Rick Keil ~ Citizens' Scientist


Oceanography in a Day

"Not only do I really enjoy what OIP does, but they bring a new dimension to our regional COSEE activities, bringing you into the moment of being a scientist at sea."

Ocean Inquiry Project (OIP) is a non-profit that has been involved with COSEE OLC since the beginning, receiving National Science Foundation funding as a COSEE OLC partner since 2008. OIP began in 2000 with a mission of delivering inquiry-style marine science education using hands-on curriculum, as well as gathering research-quality data in Puget Sound for scientific partners.

OIP cruise
To date OIP has educated over 1500 students, ranging from middle school students to retirees, presenting "oceanography in a day". Through iterative interaction around multiple stations, students build up scientific inquiry about the ocean and gain a better appreciation of the scientific process and how oceanographic data is collected, as well as an increased understanding of Puget Sound and the role humans play in the ecosystem's health. OIP serves a diverse population through a variety of client institutions and programs.

OIP and COSEE OLC have a multi-threaded relationship. Many OIP staff are current or former students of Rick Keil's. There is also an important connection to SoundCitizen, as OIP takes deep water samples for the project and also uses SoundCitizen data to help teach connectedness. "There's a strong SoundCitizen and OIP collaboration that's really in-kind support," says Rick. OIP is also a full partner in the COSEE OLC renewal proposal, with OIP President Dr. Fritz Stahr slated to become a COSEE OLC Principle Investigator.

Members of organizations already engaged by COSEE OLC get ocean research field experiences through this partnership with OIP. OIP instructors - primarily oceanography graduate students - gain increased understanding of the Puget Sound region through interactions with OIP participants. The graduate students also get feedback on their teaching. These collaborative two-way exchanges and interactions are an important addition to the development and sustainability of COSEE OLC.