In these days of global austerity, many scientific institutions have seen their research funds cut and some major oceanographic projects are threatened by the inability to obtain up to date information on current conditions, especially related to climate change. One way to overcome this problem is to appeal to so-called citizen scientists, such as sailors, to do this important work on a voluntary basis.
As a result of a recently signed partnership agreement between UNESCO and Cornell Sailing Events, during our current passage we shall launch two oceanographic buoys on behalf of Meteo France, one south and the other west of Greenland. This type of drifter buoy will gather a range of scientific data and transmit it by satellite back to base. All participants in the Blue Planet Odyssey will take part in a number of oceanographic and meteorological projects by deploying autonomous scientific instruments, gathering and transmitting data from remote ocean areas from where there is an acute absence of up-to-date information on climatic conditions.
In recognition for this valuable contribution to scientific research, all Cornell Sailing rallies are now run under the auspices of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO and in collaboration with the World Meteorological Organisation.