There is a new trend towards “open” everything – open source, open access, and now – “Open Ocean”, a new initiative at the MIT Media Lab. BU Biology Lecturer Dr. Randi Rotjan was part of their recent event, “Here Be Dragons”, where 1 day of talks was followed by 1 day of brainstorming and idea-pitching. Projects were invited to submit proposals afterwards, and Rotjan’s team won one of the four coveted Rapid Field Deployment Awards from the MIT Media Lab Open Ocean Initiative and the National Geographic Society. The teams project is entitled “My deep sea, my backyard”, and aims to further deep sea exploration in a way that helps to democratize the ocean: train least developed country citizens on using sophisticated deep-sea technology, and provide higher level support for their discoveries by offering tuition scholarships towards degrees in higher education. The goal: enable deep sea exploration, and deeper in-country capacity. Rotjan is the Chief Scientist of the Phoenix Islands Protected Area Conservation Trust in the Republic of Kiribati, which will be one of two countries to pilot this program. Rotjan will facilitate the Kiribati connection, help to train on deep-sea technology, and help to train a student in deep-sea organismal biology, analysis and implications. For more information, you can read the proposal – it’s available to the public on the Journal of Open Exploration page here.