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Keep up to speed with our EXPRESS research cruise with this latest seafloor syntax!

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.

USGS scientist Amanda Demopoulos and Shelton Du Preez chat with guests at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

While sailing aboard Schmidt Ocean Institute's research vessel the Falkor, USGS scientist Amanda Demopoulos and multimedia correspondent Shelton Du Preez chat with guests at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History about deep-sea science.

(Public domain.)

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.”

ROV control room

Josh Parris and Andrea Quattrini on their first shift as video and data loggers in the ROV control room aboard the NOAA Ship Ronald H. Brown.

(Credit: DEEP SEARCH 2019 - BOEM. Image courtesy of DEEP SEARCH 2019 - BOEM, USGS, NOAA)

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

Keep up with the deep-sea findings on the Cruise Log and social media: Facebook and Twitter.