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PRESS RELEASE - March 31, 2017

Ms. Claudia Thompson speaking at the Okeanos Telepresence Event at the Tauese P.F. Sunia Ocean Center on February 24th, 2017. (Photo. K. Anderson-Tagarino)

Left is Ms. Ruby Tapua'i (ASCC Science Lab Technician and Marine Science graduate from U.H. Hilo) and right is Ms. Claudia Thompson in front of the NOAA R/V Okeanos Explorer Remotely Operated Vehicle that is used to explore our ocean depths. (Photo: K. Anderson-Tagarino)

Ms. Claudia Thompson speaking at the Okeanos Telepresence Event at the Tauese P.F. Sunia Ocean Center on February 24th, 2017. (Photo. K. Anderson-Tagarino)

ASCC Marine Science Student Selected for NOAA Okeanos Explorer Internship

March 31, 2017

By Kelley Anderson Tagarino, ASCC ACNR & Hawai‘i Sea Grant

One deserving ASCC Marine Science student, Claudia Thompson, will participate in a prestigious internship with the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research. Claudia flew out of Pago on Friday, March 31st , on her way to Manchester, New Hampshire, where she will be mentored by bathymetric processing specialist Meme Lobecker on analyzing and processing much of the exciting bathymetric (sea floor) mapping data collected by the NOAA Research Vessel (R/V) Okeanos Explorer during its trip around American Samoa waters in early March.

NOAA RV Okeanos Explorer, “America’s Ship for Ocean Exploration,” is the only federally funded U.S. ship assigned to systematically explore our largely unknown ocean for the purpose of discovery and the advancement of knowledge. Telepresence, using real-time broadband satellite communications, connects the ship and its discoveries live with audiences ashore. Visit the NOAA Marine Operations Center Okeanos Explorer page for operations and crew information. Since the ship was commissioned on August 13, 2008, the Okeanos Explorer has traveled the globe, exploring the Indonesian ‘Coral Triangle Region;’ benthic environments in the Galápagos; the geology, marine life, and hydrothermal systems of the Mid-Cayman Rise within the Caribbean Sea; and deep-sea habitats and marine life in the northern Gulf of Mexico. Mapping activities along the west and mid-Atlantic coasts have furthered our knowledge of these previously unexplored areas, setting the stage for future in-depth exploration activities.

Claudia will return after a month of mentored training in specialized bathymetric data processing, a skill highly valued in many sectors of ocean exploration, including research and development, fisheries management, military, and the oil/gas and mineral industry. The second part of Claudia’s internship will consist of her being aboard the NOAA R/V Okeanos Explorer for a month of shipboard training during the summer, when its staff will map the Pacific Remote Islands Area. Upon her return, Claudia plans to share her newly acquired knowledge through outreach talks in order to encourage local youth to consider a career in the marine sciences. After all, we are surrounded by the big blue!

Those interested in learning more about the ASCC Marine Science Program can contact Kelley Anderson Tagarino at 699-3353 (office) or 258-2967 (cell) or at on email, or via post mail at P.O. Box 2609 for more information.