Facilitating ocean science and media to empower the public, inform legislation, and inspire change!

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Research Expeditions

Hello Ocean’s 2015/2016 projects focus in the following areas

Pteropods & Ocean Acidification

The ocean absorbs almost a third of the CO2 we release into the atmosphere every year. Observations now show that the CO2 absorbed by the ocean is changing the chemistry of the seawater, a process called ocean acidification (OA). Calcifying organisms that are critical to the food web are one of the most vulnerable organisms to OA because the changes in ocean chemistry are dissolving their shells. Our OA study, led by Dr Nina Bednarsek, and Dr. Ryan McCabe is a real-world baseline study of the effects of ocean acidification on pteropods, a calcifying organism that plays a critical role in the food web.

Mapping Ocean Noise Pollution

Ocean Conservation Research (OCR), Silverleaf Geospatial, and Hello Ocean will engage the recreational boating community in a baseline, systematic study that will map the world’s anthropogenic ocean noise pollution. Noise pollution can have long-term consequences for the wellbeing of marine life. Currently, obtaining ocean noise data is costly and scarce. Limited information on the magnitude of noise pollution hinders the development of effective regulations to mitigate threats to marine life. This project provides low cost data collection methods by training and employing recreational sailors for data collection. As citizen scientists and volunteers, sailors will be provided with simple hydrophones and an application to log measurements along with GPS coordinates, and other information. Information gathered during our this study will map the first global systematic dataset on noise pollution intensity, location, and source which will be available to scientists, politicians, and educators, and concerned citizens.

Mapping Cetaceans In Belize

The role that cetaceans play in marine ecosystems east of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System (MBRS) or the consequences of they face from anthropogenic impacts are largely unknown. No systematic studies have been conducted to assess the status or abundance of most cetaceans in Belize or adjacent waters. In 2016, to fill this major gap in our knowledge, we will partner with Scientist Eric Ramos to gather important baseline data on the distribution of cetaceans by conducting vessel-based surveys to detect sperm whales and other cetaceans in the oceanic waters of Belize. Our work will provide the first systematic data on cetaceans in the pelagic waters of Belize, and our results will be used to support improved protection for marine mammals and pelagic ecosystems throughout Belize.

Pelagic & Coastal Microplastics

Plastic is a material that is designed to last thousands of years, yet it is being used for disposable packaging and items with a useful lifespan that is often less than 1 hour. Despite efforts to recycle and properly dispose of plastic, a significant amount still ends up in the environment and ultimately the ocean. The plastic accumulating in the ocean is threatening the collapse of an already struggling seafood industry. Fish mistake it for food, then die of starvation or from the toxins that accumulate on the plastic. We will be working with two organizations to collect data on the degree in which our oceans are polluted with plastic, clean up coastal marine debris, and ultimately identify solutions.

Opportunities For Scientists & Conservationists



We provide research scientists and conservationists an affordable vessel as a platform for their work.



We work side-by-side with scientists to extend your research objectives to include educational outreach media.



We are collaborating with scientists all over the country to collect critical field data that is difficult to obtain. If you have a data need, let us know.



We offer comfortable on-the-water accommodations aboard a Norseman 447 during your research campaign.

Citizen Science Opportunities

Hello Ocean is working to design two citizen science opportunities for recreational boaters. Our goal for 2016 is to offer opportunities to participate in the largest global ocean acidification study that will include data collected from every ocean. We also hope to offer an opportunity to help map the world’s marine mammals with species information, behavior, distribution, and abundance. We are working hard to make these things possible. In the meantime, check out some excellent citizen science opportunities that we love!


Marine Debris Tracker

Every time you clean up a beach you are helping the oceans. But now you can take it a step further by also contributing to a global citizen science effort to collect data on location and abundance of marine debris by simply logging on to the Marine Debris Tracker App and entering what you find. Your data will inform leaders as they make decisions on legislation, infrastructure, and regulations for a healthy ocean. We are working with our partner Rozalia Project for a Clean Ocean.

Learn More


Secchi Disk

Take part in a unique global study,  using a mobile phone app to record the effects of climate change. The public science project will measure the amount of phytoplankton, minute organisms at the very start of the marine food chain, currently residing in the world’s oceans. Scientists fear the population of the microscopic beings is in decline due to rising sea temperatures and, if true, that could have consequences for every aspect of marine life.

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Miscroplastic Data Collection

Microplastics particles, which are smaller than five millimeters in size, likely pose a massive environmental and human health risk when they enter our natural waterways. Our goal is to compile the most comprehensive dataset on microplastics pollution, and to use that information to leverage change, turning off the inputs of microplastics pollution at their source.

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The Ocean Cleanup

The Ocean Cleanup is looking for Pacific capable volunteer vessels (40+ feet long) and Citizen Scientists to join the Mega Expedition in August 2015. Citizen Scientists will join up to 50 other vessels traversing between Hawaii and California, collecting high-quality at sea data. Volunteers will be provided with training and a small stipend.

Learn More

The Hello Ocean Team

Ryan McCabe, Ph.D.
Ryan McCabe, Ph.D.Ocean Acidification Scientist
Nina Bednerseck, Ph.D.
Nina Bednerseck, Ph.D.Ocean Acidification Scientist
Eric Ramos
Eric RamosCetacean Acoustics Research
Captain Ben Carey
Captain Ben CareyHello Ocean Co-Founder
Captain Teresa Carey
Captain Teresa CareyHello Ocean Co-Founder
Emma Park
Emma ParkVolunteer
Derek Alan Rowe
Derek Alan RoweFilmmaker
Lynn Scharf
Lynn ScharfApp Developer
Michael Stocker
Michael StockerBio Acoustician

Our Advisors

  • Deb Castellana – Mission Blue & Sylvia Earle Alliance
  • Wallace J. Nichols – Blue Mind
  • Maryanne Culpepper – Graffiti Works, Inc.
  • Chris Palmer – American University
  • Rachael Miller – Rozalia Project
  • Bill Mills – Digital Cinema HD
  • David Conover – Conservation Media Group
  • Roderic Mast – Oceanic Society
  • Luke O’Neill – American Explorers, LLC
  • Ben Scheelk – The Ocean Foundation

Our Partners

Support Provided By

Terra Mar Daily Catch