Citizen Science is a way to harness the power of thousands of travellers around the world to observe, record, and report on natural phenomena. This is particularly useful in remote and isolated destinations like Antarctica, where it is challenging to support long-term academic observation teams. Scientific research in the Antarctic is often a costly, time-consuming and difficult task.
Citizen Science Programs like ours aboard the Ocean Endeavour can help in the collection of invaluable data that can help us to better understand Antarctica and the issues it faces. During every Antarctic voyage, you have the chance to observe, record and report on natural phenomena as part of a collaboration project with Antarctic scientists. Our dedicated Citizen Science Coordinator will lead guest-focused initiatives to maximise our contribution to scientific research. The data collected will directly contribute to a better understanding of climate change and how it is affecting the polar regions.
Our citizen science projects
Antarctica and the Southern Ocean play critical roles in the regulation of the Earth’s climate system and in many ways are the “canary in the coal mine” of climate change. In the coming years, politicians and regulatory bodies will decide the fate of Antarctica and our scientists need all the information they can get to help inform this future policy. This is where Citizen Science comes in. Through partnerships with NASA, Oxford University, Happy Whale and others, our onboard Citizen Science Program allows you to contribute to the future of Antarctica, to collect data that can contribute to real scientific studies of the frozen continent and its inhabitants. The projects our Citizen Science Program supports include:
Clouds affect how much sunlight the Earth absorbs and how much heat escapes back into space. By observing and recording cloud cover timed to NASA satellite flyovers, we can help to understand how surface and air temperature are affected by cloud covers.
During your voyage, we encourage you to take photos of whales’ flukes, including any identifiable marks and to upload them online. Happy Whale then uses AI (artificial intelligence) and machine learning to analyse and identify the individual whale and then tracks their movement across the oceans.
By conducting bird surveys while at sea or on shore, we can help scientists begin to understand mesoscale seabird distribution patterns and habitat usage in the Southern Ocean. You will be working in small groups with an Ornithologist, out on the decks identifying various sea birds.
Phytoplankton are the sea’s most important inhabitants which underpin the entire marine food chain and account for 50% of all the photosynthesis on earth. During your voyage, you will collect phytoplankton samples, which will help researchers to obtain a seasonal picture of phytoplankton abundance and distribution throughout their growing season.
This project supports the Secchi Disk Foundation and is named after the white disk that measures the clarity of the seawater. A Secchi Disk will be used to record the Secchi Depth and will be lowered vertically into the seawater from the Zodiac. This study offers you a unique insight into the marine food chain.