Empowering researchers, educators, and citizen scientists through low-cost, open-source hardware.

The ocean belongs to everyone.

The tools necessary to study, explore, and understand the ocean are often inaccessible to the vast majority of ocean users. By nurturing a community of open-source hardware developers, scientists, and ocean stakeholders, we want to change that.

Whether you're a researcher looking for alternatives to expensive scientific equipment, a citizen scientist interested in building a marine monitoring program, a fisherman exploring new tools to understand their catch, or an ocean enthusiast seeking new ways to interact with the sea, this community is for you.

Under each project, you will find links to resources, build guides, 3D-printer files, code repositories, and, eventually, databases. Each project section will also point you towards ways that you can help contribute to the project. We have assembled a Parts Depot with links to the commercial products used to build each tool. This website serves as the community portal, but the action really happens in the Oceanography for Everyone GitHub repositories.

The ocean belongs to all of us. Let’s ensure that everyone has access to the tools needed to understand it.


The OpenCTD is a low-cost, open-source oceanographic instrument for measuring conductivity, temperature, and depth down a vertical profile. The CTD is the workhorse of oceanography, allowing scientist to generate water column profiles.

OpenCTD GitHub Repository

Rockethub Crowdfunding Campaign


Niskin3D is a low-cost, 3D printable Niskin bottle that allows users to take discrete water samples at specific depths or in specific environmental conditions. Niskin3D has been designed to integrate with the OpenROV, but it is adaptable to a variety of platforms.

Niskin3D GitHub Repository

Niskin3D Original Project Description


The BeagleBox is a tough, single-board-computer-powered field laptop designed to fit into a Pelican case. It's suitable for basic computing and adaptable to a variety of needs.

BeagleBox GitHub Repository

BeagleBox Original Project Description

How to contribute. Thank you for your interest in Oceanography for Everyone! This is a completely open-source project and you are invited to contribute to it at any level—from helping develop and refine code, to building and testing instruments, to taking these tools out in the field and collecting data—and if you just want to build one of these projects for your own personal use, that’s fine, too!

GitHub. We use GitHub to host our various projects. GitHub can seem a bit daunting to people who aren’t familiar with it. At its core, GitHub is a tool to organize files, coordinate files, and maintain version control (multiple people can edit the same file, while keeping everything in sync). GitHub has compiled a set of useful guides to help you get started.

Getting started. Projects are organized into repositories (‘repos’) that contain the source code, supporting documents, data files, and other materials needed for each project. When you visit a repo, check the README.md, this will describe the project (including the current status), contain necessary guides, and let you know how to help.

Issues. If you see a problem or have an idea for how something can be improved, raise an issue. The “issue” tab can be found at the far right corner of each repo, under the “code” tab. An issue can be as small as a typo or as big as an entirely new project. Here’s an example of the issue we raised when we realized that the site would benefit from this guide.

Pulls. When you are ready to make contributions to the projects, send a pull request. A pull requests creates a new copy of the project files that you can edit. When you’re happy with the changes you’ve made “commit” them to the repo. Don’t worry about breaking anything, commits have to be reviewed before they are added to the master file.

Andrew Thaler

Andrew is a deep-sea ecologist and conservation geneticist investigating the impacts of human activity at hydrothermal vent ecosystems around the world. He wants to make oceanographic tools available to anyone interested in exploring and understanding the sea, from the highest alpine lakes to the deepest trenches.


Twitter: @sfriedscientist

Kersey Sturdivant

Kersey is a marine ecologist who studies the effects of human disturbance on the seafloor, and develops marine technology to enhance human understanding of the ocean. His goal is to increase the capacity of ocean research through innovative technology, and by making ocean observation tools more cost accessible.


Twitter: @wormcam

Russell Neches

Russell is a microbiology doctoral student interested in large-scale migration patterns of microbes. He is using cichlid fish as a model system for investigating how host-microbe associations have evolved over deep time. He is an advocate of Free Software, Open Hardware, Open Access scientific publishing and reproducible research.


Twitter: @ryneches