Exploration Project of Opportunity

NOAA Ocean Exploration created an Exploration Project of Opportunity (EPO) process to optimize time on NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer, particularly while sailing in remote and hard-to-access regions of the world's ocean. The EPO process enables scientists and engineers to request special, limited-scope projects to supplement expeditions on Okeanos Explorer. Such projects will not, except in highly unusual circumstances, require funding from NOAA Ocean Exploration or additional shiptime. Typical projects will support the office's mission and will be conducted according to NOAA’s open data requirement.


NOAA Ocean Exploration Support

NOAA Ocean Exploration support for EPOs consists of limited access to small amounts of ship time. Scientists and engineers submitting requests must cover all other costs associated with the project. Extra berthing space on the Okeanos Explorer is very limited, and any berthing necessary to conduct an EPO will be considered on a case-by-case basis.


Selection Process

All submitted EPOs will be reviewed by NOAA Ocean Exploration staff and affiliated personnel. The office normally responds to EPO requests within 30 days of submission. Criteria for selection include office mission relevance, scientific merit, logistics, and the EPO’s ability to be conducted without negatively impacting the ship’s main mission.

There is no guarantee, real or implied, that any EPO request will be approved. Consistent with NOAA’s open data requirement, information about accepted EPOs will be made available to the public upon request. Any extenuating consideration of proprietary information must be communicated to NOAA Ocean Exploration when the EPO request is made.


To Apply

Please complete this form to submit a project for consideration.

Though EPO projects ideas may be submitted at any time, submission at least six months in advance of sailing is generally required.

Questions can be addressed to oceanexplorer@noaa.gov.