In its second year of grant-making, Schmidt Ocean Institute supported a range of marine science monitoring projects and activities many of which focus on bringing the ocean to the public.

Australian National Maritime Museum - One Ocean Our Future Exhibit

Schmidt Ocean Institute provided funds and assets to the Australian National Maritime Museum for its new exhibit, One Ocean Our Future. The immersive exhibition allows visitors to marvel at ... the wonders of the deep ocean and the diversity of Australia's marine life revealed during our 2020 circumnavigation of Australia. In conjunction with our support, MIT Media Lab developed five 3D visualizations of deep sea specimens that were collected on R/V Falkor expeditions. We also produced a 10-minute video featuring the scientists' research and discoveries aboard R/V Falkor. In addition to the indoor display, Ocean Wonders, a free public photography exhibition in the adjacent Darling Harbour walkway, showcases 30 poles featuring images of species found with ROV SuBastian’s high-resolution 4k camera system. "One Ocean Our Future" will remain open until the fall of 2022, and will then rotate to another Australian museum. 

Consortium for Ocean Leadership - National Ocean Science Bowl

The National Ocean Sciences Bowl (NOSB), established in 1998, provides a forum for high school students to excel in ocean and climate science. Schmidt Ocean Institute became a supporter of NOSB in 2020, ... and in 2021 completed the second of a three-year commitment to this long-standing quiz-bowl competition. More than 1,000 students on 210 teams from 30 states participated in the virtual regional competitions, where the 2021 theme was “Plunging into our Polar Seas”. Dougherty Valley High School (San Ramon, CA) won the 2021 champions and their prize included a special conversation with an expert - our executive director, Dr. Virmani. Other Schmidt Ocean Institute staff volunteered in NOSB’s career fair and led a Ship-to-Shore video connection with R/V Falkor attended by 40 NOSB students and classrooms.

MATE ROV Competition - VR World

Schmidt Ocean Institute supported the international MATE ROV Competition, as the program moved to a semi-virtual format in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, a new “VR World” was created for ... competitors to access the competition venue remotely, so students could create their own avatars and interact with each other. The 19th World Championship, 2021 Excite, Educate, Empower: Students Engineering Solutions to Global Problems, included 28 in-person teams from the United States, Mexico, and Egypt. An additional 25 teams from eight countries (Russia, Hong Kong, China, Macau, Turkey, Italy, Scotland, and England) participated via the Telepresence category. Schmidt Ocean Institute will continue to support MATE ROV in 2022, with the theme focusing on the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development.

Nautilus Magazine - Ocean Channel

In 2021, Nautilus Magazine leveraged its audience to create a new website, the Nautilus Oceans Channel. Schmidt Ocean Institute was a patron of its inaugural publication devoted to ocean research, exploration, and ... conservation stories. Primarily an online publication, Nautilus distributed a special edition print issue on Oceans in June. The print issue was distributed at the Alta Sea Blue Hour, and Nautilus Magazine planted 300 trees in American forests for every magazine that was shared. 

The Ocean channel produced 61 articles over the year leading to 317,339 views, some of which featured stories from our expeditions and an exclusive interview with Schmidt Ocean Institute co-founder, Wendy Schmidt.  Content from the channel was also shared on and, reaching another 100+ million monthly users. Schmidt Ocean Institute will continue to support Nautilus’ work in 2022 as the magazine spins off Nautilus Oceans into an independent online publication with special print editions.

TBA21 - Taloi Havini Ocean Space Exhibit

Taloi Havini was born in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville, in the Southwest Pacific Ocean. In November 2020, she sailed on the Ice Age Geology of the Great Barrier Reef expedition and assisted ... with the mapping of the Great Barrier Reef. This experience inspired her to create art using sounds that incorporate an ancient compositional technique, producing 22 different sounds through a call and response method. The track includes archival sources, such as hydrophone recordings of sonar mapping taken on R/V Falkor, ocean traveling chants, and an instrumental piece composed by renowned Bougainville musician Ben Hakalitz. 

Schmidt Ocean Institute has a goal to develop a more inclusive space for the marine science community. This year, Schmidt Ocean Institute supported previous Artist-at-Sea, Taloi Havini in her first international exhibit, The Soul Expanding Ocean #1 - Answer the Call, inspired in part by her time aboard R/V Falkor

The exhibition was shown at TBA 21 Academy’s Ocean Space in the Church of San Lorenzo in Venice, Italy, from February through October, 2021. Learn more about Taloi’s time aboard R/V Falkor and the exhibit's creation

University of California Santa Cruz - Antarctic Whale Monitoring

Schmidt Ocean Institute provided a research and conservation grant for Dr. Ari Friedlander and the Bio-telemetry and Behavioral Ecology Lab at the University of California, Santa Cruz, to measure the underwater ... acoustic disturbance of a pier construction at Palmer Station, Antarctica. The project’s goal is to determine if noise disturbance from construction impacts the behavior and stress physiology of baleen whales in the region. In 2021, the university’s research team deployed passive acoustic recorders while construction occurred, and will redeploy the recorders the following year with no construction. Comparing the vocalization rates of whales from the same time of year will allow the team to measure whether whales show a physiological stress response to the construction noise. The team will also compare stress hormone levels in skin/blubber biopsy samples collected during construction periods with samples collected at similar times from previous years. Data from the first two months are currently being analyzed.

University of California San Diego - Ocean Keeling Curve

Schmidt Ocean Institute continued to support, for the second year, Scripps Institution of Oceanography’s recording of the time series data for inorganic carbon chemistry from seawater samples. The Ocean Keeling Curve is ... the longest continuous recording of ocean carbon chemistry measurements. These data are critical for assessing changes in the ocean global carbon cycle, which may play a role in ocean acidification, carbonate dissolution rates, and shifting biological production. Measurements are based on seawater samples collected by ships at two ocean time-series stations near Bermuda and one ocean time series station near Hawaii. The bottles are returned to Scripps once per year for analysis, and the results are publicly published. The funding from Schmidt Ocean Institute is aiding the dedicated team in their analysis of seawater samples from 2017 to 2021. This work complements the Schmidt Futures grant for atmospheric Keeling Curve observations, which first alerted the world to rising carbon dioxide levels.

University of Hawai’i - Students in Marine Science Technology

In summer of 2021, the University of Hawai’i provided eight graduate students from across Hawai’i with the opportunity to apply innovative technologies in marine science. The marine science technologies course funded by ... Schmidt Ocean Institute was hosted at the Hawai’i Institute of Marine Biology (HIMB) and provided an intensive program utilizing technology to help the students better understand and advance ocean health and marine conservation.  Additional support was provided for native Hawaiian student Hanalei Ho‘opai-Sylva in the Marine Biology Department at the University of Hawai‘i to conduct research with the HIMB Coral Resilience Laboratory on an emerging photogrammetry technology called structure-from-motion. The technology is gaining popularity in coral reef science, reconstructing the topography of shallow underwater environments to assist in research and management. 

R/V Falkor has conducted 12 expeditions in Hawai’i since 2014 and, during the global pandemic, offered financial support to the students in this marine science community.

World Ocean Observatory - Virtual Aquarium

In 2021, World Ocean Observatory, in conjunction with Schmidt Ocean Institute designed and developed the Virtual Aquarium, which will launch in 2022. The Virtual Aquarium is an educational, interactive online ... platform for ocean exploration that features R/V Falkor expeditions and new species discoveries. Visitors to the virtual space will experience two interactive exhibits on a hydrothermal vent system and whale fall, enabling them to “walk through” these unique ecosystems. Users will also be able to interact with searchable species tanks using scrollable images, videos, and 3D models, and learn about deep sea species anatomy, habitat, range, migration, and diet. Once launched, the next step will be to align the Virtual Aquarium to the United States K-12 Next Generation Science Standard (NGSS)-aligned Ocean Literacy curriculum, and create teaching modules, educational resources, and lesson plans.