COSEE-OLC farewell event!

On November 30th, COSEE-OLC will wrap up it’s operations with a celebration at the Seattle Aquarium and the University of Washington. COSEE-OLC has spent most of the last decade building a community of scientists, marine volunteer organizations, formal and informal educators and interested citizens to form an ocean learning community in the Pacific Northwest. It has provided critical support for marine science education and outreach programs (including Ocean Inquiry Project!) and will be dearly missed.

For more details and registration for the event, please visit:

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Sea Cucumber!

On our latest cruise with the Seattle Aquarium’s Beach Naturalists, we encountered a number of Parastichopus californicus, otherwise known as the warty sea cucumber! These critters are native to Puget Sound, and can be quite large– up to half a meter long! They feed on the detritus and small organisms found in marine sediments, and are related to sea urchins, sea stars, brittle stars, and sand dollars (phylum: echinodermata). Below, instructor Jamie poses with a fine specimen.

Thanks to the Seattle Beach Naturalists who came out with us– what a great and enthusiastic group! You’ll often find them at your local beach, ready to share their knowledge with members of the public. For more info on Seattle Beach Naturalists, visit:

parastichopus californicus

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New photos and resources!

New photos are up in our photo section and our flickr account , courtesy of Laure Brooks and the students of Mt. Vernon HS. Thanks for the great photos!

In addition, for volunteer instructors who are new to the program, or for old-timers wanting to brush up, we now have instructor resources in our resources section!

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2012 cruises

We’ve had a great summer cruise season so far this summer, and have an even busier fall season coming up! Many thanks to those who have come out with us already this summer: Mt. Vernon HS, Garfield HS, Cascade MS, students in NOAA’s Science Camp, North Seattle Community College, The Evergreen State College’s Curriculum for the Bioregion, and Goodwill Industries Young Leaders. We look forward to more expeditions this fall with members of the marine volunteer community, as well as students and educators from around Puget Sound.

Check out our calender for our latest cruise dates!

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Thanks to new volunteers!

Last Saturday we hosted our 2012 new volunteer training cruise, and we had a great time working with our newest crop of instructors! Not only was it our first cruise of the season, but it was also our first cruise ever working off the MV PS, and so many thanks to our volunteers for their patience as we worked through some logistical challenges. Great enthusiasm, great thoughts, great questions. This season is shaping up to be a good one!

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OIP volunteer training cruise …

OIP volunteer training cruise Saturday April 21st! If you’re interested in being an OIP volunteer, contact

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CTD data now up!

We have begun posting our CTD data and charts for each cruise in our Data section! You may also find links to the data in the Cruises section, as an alternate tab to our Cruise History spreadsheet. So far we have most of the data from cruises 101-156, and are actively working through the backlog. We are also linking our data to our satellite map waypoints.

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OIP awarded grant from The Russell Family Foundation

Ocean Inquiry Project and the folks at My Place in Puget Sound  have been awarded a collaborative grant to work with a science class at the Auburn Middle School. We’ll be working in conjunction with the My Place in Puget Sound curriculum by taking students out in the field for some hands on science!

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Busy busy busy!

Ocean Inquiry Project has been busy lately! First, we’re expanding our social networking presence: find us on Twitter @OceanInquiry, and find us at our facebook page:

Second, we were pleased to have Fritz Stahr headline a Sound Conversations event at the Seattle Aquarium ( It was great to see his name on the giant marquee, getting the rock star treatment he deserves!

And finally, the OIP team volunteered as officials at the 2012 ORCA bowl regional championship. For those unfamiliar with ORCA bowl, teams of high-schoolers from around Washington State compete in an ocean sciences trivia bowl. Competition was fierce this year ( including a dramatic show-down in the semi-finals between the A and B teams from Garfield HS), but in the end the Friday Harbor team edged out the Garfield B team. They’ll go on to compete in the National Ocean Sciences Bowl in Baltimore, MD this April. Congratulations and good luck FHHS!


ORCA bowl officials (including Fritz and Beth) in all their finery.

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Family Science Weekend video!

OIP’s own Fritz Stahr stars in this video posted by the Seattle Aquarium, documenting it’s annual Family Science Weekend, held this year November 11th through 13th. Fritz held a demonstration using a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) in one of the tanks, while visitors got a chance to try making their own.

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