Resource Data

Regional-class research vessel introduces new tool to increase mastery of data science – The Daily Barometer


Courtesy of Oregon State University

This image shows an artistic rendition of Oregon State University’s regional-class research vessel “Taani”, which will enhance knowledge of data and science through the use of data transfer and real-time communication. Taani is expected to have aunch in March 2022.

Oregon State University is leading a project focused on enhancing cutting-edge ocean research and marine science and data education through the design and construction of three new ocean research vessels.

The Regional Class Research Vessel program, funded by the National Science Foundation, will enhance public knowledge of marine science and data by adapting oceanographic data for the development of educational programs and exhibits.

“Taani,” which means “offshore” in Siletz Dee-Ni, the official language of the Confederate Tribes of the Indigenous Peoples of Siletz, was the first of three RCRVs approved by the NSF for design and development.

According to the RCRV schedule summary, construction of the “Taani” has been underway since 2017, and in October of this year, OSU released a video describing the advanced technological capabilities on board the ship and how they will improve research and oceanographic education.

Working with outreach organizations across the state of Oregon, the “Taani” is being outfitted to serve as a marine education vessel. Access to a fully equipped RCRV will allow educators to develop hands-on science courses for students interested in learning more about the marine environment.

The continuously operating high-speed satellite connectivity provided for the “Taani” sets it apart from older generations of research vessels which have limited communication capabilities at sea due to their obsolete technology.

The 24-hour satellite connectivity on board the “Taani” will allow real-time data transfer and communication with groups ashore. Researchers will be able to interact with educators and students during an expedition, offering a glimpse into the world of marine science.

Live streaming of data is one of the benefits of the new data presence system, but should be approached with caution when it comes to public use, said Tracy Crews, marine education program manager at Oregon Sea. Grant.

The teams likened the high-speed data stream to drinking water from a fire hose, meaning students or other public users are likely to be overwhelmed by the amount of data and will need additional help to understand the meaning.

According to Crews, the data transfer system will allow dozens of oceanographic and atmospheric instruments to simultaneously broadcast live data, at a rate and volume beyond the work capacity of the students.

“Too much data can lead to excessive pumping of the [data] stream, ”Crews said. “There is still a lot of work to be done before students can use the live data streaming technology. “

According to Flaxen Conway, director of the Marine Resource Management program at OSU, tackling problems in data science is the first step in developing a deeper understanding of marine science. In reality, most students do not know the basics of using and interpreting data.

“How are you going to build a house if you don’t have a solid foundation? Conway asked. “The first step is to improve data literacy, then we can use the equipment at hand. “

The CPRN data will first be verified so that it can be used for educational purposes, according to Crews. Outreach organizations working with OSU and the RCRV program have already started to think about effective ways to make this data available to students.

The Oregon Marine Scientist and Educator Alliance, or ORSEA, is one such program, funded by the Oregon Sea Grant and the NSF, that plans to use oceanographic data by pairing marine researchers with public educators to develop age-appropriate activities focused on marine science and data. .

Other collaborators, including the Science & Math Investigative Learning Experiences program at OSU, are developing fun and innovative programs that showcase RCRV technology and its potential uses. According to Dr Adam Talamantes, coordinator of the SMILE program, knowledge of public meetings is important.

“We all live in a data-rich world and mastering data is a must-have skill,” he said. “Researchers, teachers and young people need to understand how they participate in the data flow. “

Going beyond marine science, RCRV outreach officials hope students will gain a better understanding of how data is used in everyday life. As the mastery of data progresses, they envision a day when the live streaming capabilities aboard “Taani” can be utilized to their full potential.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, an NSF report says construction of the RCRVs should be delayed for six months, adding about $ 20 million to the existing cost of $ 354 million to build the ships.

According to the RCRV schedule summary, the new launch date for “Taani” is expected to be March 2022. The other two RCRVs are expected to be launched in six month increments after “Taani” and by February 2023.