The University of Connecticut’s Northeast Underwater Research, Technology and Education Center (NURTEC) officially closed on December 31, 2017 after 34 years of activities across the global ocean and large lakes of the world. The Center was established at UConn in 1983 with funding from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Undersea Research Program (NURP) and began fieldwork with research submersibles, remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) and advanced wet diving technologies in 1984. Over the following 34 years the Center compiled a remarkable record of scientific accomplishment, technological advancement, and operational safety along with developing unique education and outreach programs. The results generated by this work influenced ocean policy and management in local, regional and international arenas and provided unique learning opportunities for thousands of teachers and students.
A brief retrospective of the Center recognizes that it was guided by the mandates and mission of NOAA, focused on conservation and sustainable use of ocean and large lake resources and motivated by the spirit of innovation and exploration that runs deep at UConn.