Vicki Lynn Ferrini
Author: Dan Fornari
2021

Vicki Lynn Ferrini

Oceanographer

mapping the deep

meet vicki

Dr. Vicki Ferrini is a Senior Research Scientist at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. Her research interests lie at the intersection of ocean exploration, seabed mapping, and characterization. She has participated in more than 30 expeditions using ships and submersibles in remote unexplored parts of the ocean. Dr. Ferrini is dedicated to ensuring that marine geoscience data are accessible to scientists and to the public. She is working closely with stakeholders to build a complete map of the global ocean by 2030.

mapping the deep
Nominated by: Maureen Raymo FR'17
Class of 2021 Location New York, USA
Vicki looking at a sea of data
Vicki looking at a sea of data Author: Zlatka Andorova

One of the things that fascinates me most about the ocean is its magnitude. The sea gives you a unique sense of wonder and humility. Exploring the seafloor from a submarine literally adds another dimension. My work gives me the opportunity to bring the unseen underwater world to others through the combination of seabed mapping and the preservation and access of marine geoscience data. I explore the ocean daily through both research expeditions and by wading through a sea of data collected throughout the global ocean.

“Working to map and characterize the global ocean will yield unimaginable discoveries and will directly impact the lives of all people around the world who depend on ocean resources.”

- Vicki Lynn Ferrini
Vicki at Lake Rotomahana
Vicki at Lake Rotomahana

The ocean covers more than 70% of the planet, yet less than 20% has been mapped and a much smaller fraction has been explored. Our collective understanding of the ocean is based on observations that are sparse in both time and space. Ocean mapping and exploration not only lead to discovery but they improve knowledge relevant to a variety of processes ranging from basic earth science to ocean circulation, weather and climate, marine archaeology, resource management, and sustainable development.

Working to map and characterize the global ocean will yield unimaginable discoveries and will directly impact the lives of all people around the world who depend on ocean resources. It is a grand challenge that can only be achieved through well-coordinated technical and social solutions. I have the honor of helping to galvanize a global community to discover new ways of working together to achieve a common goal. Playing a role in creating, at long last, a complete map of not only the ocean floor but of the whole planet is perhaps the most gratifying outcome that I look forward to as a product of my work.

never stop exploring

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE CLASS OF 2021

Get the EC50 print publication