NOAA Participating in Star-Spangled Spectacular: September 10-15

September 9, 2014

NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer

From September 10-16, the City of Baltimore is coming together for the Star-Spangled Spectacular, to celebrate maritime history and commemorate Maryland’s contributions to the defense and heritage of the nation, including the birth of our national anthem.

During the weeklong commemoration, NOAA is partnering with Baltimore’s National Aquarium to host a range of events.


Google+ Hangout On Air

On September 9 at 3:00 pm (ET), explorers from NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer and Exploration Vessel Nautilus  will participate in a Google+ Hangout hosted by the National Aquarium. Participants will talk about the exploration models of the two telepresence-enabled vessels; the value of ocean exploration; and the excitement and importance of seamount exploration, which is the mission focus for both ships. Members of the general public will be able to submit questions and interact with guests in real time.


Pier 4 Tent Activities

NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer and other NOAA vessels will participate in the celebration and provide the backdrop to highlight subset of NOAA activities in the region. The Okeanos Explorer will be docked at Pier 4, in front of the National Aquarium.

Public tours of the ship will be available Thursday through Monday, from noon to 5 pm (ET), the exception being Friday, when tours will be available from 1 to 4 pm (ET). Visitors to the ship must wear flat, closed-toe shoes. Visitors must adhere to the Star-Spangled Spectacular bag policy .

Under the Pier 4 tent, visitors will have an opportunity to get up close and personal with our remotely operated vehicle, Deep Discoverer.

Also under the tent, Captain Barnacles and Kwazi Kitten from the children’s program, The Octonauts, will be making special appearances Friday through Sunday, from 12 pm to 4 pm.

NOAA scientists and technicians will be on hand throughout, conducting outreach activities and answering questions.


Ocean Exploration Meetings

Concurrent to the public activities taking place, NOAA is hosting several important meetings to bring together leaders in ocean exploration and research management.

The Mid-Atlantic Regional Council on the Ocean (MARCO) and Maryland Sea Grant will convene a workshop focused on the current and future state of science in the Mid-Atlantic undersea canyons, including results of fieldwork by NOAAand partners in the area. The meeting will include representatives from government, state, and academic colleagues.
The National Aquarium and NOAA will also co-host a meeting to discuss the value and relevance of ocean exploration to NOAA and the nation and to plan for a National Ocean Exploration Forum in 2015. The meeting is a follow-on to last summer’s Ocean Exploration 2020 meeting.