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General Responsibilities of Education and Outreach Officers

JOIDES Resolution Science Operator, Texas A&M University
1 July 2015

JOIDES Resolution expeditions are typically 2-month long projects that aim to answer a set of scientific questions using sediment/rock samples and data collected from below the seafloor. Each expedition includes a group of ~30 scientists, ~25 technical staff, and 65 crew who work together to achieve the expedition objectives. The pace of work can be intense and each person on board is given a specific set of tasks. The science group often includes 1–2 Education and Outreach (E&O) officers whose mission is to convey the excitement of International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) expeditions and the importance of scientific discoveries to the wider public.


Each E&O Officer participating on an IODP expedition has a number of core responsibilities with respect to contributing to the overall objectives of the cruise and IODP as summarized below. In addition, details about additional specific deliverables may be documented in a written agreement that will be attached to this document or that is developed by the sponsoring organization after this invitation is accepted.

Expedition objectives

Each E&O Officer is encouraged to become familiar with the scientific objectives of the expedition as outlined in the cruise scientific prospectus. Additional background may be obtained from the bibliography referenced in the prospectus, and by speaking directly to the Chief Scientists and/or Expedition Project Manager (EPM).

Work shift

All participants will work shifts that are 12 hours in duration. Shift assignments will be made by the Chief Scientists and EPM, but flexibility will be applied to ensure the E&O Officer can best achieve his/her deliverables.


Education officers are required to summarize their shipboard activities in written reports and provide them to the Chief Scientists and EPM, and shore-based sponsoring organization supervisor as requested. Brief entries are included in Weekly Reports and a summary of all activities during the expedition is completed before the end of the cruise.

Lab activities

In addition to their core duties, E&O Officers are encouraged to participate in lab activities to the extent that their deliverables for their E&O tasks allow. The type of activity can be adjusted to correspond to the E&O Officer’s background and fit in the available time. E&O Officers’ roles differ from those of the scientific participants in that they are not responsible for carrying out lab measurements or preparing scientific reports.

Cruise evaluations

At the end of the expedition, E&O Officers are required to complete an assessment of the outreach activities conducted during the expedition and their precruise preparation. A postcruise report for their sponsoring organization is also typically required.

Collected materials

All materials collected and/or produced during an expedition by the E&O Officer are the property of IODP, unless different arrangements have been made in advance. This includes, but is not limited to, all digital imagery (photos, videos) and any other education or outreach products. See “Job description” below.

Special needs

E&O Officers should alert IODP if they have special computer or lab needs and we will make efforts to accommodate them, but we cannot guarantee that all these needs will be met. In particular, we are not in a position to provide specialized software for video editing, animation, etc. In addition, any third party equipment brought to the ship needs to be approved in advance or it may not be allowed on board. Contact the EPM for the expedition if unsure about any aspect of software and hardware requirements or ship/lab facilities.

E&O Officers have privileged access to the limited Internet bandwidth on the ship to conduct real-time ship-to-shore video transmissions. The number and timing of such transmissions per day needs to be agreed upon precruise (with some flexibility during the cruise) and monitored during the cruise to avoid conflicts. E&O Officers are expected to manage access judiciously (e.g., avoid hours when the scientists and staff are most likely to require access to the Internet).

Education and Outreach Officer Job Description


  • Formulate a plan for shipboard activities with the agency/country funding the E&O Officer’s participation.
  • Become familiar with expedition scientific objectives.
  • Become familiar with pre-existing education/outreach materials, resources and programs
  • Participate in training provided on JOIDES Resolution social media sites (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Reddit, and videoconference procedures and software.
  • Become familiar with guidelines governing the distribution of photos and scientific information (see IODP Ship/Shore Communications policy).
  • Formulate an Internet (video conferencing) usage plan (see IODP Ship/Shore Communications policy).

During the expedition

  • Work assigned shift and follow instructions given by the ship’s crew (Siem Offshore) and EPM.
  • Produce report content as requested by the EPM and/or Chief Scientists and shore-based sponsoring organization.
  • Implement activities and programs developed with sponsoring organization
  • Organize and participate in videoconferences with schools and museums, and track the locations, types, and numbers of audiences reached.
  • Work collaboratively with the shipboard scientists to promote shipboard activities.
  • Provide and monitor daily content for and related social media sites.
  • Get approval of EPM, Chief scientists, and/or other shipboard scientists for any scientific information, including photos and videos, shared with the public (see IODP Ship/Shore Communications policy).
  • Get approval from Siem for any photos or video shared with the public that depict rig floor or other activities that involve Siem and Entier (catering) crew.
  • Collect material needed for post-expedition activities.
  • At the end of the expedition, provide a comprehensive report of E&O activities, including a summary assessment of these activities for all relevant parties.


  • Conduct post-expedition activities as agreed upon with the agency/country funding your participation. Examples include, but are not limited to:
    • outreach to regional/national teacher networks
    • participation at science teachers meetings (e.g., NSTA, NMEA)
    • participation at Earth science meetings (e.g., AGU, GSA)
    • development of STEM-based classroom activities and resources
    • publication of magazine articles (e.g., National Geographic)
    • movies and interviews for YouTube
    • science and technology animations
    • feature-length documentaries
  • Get approval of science party for publications or presentations (talks/posters) delivered within the 1-year post-expedition (or post-sampling) moratorium.
  • Get approval from JRSO for any movies produced postcruise for YouTube or TV.