The April 2023 installment of the “Science on the Sound” Lecture Series will be held at 6 pm on April 20 at the Coastal Studies Institute on the ECU Outer Banks Campus. This monthly, in-person, lecture series brings perspectives from all over the state and highlights coastal topics in northeastern North Carolina. This month’s featured speaker is Dr. Albert Plueddemann, senior scientist with Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI). He will present information on an exciting new research ocean observing array coming to the offshore waters of the Outer Banks during his talk Relocation of the Ocean Observatories Initiative Pioneer Array.

The Ocean Observing Initiative (OOI) Pioneer Array was envisioned as a re-locatable coastal array to investigate physical and biochemical exchange processes on the continental shelf and upper slope. The array infrastructure includes moorings, gliders, and AUVs. The Array was previously sited on the New England Shelf (NES), centered at the shelfbreak south of Martha’s Vineyard, MA.

Beginning in 2020, a series of scientific workshops were held to consider moving the Array to a new location, and a decision was made to relocate the Array to the Mid-Atlantic Bight (MAB) off the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Ocean observing data helps to track, predict, manage, and adapt to changes in the marine environment. The instrumented arrays gather physical, chemical, geological, and biological data from the air-sea interface to the seafloor, providing a wealth of information for research and education. Once the array is fully operational in 2024, the ocean data collected will be available online in near real-time to anyone with an Internet connection at

Dr. Al Plueddemann, a senior scientist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, will speak at the ECU Outer Banks Campus on April 20th for the public Science on the Sound event. 

The new MAB site represents a different environment than the New England Shelf location and offers opportunities to collect data on a variety of cross-disciplinary science topics, including cross-shelf exchange and Gulf Stream influences, land-sea interactions associated with large estuarine systems, a highly productive ecosystem with major fisheries, processes driving biogeochemical cycling and transport, and fresh-water outflows during extreme rain events.

The program is free and the public is encouraged to attend. For those unable to attend, the program will be live-streamed, as well as archived for later viewing, on the CSI YouTube Channel.

Schematic drawing of the Pioneer MAB moored array to be deployed off the coast of Nags Head, North Carolina. The full array, to be deployed in the spring of 2024, will consist of ten moorings at seven different sites (three sites contain mooring pairs).

Led by East Carolina University (ECU), The Coastal Studies Institute is a multi-institutional research and educational partnership of the UNC System including North Carolina State University, UNC-Chapel Hill, UNC Wilmington, and Elizabeth City State University.



Based at the Coastal Studies Institute (CSI), the North Carolina Renewable Ocean Energy Program (NCROEP) advances inter-disciplinary marine energy solutions across UNC System partner colleges of engineering at NC State University, UNC Charlotte, and NC A&T University.  Click on the links below for more information.




ECU's Integrated Coastal Programs (ECU ICP) is a leader in coastal and marine research, education, and engagement.   ECU ICP includes the Coastal Studies Institute, ECU's Department of Coastal Studies, and ECU Diving and Water Safety.


The faculty and staff at the Coastal Studies Institute come from a variety of backgrounds and disciplines, as well as departments and organizations including ECU Department of Biology, ECU Department of Coastal Studies, NC Sea Grant, the North Carolina Renewable Energy Program, and the UNC Institute for the Environment.


Tour the ECU Outer Banks Campus and learn about the research, education, and engagement projects of CSI and ECU Integrated Coastal Programs through our 360 virtual tour.


The ECU Outer Banks campus is home to the Coastal Studies Institute.
Located on Roanoke Island along the banks of the second largest estuary
in the United States, this coastal campus spans 213 acres of marshes, scrub wetlands, forested wetlands, and estuarine ecosystems.