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Outreach Center for Teaching Ocean Science (OCTOS)

OCTOS Science Education Facility

The Outreach Center for Teaching Ocean Science (OCTOS) is a sustainably designed outreach facility at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB). OCTOS joins together the educational resources and outreach programs of Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary (CINMS) and UCSB's Marine Science Institute (MSI) through state-of-the art exhibits and compelling, interactive programming.

Scenario-based activities using real data include: a virtual transect of the ocean floor, and a global spherical display. Additional features of OCTOS include a two-story 20,000 gallon living kelp forest ecosystem exhibit, a discovery wet laboratory, an immersive theatre, and a classroom outfitted with distance learning capabilities. The entry courtyard is a gathering place with a mosaic tile circle depicting ocean biodiversity surrounded by plants native to California and the Channel Islands.

OCTOS will engage students, educators, community groups and the public with innovative, interactive learning tools and immersive content based on the latest ocean science research. The cutting-edge, curriculum-driven programming will draw students from the entire spectrum of education: K-12 through post-graduate, from the region, the state and the west. OCTOS will also serve as a professional development hub for training teachers with the science skills they need to implement new national standards. UCSB undergraduate students will serve as mentors and instructors when the center opens to the public.

Kelp Cutting at OCTOS

Distinguished for its global leadership in preparing tomorrow’s leaders in science and conservation, and for its collaborative spirit among the sciences, MSI’s partnership with CINMS reflects its commitment to expand and integrate opportunities for science and education. The vision for OCTOS is to bring together skills of inquiry, critical thinking, and communication and apply them to understanding, appreciating and protecting the unique environment of our neighboring ocean. Through study of these extraordinary local resources, students can begin to understand the important role oceans play on our planet and begin to see the opportunities for solving key global issues through the study of science.

Get in on the sea floor of this exciting opportunity for science outreach in Santa Barbara! OCTOS is being built now. If you are interested in learning more about supporting OCTOS, including naming opportunities, please contact Gay Larsen at 805-893-3423 or larsen@msi.ucsb.edu. Additional information is online at: octos.ucsb.edu.
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