Hurricanes, tsunamis, the production of sound underwater, the effects of global climate change—these things could be happening a world away and fathoms below but URI students have the unique opportunity to see and hear the research being done in these areas and more, thanks to the URI Graduate School of Oceanography’s Inner Space Center.
The University of Rhode Island’s one-of-a-kind, internationally known Inner Space Center offers live ocean exploration via telepresence technology, which provides streaming video and audio feeds of research projects near and far. The Center’s aim is to inspire the next generation of explorers, scientists, teachers, and activists through open access to ocean exploration and scientific research by connecting audiences to a global network of explorers in real time.
In a 2019 article in The New Yorker, Dwight Coleman, director of the I.S.C., said the Center and broad access to telepresence exploration could make ocean exploration more democratic, a team effort engaging diverse experts worldwide. Being close to the ocean or on a research vessel becomes a non-issue with telepresence exploration. “So we build this network of scientists that are connected through telepresence,” Coleman said, “and they span the multidisciplinary nature of ocean exploration.”
It’s a good time for students interested in ocean exploration.