Ocean Discovery Day

Color horizontal logo ODD.

All are welcome to Ocean Discovery Day where you'll discover Marine Science and Ocean Engineering at UNH! From ocean acoustics to plankton, there's something for everyone! Designed to engage explorers of all ages, Ocean Discovery Day offers a variety of hands-on activities and presentations.

Get a glimpse at the latest technology used to map the ocean floor, see how scientists use data sondes to monitor the water quality in the Great Bay Estuary and how acoustic technology is used to study marine life. Participants can operate a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV), touch a sea star, try your hand at knot tying or painting with fish, and so much more. This family-friendly event is FREE!


Student Day
Friday, October 4

Public Open House
Saturday, October 5


Jere A. Chase Ocean Engineering Laboratory
UNH Campus
24 Colovos Road
Durham, NH 03824


Parking for each event varies. Please see individual program page for parking information.

For directions to the UNH Durham campus as well as parking and campus maps, visit the UNH Transportation Center website.

Program and Activities

2024's program will be available closer to the event, until then, take a look at some of the activities from 2023's Ocean Discovery Day!



  3-D Topography Sandbox - Possibly the coolest sandbox ever! You can "move mountains" with our 3D topography sandbox. Every hill, valley, or mountain you create in the sand will automatically change color to match its new "elevation" – and it's all projected on the screen!  
  Aquaculture – Integrated multi-trophic aquaculture (IMTA) is a self-contained aquaculture system that allows multiple species to grow at the same time within a single floating structure. “Multi-trophic” refers to levels of a food web. Each of the different species in the IMTA system provides a benefit to the others: Steelhead trout, blue mussels, kelp and dulse. Find out why aquaculture is important to the local economy  

Autonomous Surface Vehicles – These unmanned surface vehicles play a vital role in collecting data for our researchers.

  Blue Ocean Society – Come meet Ladder the life size inflatable whale and learn about local efforts to collect marine debris and protect our marine mammals.  
  Character Corner – You and your friends can take a selfie with Will the Krill in our Character Corner. Post #UNHOCEAN  
  Coastal Bathymetry Survey System (CBASS) – This modified jet ski is used to help measure our coastal shores.  
  Deep Ocean Exploration SeaPerch Program – Drive a Remotely Operated Underwater Vehicle (ROV).  
  Does it Float – Buoyancy – What makes some objects floats and others sink?  

Estuaries - Estuaries occur where "rivers meet the sea." They provide critical wildlife habitat, nurseries for many marine species, buffering from coastal flooding, recreational enjoyment, and safe harbor for marine commerce and the maritime industry. New Hampshire is home to two major estuaries: the Great Bay Estuary and the Hampton-Seabrook Estuary.

  Fish Printing – Creating art with fish!  
  Lobsters! Have you ever measured a lobster? How about banding a lobster? Give both a try at this exhibit!  
  Knot Tying - Proper knot tying it critical for research vessel safety. You will have the opportunity to try your hand at knot tying.  
  Mapping the Sea Floor – Over 70% of the earth is covered by water, yet on 10% of it is mapped. Find out how UNH scientists are mapping the ocean floors and why.  
  Marine Careers - Thinking about a career in marine science and ocean engineering? Visit this tent to learn about educational and career opportunities.  
  Marine Genomics - Using household items, extract DNA from strawberries!  
  Marine Mammals Program – Ever wonder how a whale stays warm in the fridge ocean waters or how long is a humpback whale? Visit the Marine Mammals table to find the answers to both questions and more!  
  Ocean Acoustics - Participants will have an opportunity to hear the different sounds of animals as they interact in their underwater environment.  
  Ocean Exploration through Telepresence – Find out how researchers are remotely exploring the ocean.  
  Ocean Visualization – Researchers collect and data this data is transferred into advanced visualization tools through the “VisLab”.  
  Oil Flume Demonstrations - See live demonstrations on how oil is dispersed in the water column and learn how UNH researchers help with oil spill recovery.  
  Oyster and Green Crab Behaviors - How do oysters and green crabs interact together?  
  Plate Tectonics – Plate tectonics is a scientific theory describing the large-scale motion of seven large plates and the movements of smaller plates. What happens when these plates move?  
  Piscataqua Region Estuaries Partnership (PREP) – PREP is working to help keep our estuaries healthy. Learn how.  
  Rocky Shore/Marine Touch Tank - What creatures might you find in the inter tidal zones? Have an opportunity to see and touch those creatures.  
  Salt Marsh Restoration - With sea levels rising and storm activities on the rise, protecting our coastal salt marshes is more important than ever.  
  SCUBA – SCUBA equipment demos.  
  Seacoast Science Center - What should you do if you spot a seal or other marine mammal on the beach? Our partners from The Seacoast Science Center's Marine Mammal Rescue Team know the answers and will share with you at Ocean Discovery Day!  
  Shoals Marine Laboratory – Educational opportunities on Appledore Island!  
  Squid Dissection – Dissect a squid! This is a popular activity that takes approximately 30 minutes. Dissections will take place every 40 minutes beginning at 8:45 a.m. and will continue until we run out of squid! Participants can expect to wait in line for the activity. Place holding is not allowed.  
  Tagging and Decoding Animal Movements - The Furey Fish and Movement Ecology Lab will demonstrate methods for tracking animal movement, both underwater (fish) and in the air (birds) with telemetry tags and receivers.  
  Tidal Engery and Machine Design - Learn how large turbines are used to create tidal energy.  
  Underwater Robotics w/UNH's ROV and ASV Teams – UNH students design and construct their own underwater remotely operated vehicles.  
  UNH Research Vessels – R/V Challenger and R/V Gulf Surveyor – Research vessels are an important tool to marine scientists. Learn the different ways vessels are to conduct marine research.  
  Weather Forecasting/Visualization – Check out the interactive weather forecasting map.  
  Water Characteristics  
  Wine Turbines - Floating wind turbines are used offshore to generate electricity. These turbines are enormous! We have a scaled model for you to see as you learn more about offshore wind energy.  

…And so much more!

Color map of ODD Public Program.

Color program for ODD Public Open House.