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UVI Plays Vital Role in VI Ocean Glider Pilot Project

The University of the Virgin Islands (UVI) through an agreement with Ocean and Coastal Observing – Virgin Islands (OCOVI), has lent its support to housing data-collecting underwater drones that will aid in improved hurricane forecasting.

The project to deploy ocean gliders in USVI waters begun on July 17, 2018. The deployment schedule saw the first glider going into the water 15 miles south of St. Thomas-St. John on July 17, followed the next day, July 18, by two deployments north of St. Croix and one west of St. Croix. On July 19, the fifth Glider was released at a station northwest of St. Thomas.

The Summer long project includes ocean gliders plying the waters of the US Virgin Islands as a means of advancing the understanding of ocean characteristics and contributing to improving hurricane forecast models. Additionally, two of the gliders are carrying passive acoustic recorders to listen for whale sounds.

“UVI’s Center for Marine and Environmental Studies and its emerging oceanography program is very excited to be able to participate in this important project,” said Dr. Paul Jobsis, acting director of the Center for Marine & Environmental Studies. “We plan to continue this work in the future with OCOVI, NOAA, the US Navy and CariCOOS-UPR,” he said. “The logistics and student involvement we were able to facilitate is important.  UVI students are some of the best and this shows them that globally important science is happening in the Virgin Islands.”

More information is available in a news release on the Media Section of the UVI website – - and from this direct link.