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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.

Current Projects


Access to data collection is one of the primary barriers to deep-sea exploration. We are creating low-cost, easy-to-use deep-sea systems that gather the most critical data to inform environmental decision-making and deployment strategies.


The 2022 Global Deep-Sea Capacity Assessment, conducted by the Ocean Discovery League, is a baseline assessment of the technical and human capacity for deep-sea exploration and research in every coastal area with deep ocean worldwide.


Enormous amounts of ocean video have been collected in the last few decades, but little has been viewed or analyzed. We are developing AI-driven tools to dramatically accelerate analysis of existing and newly acquired ocean video and imagery.


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.

Partner Projects

ROV Image Credit NOAA.jpeg

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

Previous Projects


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.


The goal of Big Ocean, Big Data was to establish FathomNet, a new baseline dataset optimized to directly accelerate development of modern, intelligent, automated analysis of underwater visual data.

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