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Project Highlights

Indo-Pacific Collaborative

EPT: Online Collaborative Planning Tool

Global Oceans offers an online Expedition Planning Tool (EPT) that will enable scientists across institutions and regions to model, plan and optimize expedition research scenarios along several dimensions: logistical, scientific, operational, and geographic. The EPT is also designed to explore opportunities for collaboration and resource sharing. The tool provides a common IT platform for research planning and coordination by scientists across institutions and regions.

The EPT is offered in collaboration with the Marine Science Institute (MSI) at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) and built on the SeaSketch marine spatial planning platform. Working with Global Oceans, MSI configured the EPT as an online GIS-enabled planning tool for scientists to document expedition research plans and communicate with project colleagues about resource requirements. 

For each MARV expedition, Global Oceans will set up a unique project module in the EPT for use by project scientists in planning individual research activities within the overall cruise plan, and for modeling alternative transects and field work scenarios for review. Expedition modules will be linked to project resources and specifications for the vessel, deck support, technical support, instruments, undersea vehicles, and sampling tools. Users can set up user-defined discussion forums and can post documents to the site.    

For the Indo-Pacific Collaborative, the EPT offers a community resource for planning, budgeting, and coordinating activities on MARV platforms, and will support the program’s objective to catalyze and support regional collaboration and options for infrastructure cost-sharing. The EPT's survey module can also query networks of users on current needs and future plans and will be helpful for exploring the potential for specific institutional consortia and regional collaboration.

EPT Structure

Using the EPT online, users can create discussion forums and utilize a range of graphic elements to map proposed activities and coordinates for sampling and instrument deployments. Multiple base maps and libraries of GIS map layers are accessible through the EPT and may be imported into the tool. Examples of GIS map layers among many hundreds available include seafloor bathymetry, seasonal sea surface temperature, marine protected areas, global distribution of coral reefs, seamounts map, etc. 

Transects can be drawn on the map by users for common viewing by expedition participants. Global Oceans can calculate the impact of various scenarios entered into the EPT on expedition ship time, equipment requirements, and variable costs such as fuel consumption.

Examples of screen shots on this page illustrate the EPT’s map-based functionality including use of graphic elements (lines, points, and polygons) associated with specific activities, and the EPT’s survey module format.

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