A “Global Viewport” for Virtual Exploration of Deep-sea Vents: Using Spherical Displays to Advance Public Literacy in Earth System Science

July 1st, 2012 - June 30th, 2015 | PROJECT

The Global Viewport for Virtual Exploration of Deep-Sea Hydrothermal Vents is a Track 2 project using spherical display systems to educate the public about the global significance of vents in the world's oceans and in the dynamic processes of Earth as a whole. The project is a collaboration between the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and the Ocean Explorium at New Bedford Seaport, members of the Magic Planet Community and Science On a Sphere® (SOS) Network, respectively. The proximity of the two institutions enables a unique evaluation of the learning attained with a stand-alone spherical display vs. live presentations with an SOS. The new content for spherical display systems will address key principles of Earth Science Literacy and Ocean Literacy. Imagery and data from research cruises are being used to: show how hydrothermal vents link dynamic processes in the lithosphere, hydrosphere, and biosphere; promote stewardship of life in remote environments; and excite viewers about the deep ocean frontier including exploration, research, and resources. The Global Viewport project is geared towards informal science education but also includes a component for teacher professional development from schools in towns with populations underrepresented in STEM fields. An online portal for content on Google Earth enables virtual exploration of deep-sea vents from home, extending the learning experience beyond a single visit to an informal science education institution. The online content, including interactive learning modules and games, is being promoted to marine educators and scientists at national conferences and through the COSEE social network.

Project Website(s)

(no project website provided)

Project Products

A "Global Viewport" for Virtual Exploration of Deep-sea vents: Using Spherical Displays to Advance Public Literacy in Earth System Science

Team Members

Stace Beaulieu, Principal Investigator, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI)


Funding Source: NSF
Funding Program: GEO
Award Number: 1202977
Funding Amount: 456699


Audience: Educators | Teachers | General Public | Museum | ISE Professionals | Scientists
Discipline: Education and learning science | Geoscience and geography
Resource Type: Project Descriptions
Environment Type: Media and Technology | Planetarium and Science on a Sphere