UVI Ocean Gliders support UVI and regional research projects, as well as provide educational opportunities for students in the USVI and Eastern Caribbean.

UVI Ocean Glider Lab Research Projects:

Preparing for glider launch

MRI: Acquisition of Ocean Gliders for Marine Science Research Support at the University of the Virgin Islands

This NSF Major Research Instrumentation Award established the UVI Ocean Glider Lab, equipped it with two Teledyne Webb Research G3 Slocum Gliders, and and provides initial support for UVI staff and students to learn glider operations in preparation for further research projects.  Initial training is being aided by TWR and Rutgers University Center for Ocean Observing Leadership.  UVI Ocean Gliders will be deployed in 2023 and 2024  on missions around the USVI in support of research and training activities.
glider in water

CHAOS: Coordinated Hurricane Atmosphere-Ocean Sampling

CHAOS is a component of the 2023 NOAA Hurricane Field Program focusing on the the coordination of diverse new observing platforms (i.e., autonomous, uncrewed, expendable) and conventional ones (e.g., aircraft) to support: Sustained monitoring of key ocean features of the Gulf of Mexico, tropical Atlantic, and/or the Caribbean Sea, and targeted observing of the air-sea transition zone to improve the understanding of air-sea interactions for improved prediction of TC intensification.  UVI will partner with Rutgers University to deploy UVI gliders in the NE Caribbean during the 2023 hurricane season, collecting upper ocean data and delivering it immediately into the ocean models used to forecast tropical cyclones.
Glider at surface

Passive Acoustic Monitoring for Marine Mammal Stock Assessments using Gliders in the Caribbean: Filling a NMFS Operational Gap

Through an award from the NOAA Uncrewed Systems Research Transition Office, in collaboration with the NOAA NMFS Southeast Fisheries Science Center Marine Mammal and Turtle Division (NOAA P.I. Dr. Melissa Soldevilla), UVI gliders will be fitted with DMON2 Passive Acoustic Monitoring sensors and deployed on missions in the US Caribbean in 2024 / 2025 to collect data for development of regional marine mammal stock assessment algorithms.  The study will include operations concurrent with additional types of ocean gliders to evaluate capability, with the goal of delivering an operational stock assessment plan incorporating uncrewed systems.
Beach Photo

G. Unger Vetlesen Foundation International Challenger Mission

UVI has been a partner with Rutgers University in the G. Unger Vetlesen Foundation International Challenger Mission since 2019.  These international glider missions in the Eastern Caribbean support Ocean Observing as a way to develop international science and research ties and build regional capacity.  In 2019 – 2021, glider missions were carried out in the northeast Caribbean supporting hurricane studies and climate dynamics.  In 2022-23, in partnership with the French Office of Biodiversity and the AGOS Marine Sanctuary in Martinique, gliders are collecting ocean data and passive acoustic data of marine mammal sounds.  In 2025, we will launch a mission from the USVI to collect data on a north-south trans-Caribbean section from Dominican Republic to Curacao.


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Phone: St. Thomas (340) 693-1381               Fax: (340) 693-1385
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Center for Marine and Environmental Studies
University of the Virgin Islands
#2 John Brewers Bay
St. Thomas, USVI 00802