Making the Deep More Accessible Than Ever
From October 7 to November 7, the U.S. Geological Survey, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the Global Foundation for Ocean Exploration (GFOE) are exploring deep-sea corals, sponges, and fish habitat off the U.S. West Coast. While the expedition is underway, let us serve as your terminology tour guides to the unusual and sometimes hard-to-pronounce words that dwell in the depths of deep-ocean science.
The WaterWord: Telepresence
Definition: This is reality television at its finest: Welcome to LIVE, totally unscripted, not-edited -- Deep-Sea TV. Telepresence, or the use of virtual reality technologies to make someone feel like they are somewhere when they are in fact not, helps scientists – and the public! - explore the sea floor without getting wet.
Etymology: Telepresence comes from: Tele from Ancient Greek meaning “at a distance or far from” and presence from Latin’s praesentia meaning “being at hand.”
Use/Significance in the Earth Science Community: Telepresence has changed the game of deep-sea science and exploration. Now, many research vessels and underwater robots live-stream their activities. This allows shore-based scientists to interact with and assist researchers at sea, and anyone from around the world can tune in from the comfort of their home or office to explore never-before-seen areas of the seafloor and engage with scientists in real time.
U.S. Geological Survey Use: USGS regularly works aboard research vessels with telepresence capabilities, including the current expedition, which will live-stream the remotely operated vehicle dives as scientists explore deep-sea corals and associated habitats.
Next WaterWord: Deep Sea
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