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Schmidt Ocean Institute

Does Schmidt Ocean Institute have scientists or researchers on staff?

Schmidt Ocean Institute does not have resident scientists or researchers on staff. You can view Schmidt Ocean Institute’s team here. All the scientists and researchers brought on board Falkor have applied for ship time and are members of collaborating universities and institutions.

Does Schmidt Ocean Institute directly fund the scientists and researchers who work aboard <i>Falkor (too)</i>?

No, Schmidt Ocean Institute is not a grant-giving organization. We provide our collaborators with free access to Falkor (too) and expert technical shipboard support in exchange for a commitment to openly share and communicate the outcomes of their research, including the raw observations and data.

Which organizations are partners with Schmidt Ocean Institute?

Schmidt Ocean Institute has over 85 collaborators and this number continues to grow with every new research group that comes aboard Falkor. More information on associations and collaborators can be found here.

How can my organization become a partner with Schmidt Ocean Institute?

Schmidt Ocean Institute collaborates with ocean researchers and technology developers from many organizations in a variety of areas, including seagoing oceanographic research and technology development, advancement of operational workflows, software development, data management, outreach programs, etc.

Is Schmidt Ocean Institute a member of the US based University-National Oceanographic Laboratory System (UNOLS)?

No, Schmidt Ocean Institute is not a member of the UNOLS but we do collaborate closely with UNOLS and members of UNOLS.  Schmidt Ocean Institute is a member of the International Research Ship Organization (IRSO).

Research Vessel Falkor (too)

Does the <i>Falkor (too)</i> have a homeport?

Falkor (too) sails under the Cayman Islands flag registry, but has no actual homeport. Falkor (too) is a truly international vessel that is not tethered to any geographic location. As a working science ship, Falkor (too) is constantly on the move, maximizing her flexibility for discoveries and projects.

How old do you have to be to join a science party and sail aboard <i>Falkor (too)</i>?

The minimum age to sail aboard Falkor (too) is 18, however, we will take younger students onboard for community tours.

Education and Community Outreach  

Can I use images or videos created by Schmidt Ocean Institute?

SOI’s charitable purpose includes providing educational benefits to the public through its operating activities, including the open sharing of information and materials related to science and technology research missions, advanced maritime learning, and the conservation of marine environments. If you have a project that meets these requirements and are interested in using images or video created by SOI, please complete this form and submit it to us so we may properly review.

Does Schmidt Ocean Institute exhibit at conferences and trade shows?

Yes, Schmidt Ocean Institute does exhibit at select ocean science and technology conferences and trade shows. If you would like Schmidt Ocean Institute  to exhibit at your event, please send requests to and let us know where, when, and the type of event you are hosting. Please note we do not offer conference or trade show sponsorship and may not be able to attend to all requests.

How can I set up a tour of <i>Falkor (too)</i> for my group?

As a working ship, Falkor (too) is constantly on the move and must optimize her infrequent time in port. As a result, community tours are typically limited to one afternoon in each port. Please note that we cannot accommodate groups larger than 30 at one time. If you are in a port where Falkor (too) is heading and are interested in a group tour, please send a request to with the number of people you are requesting to come on board and your affiliation. We do our best to share the experience of Schmidt Ocean Institute’s research vessel with the community.

How can I become a sea-going marine technician and learn to use all the amazing scientific equipment and systems aboard <i>Falkor (too)</i>?

Visit our Careers at Sea page for detailed advice and personal insight from Schmidt Ocean Institute’s team. You can also contact us about student opportunities and possible internships onboard Falkor (too). There are several unique programs around the world to help people move into a career of working aboard research ships as a marine technician, such as the Marine Advanced Technology Education program in Monterey, California USA.

Data and Information Sharing

How can I stay updated on where <i>Falkor (too)</i> will be sailing and when there will be live video streaming?

You can find the cruise plans and details for each year on the Schmidt Ocean Institute webpage under cruises. While at sea, the Falkor (too) status page will also provide you with live cruise tracks and data. During cruises with live streaming, notifications will go up on our website and social media pages. All remotely operated vehicle dives are streamed live to our YouTube page, and can be found on our cruise playlists. We also update the Schmidt Ocean Institute Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ pages often to keep everyone connected to current events and opportunities.

Where can I find all the data that has been collected by the scientists and researchers who have sailed aboard <i>Falkor</i> and <i>Falkor (too)</i>?

Schmidt Ocean Institute has an open data sharing policy and every scientist that comes on board commits to making the data they collected openly available as soon as feasible.  Links to all data that is available can be found on individual cruise pages, including data made publicly available by the scientists.  Data collected from Falkor’s embedded instruments while underway is archived by Schmidt Ocean Institute via their partnership with Rolling Deck to Repository. Additional processed data, including bathymetric data and data collected from vehicles on board are archived by Schmidt Ocean Institute via their partnership with Marine Geoscience Data System.  While Falkor (too)  is at sea, the status page shows the current position and ship track, weather and seawater sensor data in real-time and when available live video streams from the ship.

Does Schmidt Ocean Institute have an app for iOS and Android devices?

No, not yet. The best way to keep of Schmidt Ocean Institute and Falkor’s activities are through our website and social media pages. We update the Schmidt Ocean Institute Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ pages often to keep everyone connected to current events and opportunities.

Where is all the data archived that is collected by <i>Falkor (too)</i> embedded sensors?

You can view Falkor (too)’s embedded sensor data in real time on the Falkor (too) status page. Following the cruise, the embedded sensor data is archived and made publicly available at Rolling Deck to Repository.

Research Vessel Falkor (too) Operations

Are the <i>Falkor (too)</i> workboats available for scientific data collection and work?

Yes, the workboats are available for scientific use.

Our research team is working to maximize the roles of individuals invited to take part in our proposed cruise. Will we be required to include a technician to process and generate bathymetric maps from the data collected by the multi-beam or can <i>Falkor (too)</i> technicians conduct the processing?

Falkor (too)’s Marine Technicians are available to provide assistance in the processing of multibeam mapping data and to provide training for multibeam watchstanders but are usually unable to be dedicated to mapping, having numerous other responsibilities which are important to the success of your cruise. Chief scientists who desire multibeam mapping are requested to supply sufficient numbers of personnel, trained in the use of multibeam echosounders, to stand watches during data acquisition and for shipboard post processing.

Is R/V <i>Falkor (too)</i> able to support coring or dredging?

R/V Falkor’s design emphasizes ROV, AUV, and oceanographic instrumentation operations and doesn’t include the heavy duty winches required for coring, dredging or other bottom work. Some lighter duty operations may be possible with a portable winch.

Would it be possible to add a new component to our full proposal that was not included in our expression of interest?

This varies. Budgeting and fitting cruise operations to available equipment are based on your proposal. Small adjustments are possible, and it is understood that projects mature from the time of proposal writing an the beginning of the work at sea. Schmidt Ocean Institute strives to be as flexible as possible to ensure that your cruise is as productive as possible. Larger changes that change logistical requirements or incur significant cost increases are possible but require deeper discussion and review. Please consider your needs carefully when writing your proposal.

Schmidt Ocean Institute Proposals

Will Schmidt Ocean Institute consider piggy-back cruises or science-of-opportunity during transits between cruises?

Yes, Schmidt Ocean Institute is happy to consider piggy-back cruises or science-of-opportunity during transits between cruises. We also will consider student opportunities and Artist-At-Sea berths during transits. Check out the Serendipitous Side Trip cruise for a previous science-of-opportunity example.

How do I apply for the Artist-at-Sea or Student Opportunities programs?

To apply for the Artist-At-Sea, program, please complete this short form. To apply for the Student Opportunities program, please complete this short form.