FIU connects with the ocean community

The marine sciences community is catalyzing the next generation of ocean advocates.

At the Ocean Sciences Meeting held in February at the San Diego Convention Center, the marine sciences community built bridges across disciplines, collaborated and created lasting partnerships.

This meeting was timely as the United Nations declared that in 2021 the Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development will begin. As this pivotal decade approaches, gatherings like the Ocean Sciences Meeting provide a unique opportunity for the marine science community to raise awareness of the challenges oceans face to set forth a path for a more sustainable future.

In a poster session titled “Engaging Students Globally in Marine Science Research and Conservation,” two FIU groups presented projects focusing on student engagement in marine science: Aquarius Academy and the Northwest Passage Project.

Aquarius Academy is an ocean education and conservation program centered around FIU’s Aquarius Reef Base, the world’s only undersea research laboratory.

The Northwest Passage Project is an undergraduate research experience which brought FIU students to the Northwest Passage for a month to conduct meaningful research and outreach on the biology and oceanography of the Arctic.

Despite being in opposite ecosystems, these two programs had one crucial similarity – live outreach at sea. Teaching people to connect with and care about the ocean can be challenging without being able to bring students to experience it firsthand.

Live outreach at sea allows students anywhere in the world to connect with scientists working in the ocean. Through the Aquarius Academy, this type of outreach takes place through a virtual field trip program in which students can connect with aquanauts living underwater at Aquarius. The Northwest Passage Project conducted ship-based live broadcasts that were televised to educational institutions such as the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, Exploratorium Museum and Alaska SeaLife Center.

Live outreach at sea is just one exciting way to inspire the next generation of ocean advocates. To learn about the ocean education projects, FIU presented during the Ocean Sciences Meeting and find more exciting ways to get students excited about the ocean, visit and

The Ocean Sciences Meeting was held in partnership with Advancing Earth and Space Science, the Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography and The Oceanography Society.

Poster presentations: