27 Mar Plankton Planet presented at Ocean vision 2019
Sampling of ocean life is hindered by the extreme cost, limited logistical flexibility, and high carbon footprint of classical oceanographic research vessels. Developing a working understanding of the dynamics and evolution of global plankton will require a far greater sampling effort, increasing coverage across both space and time in the rapidly changing ocean. The new Plankton Planet (P2) program represents a low-cost, eco-friendly, and society engaging Oceanography 2.0, through providing the tools to connect oceanographers to the thousands of “blue citizens” (seatizens!) who sail across the oceans at any given time. The aim is to undertake a holistic worldwide sampling of plankton life at an unprecedented level of sensitivity, ultimately allowing robust mathematical modeling toward a predictable ocean. We will present our general approach and newly developed imaging tools for bringing citizen sailors closer to enable scientific sampling and engage in the microscopic beauty of the ocean.