Singapore student scientists

By on May 21, 2015

Carthe_Bob the DrifterFourth grade students from the Singapore American School in Singapore were searching the internet one day to look for ways they could help the ocean.  They came across Bob the Drifter and the CARTHE website, and decided they wanted to build a drifter!  This precocious group of students designed, built, and tested their very own Bob.

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They made videos, comics, and a Popplet to synthesize all they had learned.  When they contacted us for feedback we were blown away by their professionalism and passion.  CARTHE Outreach Manager Laura Bracken had the honor of Skyping with them to share information about our research and thoughts on how they could improve their design.  They asked great questions about what materials to use (something biodegradable that won’t sink too fast), how we power our GPS units (batteries), and do we record data day and night (yes).


These budding scientists also realize that science communication is important and wanted to share what they had learned with others!  They went to other classrooms in their school to give presentations on drifters, oil spills and ocean currents.

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The Kindergarten class loved their presentation so much that they were inspired to build their own Bob the Drifter!  The Bob on the left is equipped with a beverage and book, in case he’s lost at sea.


Working with groups like this is so rewarding!  Thank you so much to Ms. Harter and all her students!

If you want to get involved, please email lbracken [at]

Check out our website to learn more about our Student Drifter Design programs:

Posted in: Outreach

Santa Barbara Oil Spill

By on May 20, 2015

Photo by the Santa Barbara County Fire Department Another oil spill hit the headlines: Santa Barbara Oil Spill: Crews Race to Contain Estimated 21,000 Gallons CARTHE director, Tamay Özgökmen, took a moment to consider the impacts of this event

5 years later…

By on April 20, 2015

Today marks the 5th anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion.  11 individuals were killed, 17 were injured, and over the next 3 months, approximately 5 million barrels of oil spilled into the Gulf of Mexico. Scientists from across the world


Drifter behavior experiments with Seakeepers and Fleet Miami

By on April 16, 2015

CARTHE teamed up with The International SeaKeepers Society and Fleet Miami in September 2014 and March/April 2015 for a total of 6 days of experiments contributing to CARTHE’s new drifter design.  The goal of this research is to test the


‘Drones at the Beach’ wins video competition!

By on March 16, 2015

Ocean 180 Video Challenge is a national video competition for ocean scientists, judged by middle school students.  Scientists are challenged to bring their latest research papers to life in a short video. We are happy to announce that 2 CARTHE/Waterlust videos were in


Grad Student Smith Keeps Surface Currents and Disaster Response on His Radar – GoMRI featured article

By on February 26, 2015

CARTHE graduate student Conor Smith is featured in an article by the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative: After the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, many Gulf residents wanted to know where the oil was going and how fast it would get


Finally understanding sub-mesoscale currents

By on December 3, 2014

Ocean currents are streams of seawater that flow in the ocean, and are caused by wind, gravity, earth’s rotation, and differences in density. Currents can carry animals, nutrients, and even pollutants with them as they move. Therefore, it is important


Oil spill simulator makes a splash at Delaware Coast Day

By on October 17, 2014

    The 38th annual University of Delaware “Coast Day” was held on October 5, 2014 in Lewes, Delaware – the home of the UD marine school.  UD faculty shared their research, gave tours of their research vessels, and offered


Using drones in oil spill research

By on October 9, 2014

The use of drones during the Surfzone Coastal Oil Pathways Experiment (SCOPE) helped scientists from CARTHE study how oil moves from offshore onto our beaches! This is an innovate approach to a complex problem with powerful results. Check out this

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The Nova/CARTHE team studying bacteria during SCOPE

By on August 4, 2014

While assisting the SCOPE team conduct experiments on the research vessel, our group was also collecting bacterial samples directly from the sea surface and subsurface water about 20 cm deep. We are especially interested in bacteria that are known to