocean Network Live Video web site. The site can be reached through OpenOceans Global’s Ocean Web Cam page which also includes an assortment of more than 60 ocean web cams on the surface, within aquariums, and under water.


Rubio’s Celebrates the Ocean without Using the Words “Fish Taco”

To the OceanSometimes a company does something that sells their product and does some social good at the same time. Rubios, the San Diego-based fast food company that popularized fish tacos, has done exactly that with its “To the Ocean” video advertisement. The ad suggests that we raise a glass to the greatness of the oceans. Something about the simplicity of the message and the comparison between the ocean and Rubios achieves both the sales and the environmental goals without mentioning fish tacos once. However, sliced avocados and chili peppers are featured.


New OpenOceans Global Map Celebrates Wyland’s Whale Walls

Wyland and a Whale WallMarine artist Wyland created a career celebrating the beauty of the ocean through his art. From beautiful sculptures to paint on canvas, Wyland’s creations celebrate the beauty of the sea. OpenOceans Global has created a page celebrating his most memorable achievement, the creation of more than 100 whale walls around the world. Each of his murals is marked on a global map using Wyland’s memorable whale tail logo as an icon. Clicking the icon brings up a thumbnail image of the mural, some basic information, and a way to see a larger image or to go to the Wyland Foundation web site where more information about each wall is posted. Everyone should be able to see the geographic scope of Wyland’s work and an image of each mural. This map accomplishes that goal.




OpenOceans Globals Shark Week Page a Big Hit

Maddened Attack by Carl RoesslerOpenOceans Global’s Shark Week page was a big hit with readers. Timed to coincide with the Discovery Channel’s Shark Week promotion, the page attracted thousands additional unique visitors in the days after the page was posted – not Google numbers, but encouraging! The Shark Week page utilizes a map that links to shark attack videos, shark attack data sources and other visuals and information about great white sharks. Photo Credit: © Carl Roessler”Maddened Attack” 




25 Most Terrifying Real Sea Creatures and Some Unreal Ones from History

Dragon FishSome look fierce, some are just plain ugly, but you won’t want to miss this presentation of 25 of the ocean’s most terrifying creatures. From the dragonfish (photo on left), to the black swallower that can can consume prey more than ten times larger than its own mass, to the goblin shark, each animal has features that make the viewer take notice. Of course, these 25 animals are real, but if you would like to take a dip into the past, check out history’s Most Terrifying Sea Monsters as imagined by Olaus Magnus and a map, his Carta Marina. This 16th century work includes bizarre and ferocious sea monsters. Some are big enough to be mistaken for islands, others have blades on their backs for slicing open ships, and almost all have a taste for human meat. From a modern perspective, the monster map is a great example of how people can react to a lack of knowledge. Our lack of knowledge about the ocean is not as obviously displayed in the 21st century, but it still exists.


A Leopard Seal Encounter Results in the Unexpected

Leopard SealWhen underwater photographer Paul Nicklen went to Antarctica, his goal was to capture images of leopard seals under the ice. Since the seals are known to be fearsome, Nicklen went into the water with some trepidation. What happened next and continued for days was more than unexpected. See Paul’s story and some of the images that surpised and delighted him.




Woods Hole Scientist Discusses Fukushima Radiation

Ken Buesseler WHOIKen Buesseler, a scientist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, has written a blog that clarifies the status of radiation from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant that was inundated by a tsunami in 2011. He has worked with Japanese colleagues and scientists around the world to understand the scope and impact of that catostrophe and organized the first comprehensive, international expedition to study the spread of radionuclides from Fukushima into the Pacific. He concludes that the real area of concern about radiation remains in the area adjacent to the plant. Migratory fish species that pass through those waters relatively quickly shed any radioactive cesium that might have entered their bodies. Click on FAQ: Radiation from Fukushima for Beusseler’s assessment of the issue.



Changes in Sea Level Might Be Attributed to Extreme Aussie Weather

Lake Eyre in AustraliaAccording to an August 20, 2013, NPR story, although sea level is rising overall, in 2010 and 2011 it fell by about a quarter inch. The change might be attributable to extreme weather in Australia that has resulted in”some of the worst flooding in that continent’s history.” According to NPR”some of those floodwaters simply ran back into the ocean, so they didn’t affect sea level. But a lot of that water was trapped on the Australian land mass.” Australia’s geography has major river basins that run back toward the center of the continent and in some years a temporary freshwater sea is created known as Lake Eyre. Scientist John Fasullo from the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado, and his colleagues believe the reappearance of Lake Eyre and other similar water-filled basins, are enough to explain the small drop in global sea level.

California Launches a Coastal GeoPortal

California GeoPortal LogoThe California Ocean Protection Council (OPC) has launched the California Coastal Geoportal which provides a user-friendly website for finding high priority coastal and marine datasets. The collection includes aerial photos, marine protected areas, and coastal habitats, with links to the data sources. The portal was created in response to AB 2125 (Ruskin, 2010), which directed the OPC to increase access to scientific information. 

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