The NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research (OER) created an Exploration Project of Opportunity (EPO) process to optimize ship time, 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 NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer expeditions. Such projects will not, except in highly unusual circumstances, require OER funding or additional shiptime. Typical projects will support OER’s missions and will be conducted according to NOAA’s open data requirement.
OER 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.
All submitted EPOs will be reviewed by OER staff and affiliated personnel. OER normally responds to EPO requests within 30 days of submission. Criteria for selection include OER 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 OER when the EPO request is made.
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 email@example.com.