Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and Pangea Logistics Solutions to advance ocean science data acquisition through Science RoCS

Newswise – Woods Hole, MA (April 11, 2022) – Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), one of the world’s leading independent ocean research organizations, and Pangea Logistics Solutions (Pangea), a US-based international shipping and logistics company, announce Today the launch of a new science program aboard the Pangaea fleet. Science RoCS (Scientific Research on Merchant Ships) is an innovative program that brings together scientists with merchant ships to regularly observe wide and open oceans, particularly along frequent routes in hard-to-reach areas where there are critical observation gaps. The inaugural ship of Science RoCS equipment is M/V Bulk Xaymaca On its way between Jamaica and New Orleans, starting this spring. This route will provide a set of hard-to-reach simultaneous observations of the Gulf of Mexico as the Loop Current and the rich ocean Eddy field cross, with ongoing measurements collected regularly during the round trips that complete every seventeen days.

With more than 80% of the oceans unobserved, unmonitored, and unexplored, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Science RoCS aims to fill in gaps in ocean monitoring and build on other efforts and previous plans of scientists to engage “merchant ships as an opportunity” to collect ocean data. In fact, a recent student-led study published in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans reinforces the enormous utility of data that is steadily being collected by merchant ships.

With an estimated number of ocean-going research vessels worldwide at fewer than 100 and more than 50,000 merchant ships in the ocean at any one time, partnering with merchant ships is a positive step in increasing ocean and atmospheric monitoring.

WHOI and its collaborators have developed Science RoCS to help deploy ocean monitoring sensors that capture data such as the speed of ocean currents, sea water temperature and salinity, helping scientists predict weather, understand climate changes and predict flows that release plants, animals, and pollutants. The initiative focuses on making ships’ science data streams widely available ashore not only to serve the scientific community and other stakeholders, but to help report changes that can make human activity, including shipping, more sustainable as it relates to ocean health.

Pangea operates between 50 and 60 ocean-going merchant vessels each day, with a focus on operating sustainable supply chains. The company has a deep interest in ocean science and the advancement of education. The partnership with Science RoCS in oceanographic and meteorological data collection is aligned with the Pangaea mission.

Lydia Dosopoulos, Seamar Chief Technical Officer Pangea, and Sam Sirrico, Vice President Operations, led the Pangea project. “Using our knowledge and equipment in a very different way than usual, in a way that can help with awareness and response to our changing climate, has been a real thrill,” Dosopoulos said. Sirrico added: “We hope to work with Science RoCS on more fleet ships and generate information in more geographies in which we operate, particularly in the Arctic Ocean where we may be the only ships able to provide these important observations.”

Science RoCS Equipment Funding on M/V Bulk Xaymaca It came from Pangea, the WHOI Research Opportunities Program, and the Office of Naval Research (ONR). According to Robert Sparrock, ONR Program Director for Research Facilities, “Helping to transform merchant ships into integrated monitoring platforms is a way for us to support the Science RoCS program and allow critical measurements and data collection to begin immediately.”

“The ocean is pretty under-sample. If we want to solve problems that matter to people ashore – like identifying and mitigating harmful algal blooms, predicting how air/sea interactions cause hurricanes to intensify, or tracking nutrient inputs that can deoxygenate areas The mission is for fisheries—we need in-situ observations of the oceans, said Magdalena Andres, associate scientist in the World Health Organization’s Department of Physical Oceanography and principal investigator on some of the RoCS science proposals.

Science RoCS currently works with several carriers, and WHOI and its partners are collaborating with other operators to deliver the program.

Andres added, “Pangea has been a fantastic partner throughout this entire process. With their strong support and deep commitment to the scientific mission, the first many science RoCS missions we hope are poised to take place.”

“Complementing datasets from our existing monitoring programs, such as information from satellites and Argo buoys, these interactions with merchant ships is another way we can advance science and improve and forecast ocean and meteorological models, while providing data and information that helps and increases safety. and efficiency in the maritime industries.”


About Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) is a private, non-profit organization in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, dedicated to marine research, engineering, and higher education. Founded in 1930, its primary mission is to understand the ocean and its interaction with the Earth as a whole, and to communicate an understanding of the ocean’s role in the changing global environment. WHOI’s groundbreaking discoveries stem from the perfect blend of science and engineering – which has made it one of the most trusted and most technologically advanced leaders in basic and applied ocean research and exploration anywhere. WHOI is known for its multidisciplinary approach, superior ship operations, and unparalleled deep-sea robotics capabilities. We play a leading role in ocean monitoring and operate the largest collection of data collection platforms in the world. Leading scientists, engineers, and students collaborate on more than 800 simultaneous projects worldwide – both above and below the waves – pushing the limits of knowledge and possibilities. For more information, please visit www.whoi.edu

About Pangea Logistics Solutions

Pangea is a US-based shipping and logistics company that uses its expertise to serve a broad base of clients who need to move a variety of dry bulk cargo. The company meets the logistical needs of its customers by undertaking a comprehensive range of services and activities that seek to add value at every step of the supply chain. The company operates a fleet of 50-60 Supermax, Panamax and Handymax vessels, 25 of which are owned or partially owned. The company is a leader in the high ice class segment, secured by its control of the majority of large dry bulk vessels in the world with an Ice-Class 1a rating.

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