Experiment Challenges

Challenge Underway


Ocean Solutions

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The Ocean Solutions Fund supports experiments that seek to better understand and improve the health of our world's oceans.


The Projects

Browse the participating projects

Can cycling help clean up microplastics from beaches and conserve coastal ecosystems?

Our team is developing a microplastic removal machine to filter and strain contaminated sand effectively...

Establishing the first technological network for long term ocean observations in Costa Rica

Costa Rica lacks extended time series of oceanographic data. To address this issue, our goal is to deploy...

Can a low-cost camera system help conserve the deep-sea biodiversity of Ticao-Burias Pass (Philippines)?

The Manta Bowl is a seamount located within the second largest protected seascape in the Philippines. Due...

Coral reef health monitoring

Corals reefs are a major cornerstone of marine life and the economy. They are declining rapidly and scientists...

Understanding the migration routes of Haiti's endangered sea turtle populations

Information about Haiti’s sea turtle nesting is limited as sea turtles are targeted along the entire coastline...

Tracking non-breeding endangered Benguela seabirds to inform conservation strategies

Cape Cormorants and Cape Gannets are Endangered seabirds that primarily feed on sardine and anchovy . Although...

Can low-cost, DIY hydrophones identify orca matrilines in real-time?

At Orcasound, we use underwater microphones (hydrophones) to monitor and conserve the endangered orcas that...

Do deepwater corals eat microplastics?

We aim to provide the first report of microplastic presence (or absence) in deepwater corals. Deepwater...

Harnessing New Technologies for Mapping Montserrat’s Marine Megafauna

In a first for the island, a locally-led initiative will survey Montserrat's marine environment, to identify...

Nutrient Limitation in Phytoplankton

Marine phytoplankton activity is abundant at a global scale and play a major role in the carbon cycle. However...

Could Hawaii seagrasses be facing extinction?

Seagrass meadows are vital for the health of the ocean because of their ability to absorb carbon from the...

Kelp Forest Restoration and Monitoring using Community Science

Since 2014, more than 96% of bull kelp in Northern California has been lost due to a combination of stressors...

Can we use a smartwatch for coastal monitoring and research?

The best sensor is the one you’re already wearing. Smartwatches contain sensors already used by scientists...

Are sharks contributing to salmon declines in the Pacific Northwest?

Many research and conservation efforts are dedicated to managing species like salmon, and these often try...

Can ocean spray seed ice crystals in clouds?

It has been suggested that diatoms and other ocean biologics are transported to the atmosphere when waves...

Establishing a baseline for microplastic accumulation in deep-sea animals using an historical sample archive

The deep sea is recognized as a hotspot for microplastic accumulation. While we are beginning to understand...

Establish baseline climate science to support sensitive Alpine lake ecological management

Austria’s Lake Altaussee is a remote Alpine lake. A long duration heat budget study here will evaluate physical...

Optimizing nitrogen loading in a micro nursery for nori

Edible seaweeds provide a sustainable source of healthy food and ecosystem services, including habitat for...

Using citizen science to gather data to inform sea turtle conservation in Trinidad and Tobago

All 5 sea turtle species in T&T are considered globally Threatened by the IUCN. Effective conservation...

An Open Source Seawater Carbonate Analyzer for the Citizen Scientist

Measuring carbon dioxide parameters in seawater is crucial for understanding the impacts carbon dioxide...

Deep diving into shark stomachs: new methods of identifying prey

How significant an impact do keystone shark species have on fisheries? We’re still in the dark because we...

How does urea loss through gills vary by shark species?

Sharks use solutes, such as urea, to prevent cellular water loss. While the mechanisms of urea retention...

Increasing Sustainable Kelp Farmers' Yields With an Automated Twine Wrapping Device

In response to the climate crisis and fears of food insecurity, regenerative kelp farming is emerging as...

Are Largetooth Sawfish in Brazil equipped for survival?

The Critically Endangered Largetooth Sawfish is one of the most threatened of all marine fishes. They have...

Can we improve the survival of larval yellow tang by understanding its microbiome?

Yellow tang are vital to Hawaii’s reef ecosystems, but wild populations have been drastically declining...

Metabolizing Microplastics for Human Health

Plastics have revolutionized material science engineering. However, the use of plastic has had unintended...

Laser directed infrared spectroscopy to analyze microplastics down to 20 microns and speed up data analysis

Microplastic analysis is a very time-consuming procedure while smaller-sized plastics (<300 microns...

Do Mediterranean corals have the genomic resources to face Marine Heat Waves?

Mediterranean corals are dramatically affected by mass mortality events linked to marine heat waves. Within...

Adapting genetic technology for marine conservation

Protecting the ocean's biodiversity is essential for the health of the planet and communities. Marine Protected...

Are deep-sea metals powering bioelectrical eco-evolution?

The deep sea is enriched with metals and amazing life forms. Electroactive microbes can get energy from...

Do humpback whales have lasting social bonds and long term relationships?

Humpback whales were once wrongly considered solitary. However, recent research has shown that they can...

Improving the Knowledge of Skates and Rays in Trinidad and Tobago

Trinidad and Tobago is home to many species of skates and rays but exactly how many and their locations...

Characterizing the deep sea habitats of the Seychelles using new, affordable deep-sea technology

The deep sea makes up more than 90% of our ocean yet receives little attention due to poor access to technology...

Low-cost monitoring of red tide and its viruses in the Philippines

HAB (harmful algal bloom/red tide) is a public health concern. Here, we are interested in the interaction...

Super Slime Me: A Month of Living on an All Algae Diet

This study examines the effects of consuming only algae as a dietary source for a month. The subject, a...

Where are Rhode Island's Remaining Native Oysters?

Natural Oyster abundance in Rhode Island has been declining and is in need of a restoration plan. In collaboration...

Can we identify individual manta rays in real-time using AI and remote technology?

This project combines AI, high-resolution cameras, and existing manta behavior research to test a program...

A low-cost open-source audio-video array to identify fish sounds.

Many fish produce sounds that could be used to monitor them non-intrusively over long periods of time...

What are Critically Endangered hammerhead sharks doing in the waters off Miami?

Great hammerhead sharks were recently assessed as Critically Endangered by the IUCN Red List. Our research...

Microplastic Monitoring Network in Islands and Coastal Zone

The coast of Santa Catarina represents 7% of the Brazilian coast and contains 6 areas relevant to conservation...

When do the corals in our reefs spawn?

The timing when corals release their eggs and sperm to reproduce is an extremely complex topic. However...

What can environmental DNA tell us about California's marine biodiversity?

A new molecular tool that identifies marine species from genetic material in water—“environmental DNA...

What is the known diversity of Somali waters?

During Somalia’s 30-year-long civil war, my country lost many of our marine scientists. Now, Somalia lacks...

Can corals acclimate to higher temperatures?

Urgent action is needed to protect coral reefs in the face of a changing climate. In Hawaiʻi, outflow from...

Improving Soil Health with Oyster Industry "Waste"

Agricultural soils in The Gambia, West Africa, are highly acidic, which greatly reduces plant growth and...

Effects of marine pollution on Halophila hawaiiana

Halophila hawaiiana is a Native Hawaiian seagrass that creates a habitat relied on by many organisms. H...

Understanding seal behavior with artificial intelligence

Seals are important indicators for the health of our oceans, but it is often difficult to monitor their...

Could newly discovered deep-water kelp forests in Galapagos act as climate change refuges?

Following the discovery of extensive deep-water marine forests made up of rare tropical kelp species in...

Using drones to find ghost gear in Koh Phangan, Thailand & study the impacts on marine megafauna

Koh Phangan is situated in the Surat Thani Environmental Protected Area, a region of diverse marine wildlife...

Can we identify spawning events in deepwater snappers and groupers?

Nearshore deepwater fisheries are expanding in the Caribbean as coastal fisheries decline. Because deepwater...

Using genetics to assess spatiotemporal variations in recruitment of native and introduced mullet in Kaneʻohe Bay, Oʻahu

Native mullets (ʻamaʻama) are vital to Hawaiian aquaculture. In Kāne‘ohe Bay, yearly recruit abundance is...

Measuring CO2 mineralization rates in a simulated ocean environment for the characterization of low-cost sensors

Direct air capture (DAC) of CO2 is a technology for low-cost and scalable carbon dioxide removal (CDR...

The island that disappeared: Exploring the colonization and biodiversity of young shallow seamounts in the Azores

Shallow volcanic seamounts can be hotspots for thriving marine ecosystems. Sabrina volcano, Azores, is a...

What kinds of supports are needed to enable a transition to a low-carbon US commercial fishing fleet?

The urgency of climate change and record-high diesel fuel prices are motivating commercial fishermen to...

Magnets as blue shark deterrents?

Blue sharks (Prionace glauca) are the most commonly caught species of shark globally. They are usually caught...

Studying the World's Largest Invertebrate - the Colossal Squid, Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni

We are launching a multi-year expedition to film a colossal squid in the deep sea for the first time off...

More About This Challenge

The sciency details

Submission Deadline:
Jan 31, 212023

Frequently Asked Questions

How do challenge grants work?

Projects can be submitted now! The funding will be distributed according to project needs on a first-come, first-granted basis. The sooner you submit a project, the better your chances of receiving additional support!

Can I still submit a project?

We are accepting projects on a rolling basis. To participate submit an Experiment project and email support@experiment.com to be considered for the challenge.

Challenge Aims

A message from David Lang and Eric Stackpole:

Ten years ago, in the early days of our OpenROV project, we were two people with an ambitious idea to transform ocean exploration with an open-source, low-cost remotely-operated vehicle (ROV). Many experts told us it couldn't be done — we were being too optimistic and idealistic. Luckily we found support through an engaged community and a crowdfunding project that helped jumpstart the project. We also were incredibly fortunate to get a small grant that nudged us up to the starting line

Now we want to pay that forward. Thanks to the generous support of our funding partners, we have $250,000 that we're going to contribute to ocean science and technology projects here on Experiment. We will back each project up to $10,000 (you can raise more from your community and the crowd). The funds will be distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis. The sooner you fill out a project application the better (use the "start a project" link below). In addition to the funding, we hope to stay engaged with the projects as mentors and supporters, helping in any way we can to make the experiments a success. 

Bold ideas and questions are encouraged to apply. We're biased towards projects that come from genuine curiosity and passion, less by projects that are seeking citations and status. Reach out if you have any questions. Better yet start and submit your project!

Project Eligilibity

Projects must meet Experiment project guidelines and funding discretion rests with the Experiment Foundation science leads.

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