Rutgers Univ. Students participating in the Glider Project
In commemoration of Scarlet Knight’s historic Atlantic Crossing in 2009, the U.S. IOOS Program Office and Rutgers University organized a site visit on August 9, 2011, to recognize Rutgers University and the network of partnerships and collaborations IOOS facilitated that were involved in this successful mission. The event also served as a forum for three IOOS Regions (Mid-Atlantic - MARACOOS, Southeast Atlantic - SECOORA, Northeast Atlantic - NERACOOS) to meet and discuss regional issues with Dr. Kathryn D. Sullivan, Assistant Secretary for Environmental Observations and Predictions/Deputy Administrator of NOAA. Dr. Sullivan was also the honored speaker at the commemoration event, she presented a framed collection of items from Scarlet Knight to Rutgers University President, Richard McCormick and NOAA challenge coins to students involved in the mission and the documentary which followed Scarlet’s journey.
Events began with a tour of the labs located in Rutgers’ Institute of Marine and Coastal Science (IMCS). In the Glider Lab Dr. Sullivan and members of the IOOS regions had the opportunity to see several Teledyne Webb Research Slocum gliders at various stages of assembly. The International Coastal Ocean Observing lab (popularly known as the I-COOL room) tour began with a short orientation of the room's capabilities which include: functioning as an observatory operations center, a data aggregation and visualization center, and a student training center. Dr. Sullivan and the three IOOS Region Executive Driectors met COOL staff and students, and interacted with students from both Rutgers and PLOCAN (Plataforma Oceánica de Canarias - Oceanic Platform of the Canary Islands) who are currently collaborating to complete the Challenger I mission, a journey from Iceland to the Canaries using “Silbo,” a Teledyne Webb glider. (For more information on the I-COOL room & the Challenger Mission visit: http://rucool.marine.rutgers.edu).
At the conclusion of the tours, participants gathered at the IMCS Alampi room to celebrate and commemorate Scarlet Knights' historic mission and watch the award winning documentary- Atlantic Crossing - A Robot's Daring Mission directed and produced by Dena Seidel, Rutgers University Center for Digital Filmmaking, and her students. The event closed with a presentation by Dr. Sullivan to Rutgers University President, Richard McCormick, and to Rutgers students, Nilsen Stradskov and Chantal Eyong who received NOAA challenge coins for their outstanding support to the mission and documentary, respectively.
The afternoon was spent in discussions with MARACOOS, NERACOOS and SECOORA. Each region provided information about the area they represent, their capabilities and an overview of their benefits to US IOOS (The presentations by the three Executive Directors are posted at - http://rucool.marine.rutgers.edu/index.php/Presentations/). Time was also allotted for discussions led by users from the maritime transportation industry, offshore energy and fishing sectors.