FOMT partnered with organizations across the islands and the continental United States to bring underwater robotic technology to the CNMI.
In April of 2018, FOMT received an NOAA Marine Education and Training grant to facilitate collaboration between The Pew Charitable Trusts, Northern Marianas Technical Institute, Fiesta Resort & Spa (now International Hotel), SeaTouch Saipan, OpenROV, Blackbeard Biologic and Practical Solutions with the intention of creating more ocean learning and data collection opportunities for the CNMI community.
This resulted in two intensive workshops held on Saipan that offered instruction in how to construct, maintain, and operate underwater remote-operated vehicles (ROVs) to formal and informal researchers, citizen scientists, high school students, and community college students. The project was featured by National Geographic as an example of OpenROV expanding the horizons of citizen science. After the workshops, ROVs were donated to the CNMI’s Division of Coastal Resource Management, NMTI, Saipan Southern High School, and Guam Underwater World to support more community-driven ocean research projects.
Partners: NOAA Fisheries, The Pew Charitable Trusts, Northern Marianas Technical Institute, International Hotel, SeaTouch Saipan, OpenROV, Blackbeard Biologic, Practical Solutions, Division of Coastal Resource Management, Saipan Southern High School, and Guam Underwater World