Saildrones, Canoes, and Smartfins at Oceans 17

Earthzine is covering the Oceans 17 conference in Anchorage, Alaska.

Alaska Lt. Gov. Byron Mallot reminded conference attendees that we are all indigenous people on island Earth as he kicked off the plenary session on Tuesday, Sept. 19. Mallot introduced Nainoi Thompson, president of the Polynesian Voyaging Society and Pwo navigator.

In 1980, Thompson helped fuel a renewed interest in traditional navigation when he became the first Hawaiian to rely on Polynesian navigation while sailing in a double-hulled canoe in 600 years. He has been a fierce advocate for protecting ocean resources, believing that traditional ways of knowing partnered with new scientific approaches will save the planet. To Thompson, failing to take action on climate change poses a greater threat to humanity than facing hurricanes and pirates in a canoe while sailing the globe.

Down in the exhibition hall, there was lots to see – from smart fins for citizen science projects to next-generation NeXOS sensors, Saildrones, gliders and remotely operated vehicles (ROVs).

Find other Oceans 17 articles here.

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Phil Besnehan is working with Scripps Oceanographic Institute to develop smart fins for surfboards that can help aid citizen science missions. Image Credit: Jenny Woodman















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IEEE Earthzine Editor-in-Chief Paul Racette talks with Eric Delory, principal investigator for the NeXOS Project. Image Credit: Jenny Woodman














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Using the autonomous vehicle Saildrone this summer, U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) scientists were able to make critical observations in the Arctic at fraction of the cost, with no danger posed to humans, according to Jessica N. Cross with the NOAA Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory. Image Credit: Jenny Woodman


















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Romaine Tricarico from Alseamar is at Oceans 17 selling gliders capable of being customized to meet specific research needs. Image Credit: Jenny Woodman


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