Deep-sea Discoveries
in the Atlantic

In 2013, scientists from NOAA engaged an interdisciplinary team of scientists from dozens of institutions and multiple sectors explore little-known or unknown U.S. northeastern deepwater canyons.

The expedition discovered a wide variety of seafloor features and biological communities in and between largely unexplored canyons, providing new information about how these canyons change over time and revealing hot spots for biodiversity.

Deep-sea Discoveries in the Atlantic

An octopus hides in the rocks in Welker Canyon. Image courtesy of NOAA Okeanos Explorer Program, 2013 Northeast U.S. Canyons Expedition.



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Online Professional Development Center

Online professional development offered by NOAA's Office of Exploration and Research provides educators with more in-depth studies into specific ocean science content through the context of ocean exploration. In partnership with The College of Exploration, an online campus setting provides the venue through which educators from around the world can meet, view keynote addresses given by ocean explorers and ask questions of keynote speakers online.

Inquiry- and standards-based activities and other resources are also provided in a facilitated environment to enable educators to take content from the keynote addresses into a variety of teaching environments in an effort to enhance ocean science literacy and further promote Ocean Literacy Essential Principle #7 – “The ocean is largely unexplored.

Professional Development Events 2014

Deep-sea Discoveries in the Atlantic onboard the NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer:
An Online Workshop to Advance Transatlantic Ocean Science Literacy

March 3 – April 4, 2014

The NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer spent the 2013 field season exploring a wide variety of seafloor features and biological communities in and between largely unexplored canyons in the Northeast Atlantic Ocean, providing new informa­tion about how these canyons change over time and revealing hot spots for biodiversity. From July to August 2013, an interdisciplinary team of scien­tists from dozens of institutions and multiple sectors together with ocean educators and the public were able to observe in real time imagery from the deep Atlantic using NOAA’s new remotely-operated vehicle Deep Discoverer.

This workshop will focus on mission discoveries, and include content on the importance of Atlantic deepwater canyons, their associated deep-sea corals, newly-discovered cold methane seep sites, and Mytilus Seamount and seamount topography in general. Join Keynote Speakers, ocean explorers, scientists, ocean science educators and others interesting in learning and discussing more about the deep Atlantic as you gain access to online teaching resources, ROV highlight videos, multimedia resources and conversations with colleagues around the world.

Keynote Speakers include:

  • Dr. Tim Shank, Deep-sea Biologist, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and NOAA OER Chief Scientist
  • Dr. Martha Nizinski, Zoologist, National Systematics Laboratory, NOAA Northeast Fisheries Science Center
  • Andrea Quattrini, Marine Biology PhD Student, Temple University
  • Dr. Carolyn Ruppel, Geophysicist, U.S. Geological Survey, Woods Hole Field Center

There will be breakout discussions accompanying each keynote presentation, in which educators from both sides of the Atlantic will be invited to share how they might use the presentation content in their educational setting. These discussions will be guided by a transatlantic team of ocean science educators.

The second phase of this online workshop (March 24- April 4) extends conversations about the NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer discoveries in the Atlantic to a broader discussion of transatlantic ocean science research and education, building a foundation on which to continue the dialogue on transatlantic ocean literacy.

Using this online workshop content as a framework for discussions, we hope to foster the exchanges in a community-based learning environment among a large number of educators, scientists, and others representing many countries who are interested in further defining/describing the priority areas of focus for transatlantic ocean literacy.

The presentations and discussions will be threefold:

    The history and evolution of the transatlantic ocean literacy initiative will be presented. The presentation and ensuing conversation will focus on transatlantic ocean literacy as recommended in the Galway Statement ( and furthered in discussions during The Transatlantic Ocean Literacy Workshop; The Marine Biological Association and Plymouth University, held in the Fall of 2013.
    A panel of colleagues from Europe and Canada will present what is happening with ocean literacy in their countries now. Join colleagues from UK, Portugal, Belgium and France to hear about their educational efforts related to transatlantic ocean literacy and cooperation.
    Upcoming ocean literacy activities and events will be featured and discussed. Key organizers of these events will present what’s happening and will be available to answer questions.
    • Ocean Sampling Day:  Dr. Anna Klindworth will present information about the upcoming Ocean Sampling Day (June, 2014) and will explore ways to get an educational group involved.
    • National Marine Educators Association Conference: Peter Tuddenham will present information about a one-day pre-conference meeting about global ocean literacy on July 21, 2014 at the NMEA conference in Annapolis, Maryland. Participants will be encouraged to join the meeting to learn about exciting projects in ocean literacy at the full conference (July 21-25).
    • European Marine Science Educators Association (EMSEA): A representative from EMSEA will present information about what is happening in marine education in Europe. She will encourage transatlantic conversations and invite your participation in the upcoming conference October 1-3, 2014 in Gothenburg, Sweden.
    • Discussion about priority areas of focus for transatlantic ocean literacy. We will welcome all suggestions and encourage discussion about areas of potential priority as we move forward in developing and supporting transatlantic ocean literacy.

    All of the online professional development events in collaboration with NOAA OER are free for all participants and are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Options for Graduate Credit or Professional Development Certificate of Completion

This professional development event is free for all participants and will be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. An optional free Certificate of Completion is available to reflect 15 hours of Professional Development.

Educators will also have the option to earn one graduate credit ($175) in Education from Ashland University in Ashland, Ohio. You must register for the credit option and submit payment directly through Ashland University’s website.

If you want Graduate Credit from Ashland University please read the Graduate Credit Requirements document (PDF).


National Marine Sanctuaries Foundation


This course and workshop is made possible by a grant from the National Marine Sanctuaries Foundation.


Video Description and Credit: Andrea Quattrini, marine biologist and co-science team lead for Leg 1 talks about telepresence and the 2013 Northeast U.S. Canyons Expedition. Video courtesy of NOAA Okeanos Explorer Program.