Low-cost systems, AI-driven data analysis, and capacity development are required to create a new approach to increase exploration efficiency and access to the deep sea. Only now, with recent technological breakthroughs across numerous sectors, is it possible to truly accelerate the pace of exploration by working with people on every coastline to ensure they have the tools and abilities to explore the deep ocean for themselves.
The majority of countries have little or no ability to explore the 93% of the ocean that lies below 200 m. There is a significant capacity gap between high- and low-income countries with respect to access to tools, training, and infrastructure for deep-sea exploration and research.
Katy Croff Bell participated as an instructor in the inaugural 2022 Deep-Sea Expedition Planning Master Class for the Crustal Ocean Biosphere Research Accelerator (COBRA). The mission of COBRA is to accelerate research on the structure, function, resilience, and ecosystem services of the crustal ocean biosphere to inform decision-making.
“To understand the full Earth system, we need to understand the deepest parts of the ocean”
Dr. Dawn Wright
The goal of My Deep Sea, My Backyard was to enable Kiribati and Trinidad & Tobago to explore their own deep-sea backyards using low-cost technology, while building lasting capacity.
In 2019, the MIT Media Lab (MIT), National Geographic Society (NGS), Lindblad Expeditions (LEX) collaborated to create a pilot Deep-Sea Camera System training and deployment program.
Wayfinders expanded on previous low-cost sensor work to create and more extensible, expandable, modular, portable, playful, and easy to configure and deploy system.