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Virtual Explorations

Digital technology can connect people together in ways never before imagined. Voice, text, images and video can be transmitted almost instantaneously from place to place, all over the globe. Our Virtual Explorations allow scientists and explorers to share their experiences and discoveries with you, using the Oceanscape Network as a “virtual bridge.” Now you can be on the edge of discovery… even if you’re thousands of miles away!


Began on August 16, 2015: Creep into the DEEPEND. The deep sea is by far the largest affected habitat from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. This investigation into the spill’s long-term effects on the Gulf of Mexico includes more than 30 scientists from 11 different universities and agencies.

Began on May 20, 2015: Still Searching: The Mysterious Disappearance of Amelia Earhart. After nearly three decades of scientific research and discovery, learn how historians and archaeologists may be getting close to solving one of the Pacific Ocean’s most enduring mysteries. This feature is updated periodically throughout the year.


October 9 to November 3, 2017: Phoenix Islands Chain Deep Dive: They are one of the deepest, most pristine coral reefs on Earth. Venture to the Phoenix Islands Chain with Schmidt Ocean Institute for a first glimpse at these unseen ecosystems.

August 28 to September 1, 2017: Tracking Sharks on the Great Barrier Reef. Join Dr. Michelle Heupel of the Australian Institute of Marine Science for this week-long look at how she uses high tech acoustics to track sharks on the Great Barrier Reef.

November 29 to December 21, 2016: Search for Life in the Mariana Back-Arc: Dive to one of the deepest places in the ocean — the Mariana Back-Arc. Join our team of scientists for this examination of how animals survive in the deep and in close proximity to hydrothermal vents.

June 20 to 24, 2016: Saving Marine Megafauna with Dr. Andrea Marshall. Dr. Andrea Marshall of the Marine Megafauna Foundation will be sharing her experiences and work at saving three of the ocean’s largest residents — the whale shark, leatherback sea turtle and dugong.

February 8, 2016 to August 2017: Voyage of the Oceanus: Join Brandon and Virginia Ford on a two-year cruise aboard their sailboat Oceanus as they explore the U.S. West Coast, the Gulf of California and the wilds of the South Pacific.

August 28 to September 16, 2015: Ocean Geographic’s Elysium Artists for the Arctic. This Virtual Exploration will transport you to the Arctic, where global climate change is endangering both the native species and precious ecosystems. The project’s diverse artistic interpretation and educational outreach program is designed to inspire arctic conservation for the citizens of the world, especially youth.

August 14 to 29, 2015: Axial Seamount Eruption Response:. Scientists from various organizations head off into the Pacific to investigation the recent eruption of a large underwater volcano. Follow this new exploration for daily blogs, photos, downloadables and more.

July 20 to 20, 2015: Creep Into the Deep. Scientists explore the Gulf of Mexico to uncover how deep-sea animals manufacture their own light and perceive the lightless world around them.

April 20 to May 1, 2015: Gray Whales: A Celebration of Conservation. Biologists track Gray Whale mothers and calves off the coast of California.

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Partners In Discovery

The Oregon Coast Aquarium's Oceanscape Network is proud to be a partner on the Virtual Explorations featured here. These missions bring together diverse people and resources from all over the world. We thank the participating scientists, researchers, educators and conservationists for their ongoing efforts to better understand and preserve the world around us.

A Note About Dates and Times

Due to the nature of scientific field work, the dates for our virtual explorations may change at short notice to accommodate weather, ocean conditions or other intrinsic factors. We appreciate your understanding.

Participate In A Virtual Exploration

The Oceanscape Network is always looking for new partners for virtual explorations. The attached PDF explains the scope and responsibilities of these partnerships.