DURHAM, N.H. – Touch a prehistoric sea creature, drive a remotely operated vehicle, or tour a new state-of-the-art research ship at the University of New Hampshire’s Ocean Discovery Day Saturday, Sept. 21, 2013. Formerly Know the Coast Day, Ocean Discovery Day brings UNH research to life with hands-on fun and education for families at two locations, the Chase Ocean Engineering Laboratory on the UNH campus in Durham and UNH’s Judd Gregg Marine Research Complex in New Castle. The free event runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The day’s activities kick off at 9:30 a.m. with a homeporting ceremony for NOAA’s new coastal mapping ship the Ferdinand R. Hassler at the Judd Gregg Marine Research Complex pier in New Castle. The 124-foot ship’s primary mission will be to detect and monitor changes to the sea floor; its homeport in New Castle will allow it to take advantage of UNH’s Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping/Joint Hydrographic Center, a partnership between UNH and NOAA.
In addition to the Hassler, visitors to the New Castle site of Ocean Discovery Day can tour the R/V Gulf Challenger, UNH’s flagship research vessel, and the Piscataqua, a traditional reproduction of a gundalow barge, along with U.S. Coast Guard rescue vessels. Exhibits and demonstrations will highlight oyster restoration and aquaculture, fisheries research, phytoplankton, lobster tracking, and diving. The Portsmouth Lighthouse and Fort Constitution will both be open for exploring, giving a glimpse into the region’s rich maritime history.
At the Chase Ocean Engineering Laboratory on the UNH campus, Ocean Discovery Day visitors will learn how UNH researchers are learning more about the ocean with technology. Visit the building’s unique facilities, including a 20-foot deep engineering tank and a 120-foot-long wave tank, a telepresence console that lets researchers connect with scientists at sea, and a panoramic data visualization display. Operate an underwater remotely operated vehicle (ROV), build LEGO models of beaches to explore the physics of water, and see the modified Jet Ski researchers use to map the ocean floor.
Ocean Discovery Day is hosted by the UNH Marine Program, N.H. Sea Grant, the UNH Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping, and the UNH Marine Docents. For more information, including directions, parking, and schedules of activities, go to http://marine.unh.edu/oceandiscoveryday/ or visit Ocean Discovery Day on Facebook.
The University of New Hampshire, founded in 1866, is a world-class public research university with the feel of a New England liberal arts college. A land, sea, and space-grant university, UNH is the state's flagship public institution, enrolling 12,200 undergraduate and 2,300 graduate students.
Photographs available to download:
Caption: Tour NOAA’s new coastal mapping vessel the Ferdinand R. Hassler at the University of New Hampshire’s Ocean Discovery Day Saturday, Sept. 21, 2013.
Caption: Take a closer look at what lives in our oceans at the University of New Hampshire’s Ocean Discovery Day Saturday, Sept. 21, 2013.
Credit: Mike Ross, UNH Photographic Services
In addition to activities on Saturday, media are invited to attend Ocean Discovery Day activities targeted to educators and schoolchildren on Friday, Sept. 20, 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. For information, contact Becky Zeiber at 603-862-6704 or firstname.lastname@example.org.