The University of Guam and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography entered into a memorandum of understanding yesterday, which will create a working relationship involving exchanges in resources, research and student education for the two institutions.
UOG President Dr. Robert Underwood and Dr. Doug Bartlett, deep sea microbiologist and deputy director of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, signed the MOU yesterday afternoon in the President’s Conference Room at the UOG campus.
Also present during the signing was Dr. Helen Whippy, UOG senior vice president for Academic and Student Affairs, and Scripps engineer Kevin Hardy, designer of the unmanned lander vehicles used in the Challenger Deep expedition.
Both Barlett and Hardy were part of the Challenger Deep science team that accompanied acclaimed filmmaker James Cameron on his recent expedition to the Mariana Trench.
As outlined in the MOU, the two institutions will cooperate to further the development of basic scientific and applied research with goals of advancing research in ocean science, gaining a more fundamental understanding of the oceans, and benefiting society at large.
At the core of the MOU is the exchange of academic and scientific knowledge, UOG indicated in a press release. That entails the exchanging of researchers, scientists, faculty members and graduate students; scientific information in fields of mutual interest; exchanging scholars for lectures, talks, conferences, colloquia, symposia and sharing of experiences; implementing cooperative research programs; and making facilities and equipment (including research vessels) of one party available to researchers from the other party, among a number of activities.
“The value of any MOU of this kind depends on more than just the goodwill, but the active involvement of both parties to look for opportunities in the future,” said Barlett, highlighting some ideas that went beyond the research into the Deepsea Challenge expedition.
Barlett expressed his optimism that the partnership would provide productive interactions in the form of proposals, funded grants, and exchanges involving research and student education.
“It’d be wonderful to have some students from Guam taking some of our classes and some of our students coming here,” he added.