Bridge to Ocean Exploration Experiential Learning Program

A core mission of the OECI is to inspire the next generation of ocean explorers and foster awareness of Blue Economy career pathways. The Bridge to Ocean Exploration (B2OE) Program, based out of the University of Rhode Island’s Graduate School of Oceanography, is an experiential learning program key to advancing this mission, offering paid, part-time opportunities in ocean science, data science, and science communication to interested and eligible students.

Autonomous vehicles, such as the surface vehicle, Drix, shown on the left, are key to advancing the OECI’s ocean exploration initiatives (photo credit: OET). B2OE students can connect with scientists remotely in Mission Control at the Inner Space Center (center), and visit OECI partner sites, like the engineering/maintenance bay for the human occupied submersible, Alvin, at WHOI (photo credit: ISC).

During a pilot program in the 2021-2022 academic year, the OECI collaborated with the New England Institute of Technology to create an initial cohort of B2OE students that worked on projects in machine learning, cloud-based data systems, media asset management, and 3D animation and multimedia production. In the Fall of 2022, the OECI began its collaboration with the Community College of Rhode Island (CCRI). Five CCRI students were recruited to participate in this paid, part-time, experiential learning program, focusing on project pathways in computer science and machine learning, autonomous vehicle water column data analysis, interactive digital web design, multimedia production, and science communication and storytelling. For the 2023-2024 academic year, the OECI is now recruiting up to eight CCRI students to participate as a B2OE Cohort 3 with project pathways focused on:

Benefits to B2OE program participation include:

  • PAID, part-time opportunity; up to $17/hour salary.
  • Exposure to cutting-edge ocean science, engineering, and media production technologies and best practices within the OECI.
  • Collaboration with OECI personnel; field trips to tour URI, WHOI, and UNH facilities.
  • Opportunity to remotely participate in expeditions about/aboard NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer and Exploration Vessel (EV) Nautilus.
  • Peer-to-peer interaction with other ocean science and exploration interns with NOAA Ocean Exploration and other OECI partners, including Tuskegee University.
  • Information exchange and networking opportunities with industry professionals during the OECI’s “Blue Economy Career Awareness Fair”.

Interested CCRI students must complete the OECI B2OE online application on or before 11:59 pmET, October 9, 2023.

Questions, please contact Holly Morin (