MEDIA ADVISORY The MATE Center and Scripps Oceanography Host Underwater Robot Competition


What: The Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) Center's seventh annual international remotely operated vehicles (ROV) competition, hosted by the Ridge 2000 program at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego, will take place from June 26 to 28 at the Canyonview Pool on the UC San Diego campus. ROVs are underwater robots used in scientific research, ocean exploration and observation and by the marine industry.

This year's theme, "Diving to the Deep: Uncovering the Mysteries of Mid-Ocean Ridges," will challenge the middle school, high school, community college and university students to perform tasks to "see" and "feel" a simulated hydrothermal vent community using remotely operated arms, infrared eyes and temperature sensors. More than 50 teams from the United States, Canada, China (Hong Kong), Iran, Russia and Scotland will take part.

When and Where: Competition: Media and the public are invited to observe the competition live from a poolside-viewing tent at UCSD's Canyonview Aquatics Center on Friday, June 27 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday, June 28 from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The Canyonview pool is located at the corner of Voight and Lyman Drives on the UCSD campus.
Preparation and poster displays: Media and the public may also see the teams working on their ROVs and view poster displays at UCSD's Price Center from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday, June 27.
Opening reception: Media are encouraged to attend the opening reception on Thursday, June 26 at 7 p.m. at Birch Aquarium at Scripps. The speaker is Justin Manley, senior research scientist at Battelle and technology consultant to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Open to media only.
Awards banquet: Competition winners will be announced at a concluding event held on Saturday, June 28 at 7:00 p.m. at UCSD's Price Center. The speaker is Drew Michel, chairman of the Marine Technology Society's (MTS) ROV Committee. Open to media only.

Who: The MATE Center, a National Science Foundation (NSF) ATE Center-headquartered at Monterey Peninsula College in Monterey, Calif.-whose mission is to improve marine technical education and meet marine workforce needs.
Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego, with more than a century of exploration and discovery in global sciences, Scripps Oceanography is the world's preeminent center for ocean and earth research, teaching and public education.
Ridge 2000, an interdisciplinary research program sponsored by the National Science foundation (NSF) designed to study the biology, chemistry, geology and geophysics of Earth's ocean ridge systems.
Sponsoring organizations, including MTS, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), NOAA, NSF, Oceaneering International, and many others.

Background: MATE's ROV competition uses ROVs to teach technical, engineering, scientific and critical thinking skills, which are in great demand in today's technical workplace. MATE's competition helps students become aware of careers in which they can apply these skills, a critical step in addressing the shortage of qualified engineers and technical professionals.

This year's competition is designed to present students with the types of challenges faced by scientists and engineers working in extreme ocean environments. Hydrothermal vents are hot springs located deep on the seafloor near mid-ocean ridges, where the earth's tectonic plates slowly spread apart to create new seafloor crust. Vents emit continuous streams of super-heated, mineral-rich water through cracks in the earth's crust, creating an ecosystem that supports unique communities.

For More Information
· Caroline Brown
The MATE Center
Phone: (401) 338-8980

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