The USSSP Onboard Outreach Program gives formal and informal educators, professional science communicators, artists, writers, videographers and other participants the opportunity to spend an entire expedition with an IODP shipboard party and translate their experiences for students and the general public via blogs, videos, social networking sites, live ship-to-shore video events and development of educational resources and novel science communication projects.

Onboard Outreach Program participants are selected through a competitive application and interview process.

All expenses for Onboard Outreach Program participants, such as travel to and from the ports of call, and a stipend, are paid by USSSP. The selected individual(s) will also participate in a three-day training session prior to their expedition. If possible, this will be held face-to-face, and participant travel will be covered.

The goals of the Onboard Outreach Program are to:

  • Raise awareness of IODP
  • Promote and support IODP science.
  • Inspire and promote STEM learning
  • Utilize IODP data in classrooms
  • Increase diversity

Apply to Sail (Onboard Outreach Program)

We are not currently accepting applications to participate as an Onboard Outreach Officer.


USSSP welcomes applications to the Onboard Outreach Program from formal and informal educators at all levels, science communicators, as well as creative individuals who have a passion for IODP and the skills and potential to increase the profile of the program in the public eye. The application package for the Onboard Outreach Program includes the following items:

  1. Application Form: The online application requests basic information about the applicant, including specific interest in an expedition.
  2. Recommendation Letter
  3. Contact Information for two additional references.
  4. Proposal: The one-page proposal should describe projects aligned to the goals of the Onboard Outreach Program that you would like to carry out while sailing on an expedition and post-expedition activities.
  5. Short Essays: Respond briefly to several short essay questions.
  6. Letter of Support from an administrator (if applicable).
  7. Curriculum Vitae: An up-to-date two-page resume or CV.
  8. Demographic Information Form

Questions about the Onboard Outreach Program and application process can be sent to Carol Cotterill ( or Sharon Cooper (

Selection Process

Typically, Onboard Outreach Program applications are reviewed for multiple expeditions at the same time; applicants are asked to state their expedition preferences on the application form. Applications are initially evaluated by USSSP staff and the Education and Outreach Subcommittee of the U.S. Advisory Committee for Scientific Ocean Drilling (USAC). Rankings are then forwarded to the JOIDES Resolution Science Operator (JRSO) Expedition Project Manager and expedition Co-Chief scientists. The applications are reviewed and discussed via conference call. Selection criteria are discussed and may vary from expedition to expedition depending on program needs. Two to three leading candidates for each expedition are then interviewed by the review committee via Zoom.

The final selection of the Onboard Outreach Officer for each expedition is made by USSSP, and the invitation is issued by the JRSO.

Past Participants

A list of previous program participants and their activities can be found on the JOIDES Resolution website.